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Author Topic: GWU v. UC Davis  (Read 940 times)

SY04

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GWU v. UC Davis
« on: May 05, 2005, 11:22:44 PM »
I can't decide whether to attend UC Davis or George Washington this fall!  I'd like to end up in CA after law school, so UC Davis probably has the homebase advantage over GWU.  But I'd also like to do international law, which is one of GWU's strong points.  I'd like to transfer if I do well my first year... should that affect where I should attend?   Please help me decide!

Amanda H.

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Re: GWU v. UC Davis
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2005, 03:11:11 PM »
I think GWU is definitely stronger overall. On the other hand, Davis may in fact be better for CA (though GW is def more national than most top-tier schools.)

GW will probably be better for transferring generally, but it will probably be easier to do well at Davis.  Also, Davis will probably give you a decent shot at Boalt, Stanford, or UCLA if you do well, and those schools will be best for Cali anyway.

Really a tough call.  I'd probably go with GW, because there's no guarantee you'll be able to transfer.  However, I'm not focused on Cali like you are.

Duner

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Re: GWU v. UC Davis
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2005, 02:08:26 AM »
GW definitely. UC Davis is a good school, but...it's still a bastard step child school in cali. since it's in no man's land in between sacramento and san fran it really seems to lose a lot of luster amongst its peers. when i lived there i was a bit surprised by the local opinions. but with all the great schools in cali and the fact it's less than two hours from stanford and berkeley...its tier one prestige really gets hammered.

BoscoBreaux

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Re: GWU v. UC Davis
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2005, 12:22:37 PM »
I can't decide whether to attend UC Davis or George Washington this fall!  I'd like to end up in CA after law school, so UC Davis probably has the homebase advantage over GWU.  But I'd also like to do international law, which is one of GWU's strong points.  I'd like to transfer if I do well my first year... should that affect where I should attend?   Please help me decide!
I've lived in the DC beltway for awhile,and I currently live in the Sacramento. Further, I work with many UC Davis graduates, so my advice may not be totally off-base. I won't be attending either school.

If you wish to end up in CA after law school, the only reason then NOT to attend a CA school is if you get into a school whose reputation is markedly greater, and thus will open more doors even in CA, than if you stayed put.
The differences between UC Davis and GW are not significant, from a reputational standput--it is not like your comparing UC Davis to PENN, or even Georgetown.

Now, some may argue that George Washington has better "placement". That can be a function of the reality that, no offense to Washingtonians (I went to school inside the Beltway too, so I think I can say this ), but people work in DC despite its surroundings, not because of it. In a word, its pretty "ghetto" (with minor exceptions, of course).  UC Davis is the opposite--people tend to stay in the area because of its location (its relatively affordable for California, it is 45 mintues from Napa Valley, 90 minutes from San Francisco, and 90 miinute from Lake Tahoe. DC is 90 minutes away from....hmmmm...Philadelphia?)

UC Davis, on the other hand, is most certainly NOT a bastard stepchild of the UC System. In fact, it isn't even the lowest ranked UC school. But UC Davis is a much different school than GW; it is one of the most collegial, laid-back, and anti-Old School Socratic school in the country. It is also very public service oriented, and Davis, as a whole, is as liberal a town as there is in the West Coast.  My personal experience indicates many persons go to UC Davis because they WANT to go to school in a liberal small town, away from the big cities, and don't wish to work in BigLaw. So, they self-select themselves, and are predisposed not to move to SF, LA, etc. to look for work.  But, those who do decide to go work elsewhere don't have a problem finding work, albeit harder than if they went to Berkeley, Stanford, or UCLA (the same would hold true, however, if one went to GW).

It is a tough choice with the throwing of "international law" into the mix, mostly because it was made though. There are very good schools, even one 15 miles away (University of the Pacific), which would be more appropriate for someone who wishes to study international law than UC Davis. USF--even Santa Clara--may have been a better choice. But remember, a healthy percentage of One L's change their minds about their post-law school direction, and the job market more than anything dictates which field of law one works, not which concentration they pursued in law school. So, I don't think that should be a major factor. If you wanted to work international law, you would be better served getting a good international law internship than even going to the best school for international in the country, and getting a mediocre internship. Too much is made out of specialty rankings--just ask all the Santa Clara IP graduates who are losing jobs with INTEL and APPLE to Berkeley public interest graduates!

In short, in my view, UC Davis seems a better choice, provided you wouldn't be miserable going to school in a liberal town, hate bicycles, or public interest focussed schools and people. If you are urban all the way, then maybe GW is the place you will do your best, and the place at which you would be most happy.

carioca121

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Re: GWU v. UC Davis
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2005, 03:03:26 PM »
The only thing I have to add to this discussion is that while I was doing a course on International Conflict Mediation at The Hague last summer I ran into quite a few law student interns for the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia).  Most of them attended law school outside of the US or at schools like Georgetown, Columbia, etc. however, there was one guy from UC Davis who I spoke to at length regarding studying international law at Davis.  Basically, he said that it was very doable...maybe not the best selection of courses in the world, but enough to make it worthwhile.  Also, the only reason he ended up at The Hague was that a professor of his at Davis had ties to the tribunal and his letter of rec snagged this guy the internship.  I'm sure that doesn't really help your decision, but I thought I would pass my firsthand experience along anyway.

ZildjianKX

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Re: GWU v. UC Davis
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2005, 01:52:51 AM »
Too much is made out of specialty rankings--just ask all the Santa Clara IP graduates who are losing jobs with INTEL and APPLE to Berkeley public interest graduates!

