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Author Topic: University of San Diego visit  (Read 1825 times)

Starresky

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Re: University of San Diego visit
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2005, 03:48:56 PM »
yeah its an interesting case, im just surprised. So i guess the classes that we sit in on are just for the admitted students? I wonder if we are gonna get an early crash course on the Socratic method

Yeah they said we'll sit in on two simulated classes so I am guessing it'll just be us admitted students.

sunset1021

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Re: University of San Diego visit
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2005, 03:51:43 PM »
Hey do you guys mind posting your impressions of admit day?  I'm still trying to get the day off to go to the last one (on the 18th I think...)
"Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die,
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly."  -Langston Hughes

danno51

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Re: University of San Diego visit
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2005, 03:56:10 PM »
No prob sunset.  i will post a full report Monday night
Heading to USD in August, Viva San Diego

Starresky

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Re: University of San Diego visit
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2005, 08:35:16 PM »
Okay, just got back from USD after a 1 and a half hour drive and I'm pretty tired so I preface this with a disclaimer: I reserve the right to correct anything I say in this thread on account of my exhaustion :)

First off, the "traffic" there in the morning was almost non-existent as soon as you pass UCSD (which is probably where you would live if you go to USD). I got there and parked on the top level of the structure. Our tour guides implied that the structure would be the farthest we'd have to park and I almost died with joy. At UCI, I'd sometimes have to park clear across campus in the mornings. This structure was like a city block away from the law school building.

I headed to the registration area and I was the first person there at 8:20 so that was weird. I felt like a nerd but whatever :) I met a bunch of students and we talked about other schools we were considering. I felt slightly inferior to those considering the UC's, Notre Dame, Georgetown and such, but these people definitely considered location and their future after law school above any ranking/prestige factor which I liked. There was a brief intro to what we would do for the day and some of the typical propoganda for USD. Nothing new there.

There was a career services person who came to speak. Said that they mostly get California/west coast people at the OCI because the students tend to want to stay in the area to work after law school. They will help you if you want to work elsewhere but you have to seek them out for those opportunities. Said they have lots of internships and encourage students to work at a lot of places before they graduate to find their niche. She also mentioned that the salary range of the last graduating class was 38,500 - 145,000. The lowest being someone doing public interest for mental health and the high end being an engineer doing IP.

Then we were led across campus to the law building in the Courtroom for a small intro to the study of law class. It was pretty good. I found the professor (Graham Strong) to be engaging and definitely sounded like he had a true passion for law. He got a good discussion going for such a short amount of time, leading us from the basics of studying law to the discussion of a case he had given to us and then giving us a hypothetical to apply the rule of the first case to. I definitely felt like my peers there were a good group of intelligent, critical thinkers.

After that we went on a campus tour. It was a ton of walking as we took the stairs everywhere we went, but it was very informative. They took us through the whole law building (3 floors) and showed us all the typical offices: financial aid, registrar, career services, moot court, legal writing and study abroad program. Lots of pimping of the quality of the faculty throughout the tour. Apparently they have a good Tax Law program there with a LLM Program that you can complete in one semester after you get your JD if that's your thing. They also encourage the study abroad program because it is generally a GPA booster and the USD professors actually go with the students and lecture there (Russia, Florence, Paris, etc.).

The library is deadly quiet as one of our student tour leaders described it. It was 3 floors too (I think) with a computer lab and plenty of desks and study areas. I found it interesting that they offered free outlines that you can check out and tons of flash cards too. Work study students usually work in the library if you choose to do work study.

The moot court team is really successful apparently and the student body seems to be really involved and supportive of that program. Their mock trial team is also supposed to be good and our leaders encouraged everyone to at least try out. They also pointed out the cafeteria and stuff, all typical law school things. There was construction going on for a new plaza area for the students with a new fountain which should be nice. They mentioned that there is a mass at noon each day but that the law school isn't affiliated with the church and that they don't feel at all pressured by the religious atmosphere.

