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Messages - pinkybella

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Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Waitlisted at Loyola-LA
« on: August 19, 2006, 02:47:37 PM »
I never got my rejection. Weird..... ???

The battle of the low ranked law schools is neverending. Here are some general info from someone who is a Southwestern Student and has seen how previous students from here have done. I went to SW just because I got money and was in one of their non-traditional programs.

I really don't like SW because the adminstration is fiercely anti-student --- the over-arching goal and the basis for virtually every decision is to weed out anyone they _believe_ may not pass the Bar. Rather than improve instruction, they just drop students _quickly_. I lost a lot of friends because the school was so trigger happy. Also by having harsh grading, students often lose their scholarships since they all have minimum GPA requirements that require above-average performance.

SW is on a strict curve (and forces both a particular average, and oddly, a particular standard deviation) so regardless of how well you do, you can be below average if the other students just do better. This caused some freakish grades when exams were poorly written and getting a very high percentage on the exam still resulted in a very low grade. This does not happen with professors who are experienced at writing exams, but with new professors this does happen and it pisses everyone off.

1. Neither Southwestern, Chapman or any other low ranked law school differs much in terms of jobs, respect or the value of the law school. Saying Southwestern is higher is bous; once you are out of the top-100 there really is no difference - use your head, do you really think anyone in the real world is evaluating the difference between such low ranked schools? No - they aren't and can't because the differences are too small. When you look for a job, you will find that Chapman, Southwestern, Whittier, Thomas Jefferson, etc. are all getting the same jobs and opportunities. 

2. Low ranked schools are fine for people who don't mind working for small law firms, public interest non-profits or the government (a major destination for SW grads that I know). Even in the top-10% of the class you WILL NOT be hired by an elite law firm. I GUARANTEE IT - unless you _personally_ have a contact that opens the door, otherwise it will not be from recruiting. The top 10% at SW, Chapman, etc. have more trouble than the bottom 50% of UCLA and USC.

3. Clients of law firms like to work with people from good schools. They like to tell their friends that their attorney is from X school where X is a big time - it makes them feel good and confident. SW amd Chapman aren't any better in this regard. 

4. The salary statistics I personally believe are bogus and reflect dishonesty by the those sending information back to their schools. I think they are too high from what I see. Don't expect to make more than 50-60k when you are done. There are a lot of SW grads making 40k. REMEMBER THIS. HAVING MASSIVE DEBT WILL KILL YOU AT THESE SALARIES.


1. Because neither school is materially better than the other, and because you will not be rolling in the money when you are done, CHOOSE THE SCHOOL THAT OFFERS THE MOST MONEY. It is vital that you have as little debt as possible when you are done.

2. DO NOT EXPECT TO BE IN THE TOP-10% - will not happen. Those in the top 10% are those who could have gone to a better school but didn't for some reason; or are repeating the first year for whatever reason and therefore are able to nail the exams since it is the second time through for them. AS SUCH, DO NOT EXPECT YOUR MONEY TO INCREASE. CHOOSE THE SCHOOL THAT OFFERS THE MOST NOW ON INITIAL APPLICATION.

3. If schools offer equal money then choose the school with the most students. Here I would choose any normal university over a standalone law school. The value of interacting with the widest group of people as possible cannot be underestimated. It means more friends, better socializing and a more diverse group of contacts. Not just law students, but also students from other fields like FILM STUDENTS (Chapman has A GREAT FILM SCHOOL - a damn good one really --- networking with these students would be an awesome opportunity to hook up with indy film types who will need legal advice --- likewise with entrepreneurial students in other departments.)

4. Lastly, after money and exposure to the largest student body possible, I would look at the campus and the overall quality of student life and living.

SW has no campus to speak of - Bullocks is a great building but your classes will almost always be in Westmoreland which is a dump. The library is terrific but so what - no one uses it since everyone does their research at home on their computer - WestLaw and Lexis are how legal research is done. You can easily get through law school without doing one bit of legal research in the library. Having such an expensive and little used library is a waste. Students use the library to study while they are at school. The books just take up space!!! Walk through the library and you will rarely see any student looking at the stack of books. Everything is done online!

Btw, Southwestern is in Mid-Wilshire. The place is perfectly safe during the day. Absolutely NO PROBLEMS during business hours. Very busy and OK. I don't like the area in the evening but there are worst parts in LA. In a few years the area will be a disaster zone and a source of major gang violence and drug wars - WHY? Because there is going to be a massive public school (5000+ students) opened in a few years - the once great Ambassador (right?) hotel where the Coconut Grove was is going to be a magnet for drug dealers, student gangs and others. YUCK!! The businessmen of mid-wilshire (essentially Koreantown) fought hard to stop the school but lost.

Bottom line: SW is a commuter school and you will not do anything on campus other than take classes. Once classes are done everyone gets the heck out of there. So, not a romantic setting, just a workman like envrironment to get your credits in while the rest of your life goes on outside of school. This is fine for people like myself, but for those seeking a real Academic environment, a campus to walk around on and to hang out at then SW is no good and depressing.


thank you thank you thank you. This is such a helpful response  & really has made me more confident in my decision to go to Chapman over SW

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Taking Notes: OneNote v. Word
« on: August 07, 2006, 01:33:07 PM »
Thanks everyone! All your responses were really helpful!

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Taking Notes: OneNote v. Word
« on: August 05, 2006, 02:23:05 PM »
Can anyone describe the differences btwn OneNote 2003 & 2007? Or point me to a site that does? I have 2003 right now & I'm wondering what features have been added to the 2007 version.

Thanks! :)

the OP is clerking for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals now

Did she end up attending Whittier?

Something about Pinkybella's avatar seems really hot to me. That's probably not normal.

How the heck did I get in this thread? Oh, right... 'unread posts'. Like a black hole of randomness.

Careful. You may be refering to a 40 year old dude....... ;)

ahaha! Luckily he's not. 23 year old woman here.

Loma Linda, California (I'll commute to school a little ways, oh well!.) I live in a 3 year old house with 4 others, and I have my own bedroom and bathroom, and including ALL utilities, rent is $500.

You're SO lucky! That's cheap cheap cheap!

I pay zero dollars because I live with my parents.

You're the luckiest of us all. I would have done the same if I was going to law schol in the same city where my parents are living.

Philadelphia. I'm paying $975/month (including utilities) to live by myself in a doorman building downtown. I figure if I'm already going to be up to my eyeballs in debt, might as well live somewhere nice  ;)

That sounds really nice! And its not too expensive (at least by So Cal standards).  (Nice) 1 bedroom apts in So Cal are around $1100 + utilities!

Yeah, it's not too bad, though much more than im accustomed to paying. Also, I'm living in a studio, but it's an "executive" studio, which is the same size of their one bedroom apartments (600 square feet), just laid out different. I'm moving in on Tuesday, so hopefully I like it!

I'm sure you will. It sounds great!

Philadelphia. I'm paying $975/month (including utilities) to live by myself in a doorman building downtown. I figure if I'm already going to be up to my eyeballs in debt, might as well live somewhere nice  ;)

That sounds really nice! And its not too expensive (at least by So Cal standards).  (Nice) 1 bedroom apts in So Cal are around $1100 + utilities!

I thought it would be interesting to see how much rent differs in different parts of the country.

My room mates & I don't have a place yet but the 3 of us will be living in Orange, California (we're attending Chapman). Most likely we will have a 3 bedroom for about $2100 which means I'll probably paying something like $700+ utilities/month for my own room.

Where are you living?

How much is rent?

How many people are you living with?

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