Wow I went and visited Pepperdine today and it was freakin gorgeous and now I come home and they've jumped in the rankings, maybe the gods are telling me something. They're giving me $ and they're in Malibu, hmmm
Hmmmm... I'll bet if you were identified at Pepperdine as saying "the gods" you'd be thrown out of paradise. But I absolutely agree with you, the view from the little student area overlooking the ocean is literally intoxicating. (yes, I know the word "literally" is overused and cliche; pretend it's new and use it here.)Definitely a Sartre "freedom" moment.Or maybe it's just that I'm a little afraid of heights. I grew up surfing in San Diego, and the views from the cliffs around UCSD (Blacks Beach) are the closest thing I can think of (but hometown loyalty aside, that view can only be matched in Hawaii or something). If anyone reading this has been to the Stephen Birch Aquarium about halfway up the hill from Scripps pier, they will have an idea.(Okay, SF people can think about the Pacific Ocean view from Golden Gate Park at the spot looking out by the Golden Gate Bridge... It really is that pretty.
Scenery aside, California schools (outside Stanford and the UC's) seem pretty confusing. Maybe only to me; my stunted branch of an otherwise reasonably middle class family tree didn't give me much introduction to the university pecking order. I get the whole "don't blame your family, take some responsibility for yourself" thing, and also the "no one ever told me to pay any attention to this" part. Figure I'm somewhere in the middle.
Sure, Antonin Scalia is a favorite speaker there, and Kenneth Starr is now the dean; I mean, even a progressive person can admit they are great at what they do...but geeeezzz!I didn't fight my way out of a religious school upbringing to be taught law by Starr and Scalia!@ (I really am sorry if anyone still reading this happens to find me offensive and not just random.)
My grades were eh... and my LSAT was okay... but thousands of people scored better than me. I ended up choosing between USD,USF, Loyola Los Angeles, Pepperdine, and Southwestern.( I wouldn't have disrespected UCLA and Berkeley by applying, but UC Davis and Hastings said "you are a slacker, and just because you didn't decide to become a vet researching companion bird behavior until you were 22 doesn't mean you can go to law school here". Anyone accepted quickly to these schools probably was recruited to Temple, Cardozo, Wisconsin Madison,indiana Bloomington, WUSTL, Illinios.... I am stuck in Southern California for family reasons.(go badgers...oh well).
Anyways, I went to Loyola Los Angeles for their accepted student lunch; after a rural undergraduate experience, I felt very anthropological as I drove though urban Los Angeles towards the school.$10.00 blue jeans advertised on the street (Vermont) as I drove closer and closer to the school.
Southwestern University was on the way. If you are an "Americorps, I've been to five countries in two weeks and spoke all the languages" person, and don't care about the standings, you'll love the environment. There is an English language school nearby, and several legal aid firms for immigrants in the surrounding square I thing it's around 6th street there is even a sign language academy right next to Los Angeles Community College up the street on Vermont. Very "of the people" I took the LSAT there, It's clean and very cool. Very urban, but if you've traveled, it's very interesting and not so bad. Don't walk at night though...
I have to say, except for the reality that I have to be published a few times and scrounge up an LLM somewhere fancy in order to ever have a chance at teaching somewhere, Loyola's surroundings seem to provide a great opportunity to remember the people who made the USA great... first generation immigrants.
LLS is situated pretty closely to Koreatown and a strong Latino area, and the vibe is undeniable. On the threads talking about LLS elsewhere on this site, it seems like most people going there are from San Diego (like me) and that they are grossed out by how ghetto (ewwww) the neighborhood is around the school. I am afraid of sounding like some pro- Loyola idealogue ( I mean come on, it's not my first choice either...) but slow down a minute and look at how colorful everything is there.
Also, for anyone who does decide to go there, my sister found the oldest "eating or drinking establishement in Los Angeles", which on Wednesday nights, (for now) has a bluegrass band made up of English professors from USC. No really UC people (like me), they are great!
Either everyone will rightly ignore this, or they will mock me. Hee hee. If I can find this post again, I will try to defend myself.