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Author Topic: UMBC to UCLA?  (Read 5941 times)

gredemoph

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UMBC to UCLA?
« on: December 13, 2004, 04:34:29 PM »
I'll get right to the point.  No wait, actually, I'll ramble.

My "stats":  female, white, 1570 SAT (800v), 3.55 unweighted/3.91 weighted GPA at your run of the mill, pretty good suburban high school in Maryland.

Lots of my friends are killing themselves to get into NYU/Georgetown/UVA/etc as undergrads (and they will all go into debt for it) but I applied to four schools which might give me merit aid, most notably The University of Maryland, Baltimore County - a great school I really love. 
I plan to major in political science, and either graduate with honors or (if I'm admitted) get through the school's Public Affairs Scholars Program.  Also, getting a Certificate in Communications and Media Studies (and possibly one in Spanish).

QUESTIONS:
1) UMBC has a great regional reputation, but I don't think it's as nationally known as UMCP (College Park).  Will UCLA (my preferred law school) consider my application (if I get LSATs and a GPA in their 50 to 75th percentile - or higher - range)?
2) If I can actually get admitted to and graduate from UCLA Law and pass the CA bar exam, but want to move out of state, will I conceivably be able to pass other states' exams?  Is this realistic?
3) Does UCLA have a good reputation for its intellectual property and entertainment law divisions?  I only know of its' reputation as an overall school - obviously very esteemed.
4) I plan to live in CA for a year (registering my car, paying taxes, and voting there) to establish residency - will I be able to get in-state tuition?

The good thing is that I'm going to graduate undergrad debt-free either way, and if I get merit aid from UMBC or another school I applied to, I might even have as much as $80k saved for law school (a drop in the bucket, I know, but better than starting with debt).

bruin

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Re: UMBC to UCLA?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2004, 03:11:04 AM »
I'll get right to the point.  No wait, actually, I'll ramble.

My "stats":  female, white, 1570 SAT (800v), 3.55 unweighted/3.91 weighted GPA at your run of the mill, pretty good suburban high school in Maryland.

Lots of my friends are killing themselves to get into NYU/Georgetown/UVA/etc as undergrads (and they will all go into debt for it) but I applied to four schools which might give me merit aid, most notably The University of Maryland, Baltimore County - a great school I really love. 
I plan to major in political science, and either graduate with honors or (if I'm admitted) get through the school's Public Affairs Scholars Program.  Also, getting a Certificate in Communications and Media Studies (and possibly one in Spanish).

QUESTIONS:
1) UMBC has a great regional reputation, but I don't think it's as nationally known as UMCP (College Park).  Will UCLA (my preferred law school) consider my application (if I get LSATs and a GPA in their 50 to 75th percentile - or higher - range)?
2) If I can actually get admitted to and graduate from UCLA Law and pass the CA bar exam, but want to move out of state, will I conceivably be able to pass other states' exams?  Is this realistic?
3) Does UCLA have a good reputation for its intellectual property and entertainment law divisions?  I only know of its' reputation as an overall school - obviously very esteemed.
4) I plan to live in CA for a year (registering my car, paying taxes, and voting there) to establish residency - will I be able to get in-state tuition?

The good thing is that I'm going to graduate undergrad debt-free either way, and if I get merit aid from UMBC or another school I applied to, I might even have as much as $80k saved for law school (a drop in the bucket, I know, but better than starting with debt).
1. You will probably have to do much better on the LSAT (&GPA) to get into UCLA Law than you would from another school (such as NYU/UVA...). Not to say that you can't do it, but it will be a more difficult path.
2. The CA bar exam is one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult in the nation. If you can pass the CA bar, you should be able to pass the bar in other states.
3. not sure about IP, but UCLA has a great reputation for entertainment law, one benefit of LA I suppose.
4. You become eligible for in-state tuition after living in CA for a year, but I just noticed a thread elsewhere on this site concerning this topic, seems not to be as simple as it seems.
  I can sympathize with the financial issues, I spent 2 years at a JC before transfering to UCLA undergrad and saved about $15,000 over 2 years. I will say that you will be a much more competitive candidate to major law schools coming from a major university; one option you may want to consider is spending 2 years at UMBC, then transfer to another school such as UM, UVA... You would save a considerable amount of money, while having a degree from a school that law schools look at more highly.
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akl

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Re: UMBC to UCLA?
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2004, 05:10:24 PM »
I would say that you should definitly choose the undergrad school that will leave you without debt. You will have more options in choosing law schools if you dont have carryover debt to worry about. Also if you dont plan to work in cali, then why go to ucla? ucla is much harder to get into than numerous more prestigous schools in the midwest and out east. I wouldnt advice it as a top option if you think you want to practice outside of california. Im not sure if thats what you meant though. 

I found from my friends that sat scores can have some correlation to your succes on the lsat, so if you study hard for that you shouldnt have trouble doing very well. But even with a score in the 170's, you will need far better than a 3.25 to have a good shot at UCLA. The UC's are very gpa heavy, so you need to shoot for atleast a 3.5 to have a solid shot there. And no a 3.25 is not to hard to get with average work.

