Law School Discussion

Pepperdine v. Southwestern


Re: Pepperdine v. Southwestern
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2004, 01:38:22 PM »
I just want to add one thing here.  I interned with three law students from Pepperdine last summer (yea I was the only undergrad).  Keep in mind that in LA's crazy traffic it will take you AT LEAST an hour to get to downtown from Malibu (and they ticket you like crazy on the Pacific Coast Hwy).  There are no jobs/externships in Malibu, so you will have to drive a long way.

Re: Pepperdine v. Southwestern
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2004, 05:39:43 PM »
It's a no brainer- Pepperdine!  Not only do they have beautiful women, but...

I know all about Southwestern.  They had a KILLER attrition rate up until 2002, when they shrunk the first year full time class from 300 to 220 because they are getting more qualified applicants as a result of the recent Dot.Bomb/bad economy and consequent law school flooding.  In the 70's, SW graduated too many students due to lax standards, and their bar passage was horrible.  Students sued the school.  In the late 80's - 2002, SW reversed the policy.  Accept way more students than there is room for moving to 2nd year (shortage of faculty, facility, etc), then have everyone claw, rip, and step their way to pass 1st year.  They abide by the ABA 2.0 minimum rule, but what they don't tell you is that the bottom third (20% due to forced curve,10% due to other reasons), will not make it to the next year.  If these folks have loans, they still have to pay them.  Tough cookies.  SW currently has students suing them for poor attrition.  Now, the academic attrition is down to 13%, but keep in mind the class size shrunk too.

As for SCALE, only do this if you are confident that you can juggle school and family.  I knew someone who was in the progarm, and the class size went from 35 to 18 by the end of the first year.  You see, at SW, profs. are mandated to give C-'s, D's, and F's.  There has to be. Even if at another school the quality of work would equal a C.  The grade gets pushed down.  This guy was always studying, had virtually no break, and was on the verge of flunking out.  He was smart, albeit.  And he had no family responsibilities. I have not talked to him since.  Try squeezing 3 years (tough as it is) into 2 years.  There is not much time to digest anything. 

Good pts- several talented profs., handful of cool students, and big, clean library; new, but stuffy gym in basement of library.

Bad pts- crappy location (homeless people, thefts, dirty, puny campus (2 buildings).  Students who steal notes/laptops before finals, profs. who won't grade exams, ever.  And lots of stress, much more than schools that have no forced attrition (any tier 1 or 2 school, and some tier 3's).  Competition is FIERCE- loss of hair, appetite, social life.  Administration only cares about $$, financial aid looks at you like you did something wrong, and SW only cares about raising rankings.  Higher bar passg recent years, but it's because only good test takers are left.  Lots of kiss ass students and TONS of gossip (although some is to be expected).

If you are ready to work like never before in your life.  As for jobs, that depends on you.   

Pepperdine Pros-  clean campus, beachy, low attrition, decent reputation, undergrad resources- gym, pool, libraries.  It's often a good idea to get away from other law students when you get a chance.   

Cons- $$, housing is $$, but you could get lucky.  Depending on values, it is conservative, and some complain about the religious aspect/values they have been known to instill on you, but it's better than SW.  hear me now and believe me later.