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Messages - Miles Massey

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Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions
« on: October 22, 2007, 08:56:43 PM »
What's the atmosphere around the campus like? More suburban or urban?

Actually kind of an interesting question. By my own standards, Westwood (the part of Los Angeles UCLA is in) is urban, but I grew up in a small town. We have high rise office buildings a few blocks south from campus, and we are pretty close to big freeways and the like. The village of Westwood is dense with lots of shops, restaurants and businesses (and even a fair amount of bums). But then again, it is not like Columbia or even Hastings for that matter. The actual campus is very park like, and three quarters of the school is surrounded by some really expensive residential neighborhoods. The best I can say is that it is a mix. It is not like downtown LA or anything, but it's also not in the middle of nowhere. Maybe check out google earth for a better idea of the area???

2
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Chances at a T14?
« on: October 21, 2007, 05:14:35 PM »
APPLY EARLY!!!! Seriously. I didn't take that advice to heart and applied over winter break. I think it definitely impacted me at a few schools. Even if you are retaking, send in your apps ASAP and let them know that a new score will be coming later.

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Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions
« on: October 21, 2007, 05:11:37 PM »
Well "budget" is a relative term. I know people that live off campus a bit and have their rent down to around $800 a month by sharing an apartment with a roommate. It depends on the neighborhood and what kind of place you're willing to live in and with how many people, but I'd say you'd be hard pressed to get your own room for under $800 anywhere in LA. If you really want to save money, split a room and you can get down to half that (my math skills finally serving me). Then again, I wouldn't recommend sharing a room with someone while in law school - unless you're both law students and get along REALLY well.

If you're really interested in non-university housing for the UCLA area, check out westsiderentals.com

4
Where should I go next fall? / Re: 3.95/164 Please Help!
« on: October 21, 2007, 05:02:35 PM »
A 164?

Ok, this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to go back and talk to my manager, and see if we can't work something out. I don't normally do this, but I really like you and I really want to see you in the T-14.

Few minutes later....

Ok, the manager told me that, just this one time, we're going to let you take the LSAT again. If you do that, we'll see if we can't bump your score a few points and get you into that shiny, new school!

- Sorry, I just couldn't resist with you mentioning your career. Seriously, just retake until you're like at a 168 or higher and you'll be golden.

5
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions
« on: October 21, 2007, 12:46:07 AM »
Disclaimer - while past history is never an indicator of future performance....

Last year, pretty much everyone that requested Weyburn got it (that's the brand new graduate housing that a lot of law students live in). Even people that got in off the WL (for the law school, not the housing WL) got housing there.

There is a WL for housing most times, and I don't know if the admissions dean has special pull or authority, but it seems like most of my friends in my section got Weyburn just by asking for it through Dean Schwartz.

On a related note, in years past, it has been really hard for students to get parking permits for the campus (even after getting a priority bump for being a law student) but apparently the last 2 years, every law student that has asked for one has gotten a permit.

6
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions
« on: October 20, 2007, 11:14:08 PM »
How would you characterize the students at UCLA?  Are they laid back or competitive with one another?  Given that it is a larger public school, are the faculty and administrators very accessible?  Do you find it easy to get to know other people there?

One other quick question...how is the housing situation?  Do most students live in graduate housing, in private apartments, close/far from campus, etc.?

Thanks for your help!  I loved my visit to UCLA a few months ago, so I am very interested in learning more about the school.

This is going to sound like a total cliche, but it is nonetheless true: the students at UCLA are very laid-back, supportive, and all around great people. I know you might hear that about other schools sometimes (I certainly did when i visited them) but it is actually true at UCLA. There is no competition with other students. We have a very nice curve and the school doesn't release rankings, and pretty much everyone above a 3.0 can get BIGLAW if they want it. This means that there is really no reason to be competitive. Plus, when it is continually sunny and nice, the competitive edge in people seems to wear down a bit.

As far as being a "big public school" - you'll never notice. Every service you'll need/want is housed right in the law school. No need to stand around with undergrads for financial aid or anything. And even though we have a relatively large student body, remember that it's still smaller than most high schools. Things are very efficient and friendly. Professors are easy to talk to (particularly because our sections are just under 30 people this year). The administration is on a first-name basis with seemingly most of the students. The only real issue is battling undergrads when trying to get food at our commons near the law school - they take over the place at lunch!

7
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions
« on: October 20, 2007, 11:02:06 PM »
Do you have any ideas what the pet/housing situation is like in LA?  I have 2 dogs and I really want to take them with me.  Will it be really hard?  Really expensive? 

Actually if I could generalize from this topic too... whats the housing like there? 

Third question- how would you rate the aesthetic beauty of campus and the law school?

I don't think you can have pets in the graduate student housing (not completely sure on that though). Of course, if you live in other housing, completely case-by-case, but it seems like the area in general is pretty animal friendly (lots of my friends keep pets at their places)

In general, housing is expensive directly around campus. A nice 1 bed apartment in Westwood can be around $1500 a month, and can easily break $2000 for brand new places. UCLA graduate housing is a life-saver though. The graduate housing is around $1000 a person for your own room. Options for those with a spouse and/or family are also available. In general there are lots of options, and for those on a budget, there is much cheaper housing only a few miles from campus. Popular options for law students include the "Palms" area about 2 miles south (near Culver City) as well as in the San Fernando Valley (but that requires a nasty commute on the 405 - not advised for the faint of heart).

As far as the beauty of UCLA? You have to see it to believe it. It's that great. I absolutely love walking to class each day just to take in the campus. The law school itself is gorgeous, particularly the library (most of it is brand new). But, some of the actual class rooms are a little dated, and I've heard more than one person compare the main hallway to a high school. But then again, the law school is centered around a great little courtyard where everyone hangs out between class. I'd definitely recommend a visit if you've never seen the place - you'll be glad you did!

8
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions
« on: October 20, 2007, 10:42:57 PM »
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!)

Hi Miles,

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.

9
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions
« on: October 20, 2007, 12:20:11 AM »
While public interest isn't my particular focus, it is a big deal at UCLA. I have a few friends in the program, and they love it. Starting as a 1L, you get placed in a writing section with other program members, with your first year memos all dealing with public interest issues. After that, there are tons of classes, lectures and events involved with the program. If you're interested in public interest, you'll love UCLA.

As far as living in LA? Come on - I don't think I even need to say anything. I walk to school everyday and can't believe how gorgeous the campus is. I live in Westwood which is a great community with plenty of restaurants and shops and anything you could possibly want within walking distance. Of course, if you can't find what you're looking for in Westwood, you have the rest of the city. The only real problem with living here is that you'll probably need a car if you don't live right in Westwood (and even then, I highly recommend you have are car just to get around the rest of the area.)

But you can't beat studying across the street from Bel Air, and minutes from Beverly Hills, the beach, and the rest of a huge and vibrant city.

10
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / UCLA 1L Taking Questions
« on: October 19, 2007, 11:38:48 PM »
Well, now that most of you have your LSAT's back (if you didn't have it already) I imagine you can now start looking more closely at where you want to go.

Feel free to ask any questions about UCLA, it's programs, faculty, students, whatever.

I'll get back when I can in between putting off my reading.

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