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Author Topic: UCLA public interest vs UVA vs USC vs ... NYU?  (Read 552 times)

lyrarain

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UCLA public interest vs UVA vs USC vs ... NYU?
« on: April 15, 2005, 05:54:21 PM »
Anyone know anything about UCLA's public interest program? I think their LRAP isn't so hot, from what I've read online (a $60,000 cap is certainly not as good as UVA's, where I'm admitted) but I really want to have a public interest career in California, probably the Bay Area, (not sure in precisely what, so I want to have a lot of options).

I expect to make around $25K - $35K when I'm out, so I am *really* counting on the LRAP to deal with everything. Also, I have a $13K/yr scholarship from UVA and too soon to tell from USC & UCLA (not expecting much from UCLA though). So here are my questions:

1. Is being admitted to UCLA's rather selective class of 25 (out of, they say, 620 apps) in the public interest program better than going to the more highly ranked UVA?

2. If better, is it enough better to make up for the greater loan burden I'll bear (UVA's LRAP will cover ALL my debts below 36,000 income per year)?

3. Am I right thinking I'll have a way better shot in general at west coast public interest jobs if I go to UCLA than if I go to UVA or maybe NYU (pending)? I know things work a little differently with public interest than with biglaw, but I don't know in quite which ways.

4. I have heard rumors and read bits here and there that indicate some public interest positions (ACLU, govt jobs, etc) can be as competitive as biglaw jobs. Is this true? Who knows more about this?

Since I want to throw a wide and flexible net (for public interest; not interested in much else) I am looking for whatever anyone knows about the UCLA public interest program and how it's regarded.

How does UCLA's public interest program compare, for instance, to going to NYU, a well-known public interest school? How about Georgetown or Penn? I am waiting to hear from all three of these and don't want to post this message all over again!

Thanks for anything you can tell me!

(I'll be cross posting on xoxohth and livejournal law_students)
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HippieLawChick

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Re: UCLA public interest vs UVA vs USC vs ... NYU?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2005, 06:12:30 PM »
My recommendation is to find someone with the job you want, in the area you want, and ask them.  I have been doing this for PI jobs here in Wisconsin and have gotten great info. 

If you consider how many people on this forum have indicated interest in a public interest career, you can see that this field of law is very competitive.  My friend's hubbby graduated #3 in his class at a T2 school and had to work a clerkship, then in BIGLAW for 2 years before finally landing his DOJ job. 

I think you will do well with either UCLA or UVA. They are both excellent schools.  As to the effect of UVA on working in California, you should check the bar association's website.  Ours lets you search based on school or organization.  For instance, I can find out where UVA grads are employed here by searching UVA.  I can find out where people who work for Legal Aid went to school as well.  Hopefully the CA bar has the same type of search function.

You are smart as hell and no matter where you go, you will be a success!   :)

lyrarain

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Re: UCLA public interest vs UVA vs USC vs ... NYU?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2005, 04:24:00 PM »
I'm afraid I need a bit more spoon-feeding. I went to CA's bar association website http://www.calbar.ca.gov/state/calbar/calbar_home.jsp but couldn't seem to find a way in their search functions to select for UVA lawyers. Is this what you meant, and, if not, can you toss me a link that shows what you're talking about? i would love to be able to search by school if I could just figure out how.

It's a really good tip to find someone in the job I want and ask them. I feel really awkward thinking about doing it though. Oh no, they'll see how ignorant I am! I'll definitely keep it in mind, but I probably won't put it into play before I actually get going to school. It takes a while to screw up sufficient courage.
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