I've heard all the talk about USD, it's ranking, job placement, bar passage, yadda yadda. I just like the feeling over at Cal Western a lot better. As a native San Diegan I know a few people in town and the managing partner of one of the bigger law firms there. When I spoke with him he indicated that as long a performance at Cal Western was good I should not really have a problem getting a job in town. He said the real difference was the national reputation of the schools and that if I wanted to work in L.A. I might have a tougher time. General consensus seems to be that your pedigree matters the most for your first job and after that it is contacts and performance that matters.
I've got the first job lined up-USMC JAG corps so I'm not too worried about that. I talked to the Dean at Cal Western last week and she said that they had a bar prep class that had a passage rate over 85% for the students that took it.
Bottom line, the facilities are better, the sutdents are older (little more life experience) and if I don't go into debtor hell for law school maybe I can take jobs later that I want instead of just trying to pay the bills. I'm not really interested in top 10 firm work, I think I want to do more legal aide type stuff...make a difference and not just a name.
Both schools will get you hired somewhere, and if you study hard enough I think most of us will pass the bar. The attrition may also be due to the fact that the students are older and have more obligations rather than poor faculty or tons of competition.
Good luck to everyone on deciding. Go with the gut.