What's your thing against SCU IP grads?  I don't understand how you can compare SCU to Cal, Cal is #1 in the country for IP regardless, and a T14.
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BoscoBreaux

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Re: GWU v. UC Davis
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2005, 02:18:52 AM »
Too much is made out of specialty rankings--just ask all the Santa Clara IP graduates who are losing jobs with INTEL and APPLE to Berkeley public interest graduates!

What's your thing against SCU IP grads?  I don't understand how you can compare SCU to Cal, Cal is #1 in the country for IP regardless, and a T14.
I implied nothing regarding the quality of SCU grads, SCU IP grads specifically, or SCU as a school.  For the record, I think SCU is an underrated law school, and its graduates are competent. The OP mentioned he wanted to work in international law after graduation, and this was strongly influencing his decision regarding whether to go to GWU or UC Davis. My reference to SCU IP graduates was only in reference to the reality that despite "specializing," they routinely (nowadays) lose jobs to candidates who have no specializations in IP whatsoever; Berkeley grads who do not have IP specializations were used as an example, but I could have chosen many schools, UC Davis included. This, when applied to the OP's situation, illustrates the point that "specializing" is of little significance, and thus, should be a secondary consideration at most.
As for whether comparisons can be made between SCU and Cal:  comparisons are made every day--by employers.

SY04

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Re: GWU v. UC Davis
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2005, 04:56:01 AM »
I really appreciate the insight everyone's been providing.  I'm heading to GW to check it out, and will keep in mind the comments posted thus far!

Another factor that makes the GWU v. Davis decision difficult is the rumor of how incredibly satisfied Davis students are with the school & community.  Such enthusiasm is nearly nonexistent for GWU.  Quite possibly, CA will not be my regional preference three years from now, at which point GWU would have opened more doors nationally.  It makes me wonder how much I should weigh *happiness* during my three years.  When should personal happiness give way to "sacrifices" in pursuit of big(law) goals?

Of course, attending GWU is not like dropping everything to attend HLS and spending three years hating it for the sake of its diploma.  Just some late night ruminating.  ;)

BoscoBreaux

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Re: GWU v. UC Davis
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2005, 03:12:06 PM »
I really appreciate the insight everyone's been providing.  I'm heading to GW to check it out, and will keep in mind the comments posted thus far!

Another factor that makes the GWU v. Davis decision difficult is the rumor of how incredibly satisfied Davis students are with the school & community.  Such enthusiasm is nearly nonexistent for GWU.  Quite possibly, CA will not be my regional preference three years from now, at which point GWU would have opened more doors nationally.  It makes me wonder how much I should weigh *happiness* during my three years.  When should personal happiness give way to "sacrifices" in pursuit of big(law) goals?

Of course, attending GWU is not like dropping everything to attend HLS and spending three years hating it for the sake of its diploma.  Just some late night ruminating.  ;)
You make great point, some of which rarely are brought up here. Three years is a long time, even longer if you are miserable. I can only use myself as an example, and my likes and dislikes. Personally, I'd rather attend UC Davis than even Georgetown, mostly because I have lived in DC, hated it, hate big cities (espeically after spending 5 years in NYC!), and would be really mad at myself if I decided to work as a DA in a suburban California town, where Davis would have been a better choice, both in terms of my happiness, and in terms of getting work. Your future, your career goals, are unknown at this point, but you DO know whether you will be happy, and that has to count for something. For some, working BigLaw in NYC is worth any price; I wouldn't take a job there for $200K a year.

ZildjianKX

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Re: GWU v. UC Davis
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2005, 12:09:18 PM »
Too much is made out of specialty rankings--just ask all the Santa Clara IP graduates who are losing jobs with INTEL and APPLE to Berkeley public interest graduates!

What's your thing against SCU IP grads?  I don't understand how you can compare SCU to Cal, Cal is #1 in the country for IP regardless, and a T14.
I implied nothing regarding the quality of SCU grads, SCU IP grads specifically, or SCU as a school.  For the record, I think SCU is an underrated law school, and its graduates are competent. The OP mentioned he wanted to work in international law after graduation, and this was strongly influencing his decision regarding whether to go to GWU or UC Davis. My reference to SCU IP graduates was only in reference to the reality that despite "specializing," they routinely (nowadays) lose jobs to candidates who have no specializations in IP whatsoever; Berkeley grads who do not have IP specializations were used as an example, but I could have chosen many schools, UC Davis included. This, when applied to the OP's situation, illustrates the point that "specializing" is of little significance, and thus, should be a secondary consideration at most.
As for whether comparisons can be made between SCU and Cal:  comparisons are made every day--by employers.

Sorry, I guess I took it the wrong way.

I still don't think a UC Berkeley public interest grad with no technical background is going to upset a SCU grad with a B.S. in EE/CE who wants to do patent litigation.  A tech background is required for a lot of Intel/Apple IP jobs which I don't think a lot of public interest grads have.  IP rankings really don't mean crap, but they do attract students to schools who want to focus in that specialty, in this case SCU gets a ton of engineers each year (in most cases with average engineering GPAs, like myself).

Now I can see UCB law students with technical backgrounds easily taking SCU jobs away...
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?cycle=0405&user=ZildjianKX
Accepted: Santa Clara (will attend 2005 FT), UOP
Waitlisted: University of Oregon, Lewis & Clark, Pepperdine, Loyla LA, UNLV
Rejected: USF, Davis

I am the king of waitlists!