I was only there one year because unfortunately I didn't make the grade to continue to 2L. They actually paid for 1/2 my tuition so failing out was a big surprise for me considering how well I did at UC Berkeley. Anyway, I worked for the next 7 years in the film industry (DreamWorks...Shrek 2...upcoming Madagascar...go see it everyone and help us beat Star Wars opening weekend) and then decided to go back to law school. I figured the best I could possibly do was get into a 4th Tier school due to my failing out and I would be happy even for that. To my surprise, however, I got into a top 40 Tier 1 school (Ohio State) and I can't even begin to express how thankful I am for that.To make a long story short, I really enjoyed my time at Santa Clara and the students are all very smart and friendly (although they can also be pretty competitive, but you get that everywhere I guess).
I had some personal issues at home going on that pretty much made it impossible for me to focus on my studies. However one thing I want to point out is that Santa Clara, like many T2-T4 schools, fails out the bottom (I think) 1/3 of its class at the end of the first year. Basically, instead of weeding out students during the admissions process, they accept more students than they can keep the 2nd year and fail out the bottom 1/3 of the class at the end of 1L. This is one way that the schools boost their rankings. McGeorge Pacific just shot up into the 2nd Tier in the latest rankings and they did that partly by instituting this same procedure that Santa Clara uses.Schools like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford (and many of the Tier 1 schools w/ a low acceptance rate) weed out their students in the admissions process so once you get in and you don't do well after your 1st year, you won't have to worry about failing out.