What else? I think that was it for the tour. Then we went to a mock trial demonstration. It was pretty straightforward. Just a case of a drunk guy who either had a self-inflicted injury caused while he was intoxicated or he was beat up by some bouncers at a bar. I thought some of the members of the team were really good but some were pretty dull too. Still, it seems like it would be fun to join.

Then we had lunch where at my table there was a 1L. She was pretty interesting and very supportive of the school and really encouraged us to consider it. She emphasized the great faculty and the awesome opportunities for networking through the professors and getting recommendations. She also sounded excited to be going abroad for the summer and said that she had two offers for employment but turned it down to go to Florence. She said that most people who worked during their 1L worked in Los Angeles; I wasn't clear on why though. She recommended living in Mission Valley since the drive was about 10 minutes WITH traffic and it was nicer than the nearest area (Linda Vista) and better maintained with more to do.

Also, she mentioned the grade system change. Now it is on a 4.0 scale with avg set at a 3.0 (used to be 2.0). That is a definite improvement in my opinion! I went to an alumni event and apparently your first semester grades only count 30% so you can catch up second semester if you weren't as high as you hoped.

After lunch, we got our financial award letters (woohoo!) and they went over the typical financial aid information regarding federal and private loans and cost of attendance, etc. If there's anything I missed which I probably did, please let me know.

My overall impression was that this would be a laid-back place to go to school for the next 3 years and a very good place to go if I decided to work in San Diego. Most of the students who worked in the area agreed that USD alumni owned San Diego and if you wanted to work in San Diego you'd have a lot of opportunities.

danno51

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Re: University of San Diego visit
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2005, 12:28:28 AM »
Allright,
I am prob just as tired after my 3 hour drive down from LA, but I will add my 2 cnets in from USD Admit Day as well.  Yeah definitely I had forgotten how mioimal the San Diego traffic is, especially if you are used to LA or the OC.  The parking is very convenient and the campus I think is really nice.  Its kinda mission style and its very clean looking and well maintained.  Everyone there i encountered, the dean, administrative staff, faculty, and current students were super friendly and accomodating and all seemed happy to be where they were.
The lady with career services said that 55 percent of USD grads stay in SD and 88 perecent in CA, but like Starresky said people can get a job other places, they just have to do a little more legwork.  Later I asked the tour guide about career services and he said they are very proactive, that he didnt use them cuz he had his own connections, but they definitely followed up with him a lot.  They have an open house on November 1 and then they work on getting a sharp resume and cover letter together with you. 
After that we went to the courtoom, which compared to Loyola's, which is the only other school I have visited, is not quite as nice, but definitely still adequate.  The professor was very engaging and seemed to get a lot of people involved in a nonintimidating way in a so called introduction to the Socratic method. 
As far as the campus tour i'll add a few more tidbits i learned from our tour guide.  He said the same about studying abroad, great grade boost, less difficult courses, more time to immerese yourself in other cultures.  He also mentioned that they have a great health insurance program, its something like 500 bucks for a year of medical with a 50 dollar deductible per semester and almost everything is covered.  he also mentioned  that the health facility on campus is very good. 

At lunch i was talking to the assistant dean of admissions who mentioned that there were approx 5200 applicants this year and they would accept 1200.  He said they had so far accepted 1050 so there are still more acceptances coming.  He also asked our table how much everyone paid attnetion to US NEws rankings and i told him, you have no idea, he should have seen some of the law school sites when the rankings first got leaked.  A professor told our table that the while USD's faculty and law review had  a really good reputation, the reason that usd wasnt as well known nationally is because most people dont want to leave san diego, so usd isnt represnted as well elsewhere, altho he said there was a farily large USD contingent in NEW Mexico and Arizona.  I can definitely see that, its hard to beat the city of San Diego, its definitely not a hard sell for admissions. The professor said also that lots of students are research assitants for the professors, esp during 1L summer, due to the smaller classes and the friendliness of the professors.  I have talked to maybe 4-5 professors there, and they have all seemed very nice, and outr tour guide reiterated that as well. 
My overall impression is that if you want to stay in San Diego, USD reigns supreme and is very well respected.  Also it seems like, and students and professors both commented on it, that students are very helpful with each other and all get along very well. 
So starresky, after today, where do u stand?  Is USD still near the top of your list?  BTW, yeah anyone have any questions of stuff I misseed, feel free to ask
Heading to USD in August, Viva San Diego

sunset1021

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Re: University of San Diego visit
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2005, 03:04:34 AM »
Thanks for you updates, Danno and Starresky!  One quick comment...the current students I spoke with highly discouraged oncampus housing...at approx $10k for the academic year, you can def find something more affordable in the areas near USD and they said you will want your time away from campus, esp with the stress of 1L. 

