Law School Discussion

UC Hastings vs. Ohio State Moritz with $$$

UC Hastings vs. Ohio State Moritz with $$$
« on: May 13, 2005, 10:28:29 AM »
I am originally from CA and eventually would like to settle there to practice law.  I have an offer from UC Hastings with just loans but I was all set to go there.  Iíve lived in San Francisco before and loved it.  Then I got a call from OSU Moritz saying that I am getting a hefty scholarship which would make the difference between going to Hastings and Moritz nearly $100,000 over three years!  The problem is, Iíve never been to Ohio and donít know what I might be getting myself into.  Now what do I do? Any advice or thoughts?  :-\

Re: UC Hastings vs. Ohio State Moritz with $$$
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2005, 12:18:03 PM »
I actually had to make the same decision.  I looked at the financial aid "award" at Hastings and almost had a heart attack.  If you're getting in-state tuition it shouldn't be so bad, correct?

If you definitely want to be in Cali, then I think Hastings is the clear winner, on local rep and connections.  I think you can get a great education at either place.  Hastings facilities are kinda run down, and the fact that they are renovating their library next year (when we'll be 1Ls) really worried me.  I guess you've been there and can judge for yourself.  OSU has a really nice building, although it can feel a little high-schoolish because it's all one building.

I liked the environment at OSU more, people just seemed more content.  I think this has to do with the fact that OSU is the best law school in Ohio, and the top choice of alot of the students there, whereas UC Hastings definitely had a "I didn't get into Berkeley" vibe.  And that "beer on the beach" attempt to create community seemed a little hokey to me.  Drinking on a slab of concrete would not be my choice of activities if I lived in San Fran.

Overall, I can see why OSU is moving up in the rankings and Hastings down.  OSU is hiring great professors and offering alot of scholarship money to lure better students.  Money is what it came down to for me, not only would going to Hastings mean alot of debt, but the Bay Area housing market is really expensive.  Ironically, I thought the midwest would be a much less stressful place than northern Cali.

Also, I've visited a half dozen law schools, and OSU's professors are just incredibly accessible and friendly by comparison to all other schools.

But Hastings must be doing something right, their moot court team is exceptional.  So after alot of rambling, I'll come back to: if you definitely want Biglaw in Cali, go to Hastings.  But overall, I thought OSU had more intanglibles going for it and seemed like a happier place.

Did Hastings really give you loans only?  They gave me $$ after I had a short conversation with the dean.

Re: UC Hastings vs. Ohio State Moritz with $$$
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2005, 12:38:38 PM »
Thanks for the response.  I realize that Hastings has gone down in ranking in the last 10 years but their lawyer/judge assessment is still really high.  This makes me wonder, is the money worth giving up the edge Hastings has in California? What did you ultimately decide on, Hastings or OSU?


Re: UC Hastings vs. Ohio State Moritz with $$$
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2005, 01:50:45 PM »
Tag.  I want to know what you guys end up doing.  I am deciding btw Loyola LA w. no $ and OSU w. $.  My only concern regarding OSU is how easy it will be to return to California with a degree from Moritz...other than that I really liked the school, and the price is right.

Re: UC Hastings vs. Ohio State Moritz with $$$
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2005, 01:53:40 PM »
Hey Bobo. That's my biggest concern too. I want to come back to California and can't assess how much weight OSU JD carries in Cal.

Re: UC Hastings vs. Ohio State Moritz with $$$
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2005, 02:23:56 PM »
I ultimately decided OSU.  The scholarship $$ they offered is great, I do not think I am going to take out a single loan for law school, and I just like the feeling of knowing I'll have all options coming out.

100k is alot, but I think that if you see yourself in a California firm for the long term, I think Hastings is your best bet.  I personally am into money management and investing as a hobby, so avoiding debt for me was a big factor. 

Hastings definitely has positives to go along with the debt.  Beautiful surroundings (the Bay Area, not necessarily the Tenderloin), a good rep, good faculty, and a mature (albeit very competitive) student body.

I would look at some of the Cal firms and see if they have any OSU grads, I don't think you'll find too many.  That doesn't mean that you can't get a Cal job, especially if you do well, I know OSU grads who have gone to Seattle and LA, but there alot of Hastings grads in Cal firms and doing well there will be a good position to be in while looking for firm jobs and will probably be able to choose among jobs.

Re: UC Hastings vs. Ohio State Moritz with $$$
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2005, 02:26:48 PM »
After looking at my post, that last sentence would probably get me an F in high school English, not to mention law school. 

But I think you get my point :)

Re: UC Hastings vs. Ohio State Moritz with $$$
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2005, 02:42:51 PM »
Hey Carpe. Thanks for your input. I have a lot of compelling reasons to want to be in Cal (parents, family, grew up there, husband preference etc.). I have also been working for the last four years to try to stabilize my financial status before going to school so taking on so much debt is a bit scary. Congrats on your decision to attend OSU. Such a great school, it seems.

Re: UC Hastings vs. Ohio State Moritz with $$$
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2005, 03:04:48 PM »
No prob.  I think having family around will be great for law school, there's alot to be said for having a support network.

If you choose public interest law, Hastings does have a good loan forgiveness program.

Good luck to you at either school!

Re: UC Hastings vs. Ohio State Moritz with $$$
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2005, 02:54:45 PM »
Cape, how is the find a roommate and apartment thing coming?