As for your gpa at UMBC not being as good as the same gpa at a more prestigous school, i would disagree with that. First of all law schools want diversity in everything, including what school you went to, they dont want all there students from the same schools, or types of schools. Also lots of the more prestigous schools inflate there grades significanlty. For example i am a senior at a top 50 national university, and my siter goes to stanford. In talking to her i found out that her schools avg gpa is .3 higher than my schools. This type of grade inflation is well known to all the law schools, and counter balances the difference in prestigue.

As for in state residency, i got that at my undergrad university after my first year. The rules were similiar to UCLA's. It is harder than people make it out to be. You need to plan ahead! Also dont assume the rules will be the same in four years. My schools rules changed last year so that gaining residency is nearly impossible (you have to establish it while not going to school). Plan ahead! Most important make sure that you parents dont claim you as a dependant on there taxes atleast 1 year, possibly two years, before you plan to attempt to gain resdiency.
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bruin

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Re: UMBC to UCLA?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2004, 01:03:21 AM »
I agree that debt considerations should play a part in your college decision and that the reduced debt stemming from attending UMBC will be of great help when deciding where to go to law school. However, law schools do take the undergraduate college into account to some (smal) degree when reviewing grades.

In the case of UCLA law, the book "Getting into law school..." by Montauk (which many on this board swear by) quotes the dean of admissions at UCLA law as saying that he gives a small bump to the grades of applicants from certain schools, including UVa. Grade inflation will certainly be accounted for, but to some degree undergraduate school does matter. This is not to say that you can't get into UCLA law from UMBC. You certainly can, it just means that you will have to stand out from your peers at that school more than you would if you went to a higher ranked school.

It is difficult to predict how one will perform in college, but I see no reason why you would not achieve a 3.25 (or much higher) GPA. But to get into a top law school, you will probably have to get a 3.6-3.7, which is also certainly possible. For example, the median GPA for last year's entering class @ UCLA law was 3.68. Aki brings up the point of location. If you wannt to relocate to and practice in Ca, then UCLA will be great. But if you are not sure about that, consider other law schools closer to home (or anywhere, really).

Since you have pretty much a free ride at UMBC, you should go for it and not really worry about any effect on law school admissions. I know that I have mentioned the advantages of attending higher ranked schools, but if you are a solid candidate coming out of UVa-Georgetown..., you should still be a solid candidate out of UMBC.
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philibusters

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Re: UMBC to UCLA?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2005, 10:50:13 PM »
I finishing up my degree at university of maryland, college park this semester and have alot of friends at UMBC who love it.  UMCP is not that hard of a school, I spend maybe a hour or two studying a nite and usually get around a 3.7 or 3.8.  To keep a 3.25 just do all your assignments, its pretty simple, but you be amazed how many people turn in papers late or not at all.  UMBC courses are similar to Maryland so you shouldn't have too much trouble.  From my admissions process I found undergrad institution has no effect on your law school application process as long as you do well.  The lsat is the great equalizer.  Just do well on that.
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USBlues

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Re: UMBC to UCLA?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2005, 11:06:45 PM »
Hi Shane,

I went to UMCP for undergrad, majored in government and politics. 

As far as UMBC/UMCP, I don't think there's enough of a difference for it to matter as far as law school admissions.  Go wherever will make you happier!  I got into my first choice (which was a REAL reach due to my LSAT score), and I know plenty of others from "mediocre" school that are going to T-14s.  A good friend of mine who's at Townson (3.8/173) got into Columbia, UVA($), Duke($), etc. 

That said, let me just endorse the UMCP gov't and politics department: an absolutley WONDERFUL department for dedicated students.  If you show an interest in learning (and are intelligent), professors will be MORE than happy to help you.  I had no problem with getting profs to write LORs and in fact had some professors ask me if I needed any LORs (and I had to turn them away! lol...)  There's also a great GVPT honors program, where you take honors seminars (really interesting classes but a lot of writing) and then pair up with a prof your senior year and write a thesis. 

Anyway, enough blabbing... feel free to PM me with any questions you have!

USBlues

PS - I applied to UCLA also, and is the only school I haven't heard back from.  >:(

SkullTatt

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Re: UMBC to UCLA?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2005, 01:00:58 AM »
This thread is way too long to read but I am a UCLA grad and here are some answers in no particular order.

UCLA law school does, specifically, give more weight to a degree from the top 20 or 25 schools. I don't know what UMBC is but I'm not sure it qualifies. So your GPA will need to be .2 better as an undergrad compared to what it have to be if you went to UVA or NYU, etc.

You will get residency status after one year as long as you do things like register your car in CA, register to vote, and/or claim that you are going to be a permanent resident.


princeofpersia

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Re: UMBC to UCLA?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2006, 11:54:45 PM »
Hey Shane,

I actually go to UMBC and I def would recommend it. The political science department is great and I am sure you will enjoy. I would also recommend taking on another major such as history or economics. I would say that the classes are not hard too hard but also not easy. I know many people who struggle. The engineering and pre-med departments are the best but I feel like other majors are getting better every year. I am sure if you work hard and get a good lsat you wont have trouble getting into UCLA. Message me if you have any specific questions.