« on: August 23, 2009, 09:20:33 PM »
There isn't going to be a substantial difference in job prospects from a school like Hastings vs. Santa Clara. Neither is going to place that many grads from each class in big firms or any kind of job that is very competitive to get. The only difference in placement will be among the very top students, like those in the top 10-15% of the class. What I'm saying is especially true given the state of the economy and big firm hiring for the foreseeable future.
PD jobs in California are very competitive to get. And they pay a lot more than $30K. California DAs and PDs are among the highest paid in the country.
If you are pondering taking a scholarship at Santa Clara, vs. paying CA resident tuition consider this: if the Santa Clara scholarship is tied to 1L performance, there is a very good chance you won't keep it after 1L. So when comparing debt load between the schools you should compare it as if you'll lose the scholarship after 1L.
Maybe is right in that you need ties to the area + top national school or a degree from a school in the same state in order to get a PD job. Exceptions exist, but they are rare.
This is a perfect example of why you need to look beyond rankings. Santa Clara has a very close-knit alumni community, and they more than look out for their own. Within silicon valley especially Santa Clara grads get placed in positions they have no "business" being in, if you're going by the school's ranking alone. If you're looking at firm law within northern california, S.C. isn't a bad choice. Not quite as good for PD work though, as that's not where their alumni connections are. Hastings, on the other hand, has a local reputation for graduating kick-a@@ trial attourneys, largely because of their VERY good moot court teams and training. Both can get you into positions that anyone looking at their raw rankings alone would be surprised by.