Law School Discussion

ucla vs usd (w/$$)

ucla vs usd (w/$$)
« on: April 10, 2005, 10:32:51 AM »
I know this has been posted a thousand times in different guises, but I'm in a pickle today.  I was accepted to UCLA in January, and had more or less decided to go there because I want to stay in Southern California (I'm in San Diego now) permanently and it's the best school I was accepted to.  Yesterday I got a letter from U San Diego's law school, informing me that I've been awarded a $30,000 merit scholarship, renewable for all 3 years.  Needless to say, I was totally not expecting that and it's making my decision a LOT harder.  I'm one of those students who's paying for law school entirely with loans, so the cost difference is significant, about $60,000 for tuition alone.

I've always been told that you should go to the best school possible, screw the cost.   I am interested in IP law (not patents) after school, and I'm worried that USD won't give me enough weight on my resume.  At the same time, my fiance thinks it's better to be at the top at a strong regional law school than to be a bottom-feeder at a higher-ranked school.  And I'm so poor right now, that extra $60K seems like a lot. And, we would much rather live in San Diego than LA because I really don't like LA as a city!

I haven't heard anything yet from UCLA about scholarships/aid.  I'm going to call them tomorrow and tell them about my award from USD to nudge them, but the schools are a bit disparate in rank so I'm not sure if will make a difference.

What would you do?   


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Re: ucla vs usd (w/$$)
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2005, 10:47:02 AM »
Wow, what a nice dilemma to have.
When yo say IP and not patent, do you mean copyright?
What is your background?
Unless you are 100% sure about your plans after LS, I would think it's best to attend the best LS possible.  UCLA will open more doors in CA than USD I would think.  USD seems to be quite regional to the immediate San Diego area.
If you had science or engineering background and wanted to do IP including patent prosecution, I would tell you to take the money and run because the prestige of LS is not as critical for IP law.  The firms also care about your technical background.
Since UCLA degree is more portable, I would recommend UCLA.  Most students change their mind about law specialty after entering LS.  And you never know how you'd do in LS.  Better to be average grad from UCLA than from USD.

Just my 2cents.