I'm def going to try and make it to the last admit day...and to the evening reception at the end of the month  :)  I submitted my deposit check last Thursday...I've been having a serious bout of cold feet about law school in general...but I'm starting to get excited now...  :D
"Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die,
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly."  -Langston Hughes

jimmyp

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Re: University of San Diego visit
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2005, 01:03:52 PM »
Then we were led across campus to the law building in the Courtroom for a small intro to the study of law class. It was pretty good. I found the professor (Graham Strong) to be engaging and definitely sounded like he had a true passion for law. He got a good discussion going for such a short amount of time, leading us from the basics of studying law to the discussion of a case he had given to us and then giving us a hypothetical to apply the rule of the first case to. I definitely felt like my peers there were a good group of intelligent, critical thinkers.

The class was great and I was also impressed by most of the people that spoke up.  The prospectives that I heard at events other than the class were pretty stupid though.

jimmyp

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Re: University of San Diego visit
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2005, 01:32:44 PM »
The class was great and I was also impressed by most of the people that spoke up. The prospectives that I heard at events other than the class were pretty stupid though.

Who did you go on a tour with? My tour leaders kept it interesting but some pretty random questions came up during the whole tour.

some blond girl was our tour guide

a lot of people in the group kept up side conversations the whole time

jamiejamie

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Re: University of San Diego visit
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2005, 01:33:46 PM »
I went to the campus visit day as well. It stood out to me how well maintained the campus was. I swear, at least half of our tuition has to go toward landscaping and gardening to keep it that nice. It is a formal feeling atmosphere and it feels like you should be dressed up and in professional mode just to walk around.

It was my first time in San Diego, and I have mixed opinions. The weather is incredible and everything is very, very nice. Other cities probably dream of their downtowns being like San Diego's. It's exceptionally clean and there is a ton of entertainment and restaurants. My big problem is that everything seems a bit sterile. It's almost like some kind of pod people type deal, where everything is in harmony, but there seems to be a lack of creativity and culture. I guess there is the good looking people/tan/surf culture, but there is no spark like in New Orleans, San Francisco, Portland, etc.

Aside from that, the school seems quite good, with solid career possibilities and starting salaries, intelligent yet accessible professors, etc.

I just don't know. I was hoping to be blown away, and as pretty as everything is, I'm just not feeling it.

danno51

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Re: University of San Diego visit
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2005, 04:50:35 PM »
I went to undergrad in San Diego, and as far as what u are talking about jwax, and I somewhta see where u are coming from as far as sterile, i think though that is more like mellow and laid back, everyone seems tro get along really well, i had forgotten how laid back everyone was being used to LA, but i think it does have a lot of culture.  It is definitely a cultural melting pot with lots of different ethnic mixes and restarunts and such but san diego does tend to be a lil more conservative, but nothing extreme.  I dont think its for everyone though, those who thrive in a big city prolly would feel kind alike you do, it definitely has more of a small town feel for such a large city.

Sunset- As far as housing goes, there is definitely places near the campus where you can get cheaper housing and even prolly live alone as opposed to living in grad housing.  The good thing is there isnt much traffic around the area, so u could even live 15-20 miles away and it still wouldnt be much of a drive.  When is the evening reception, btw?  I never heard anything about that?

Starresky- USD is definitely at top of my list.  i am planning on sending in my deposit later this week and withdrawing from other schools.  i am still waiting on USC, that would make my decision tougher if I got in there.  But until yesterday, i really forgot how much I loved San Diego and i am really looking forward to moving back
 
Heading to USD in August, Viva San Diego