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Author Topic: Why choose USC over UCLA?  (Read 8197 times)

tranandy

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Re: What reason does anyone have to go to USC over UCLA?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2008, 05:12:43 PM »
USC is private, and some people would feel more comfy in that environment. Class size is probably smaller, and that counts for something.

Is USC known for any areas of focus where they beat UCLA?

Have you visited each?

Shoot, I might be inclined to accept at USC just to avoid the whole WL drama.


I believe the bolded is true.
And I was definitely more impressed by what I'd heard about career services at SC versus UCLA.

USC has a smaller class than UCLA although not necessarily smaller classes.  UCLA actually has a better student to faculty ratio (13:1 vs. 15:1 at USC), which could mean smaller classes in some cases.

http://www.usc.edu/admission/graduate/study/programs/law/

http://www.law.ucla.edu/home/index.asp?page=1975

The two schools are comparable for LA job prospects, but that's about it in my opinion.  UCLA is clearly preferred nationally, in the bay area, for federal clerkships and for acadamia.

USC also lost its most famous professor (Chemerinsky) to the UCI law school. 

baller1023

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Re: What reason does anyone have to go to USC over UCLA?
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2008, 07:28:59 PM »


USC has a smaller class than UCLA although not necessarily smaller classes.  UCLA actually has a better student to faculty ratio (13:1 vs. 15:1 at USC), which could mean smaller classes in some cases.

http://www.usc.edu/admission/graduate/study/programs/law/

http://www.law.ucla.edu/home/index.asp?page=1975

The two schools are comparable for LA job prospects, but that's about it in my opinion.  UCLA is clearly preferred nationally, in the bay area, for federal clerkships and for acadamia.

USC also lost its most famous professor (Chemerinsky) to the UCI law school. 
[/quote]

The Student/Faculty ratio for the schools is actually 12.7 for USC and 12.9 for UCLA (from US News).

dlboarder

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Re: Why choose USC over UCLA?
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2008, 07:45:30 PM »
As someone who has been debating the merits of going to one school over the other for the last few months I thought I'd chime in.

Putting aside the financial difference, I think there are plenty of reasons to choose SC over UCLA.

(1) Alumni connections, reading through vault surveys and talking to students, SC's alumni network seems to be much, much stronger then UCLA's. SC alumni are compared to a mafia around Los Angeles in that they watch out for their own. Whereas UCLA alumni seemed to be a bit more detached from their school.

(2) Smaller class size. This translates over to more personal attention from different services in the lawschool. It also makes it easier to get involved in clinics, courses, and other activities. While the faculty/student rate is similar, I know SC is planning on hiring a dozen faculty or so fairly soon to help lower that rate.

(3) Biglaw in LA. SC beats out UCLA in placement in the NLJ250. According to USNEWS their 25 and 75% for private practice salary are both 135K whereas UCLA's is 110 and 135K respectively.

(4) Competition - When one school talks up the collegial atmosphere and the other doesn't talk about it much, you know there is a difference. UCLA seems more competitive from what I've gathered and it seems the students study more.

(5) Entertainment Law- While UCLA talks this up, it seems to me to be more a ploy to attract applicants. They just don't seem to back up their program with being able to place students in this area as much(although there are plenty in the industry from UCLA). Whereas SC doesn't brag about it, but seems able to place students in ent. firms and the studios. A lot of the major studios have 10+ USC Law grads working in their Legal department.

Getting back to the financial difference though, that seems to be evaporating. UCLA upped their tuition about 4K this year and from what I understand similar increases of 10-15% are planned for the next two years which would put it's tuition quite close to SCs.

UCLA does have an advantage in national prestige, national placement, nicer location, public interest and clerkships. So it really comes down to what you're looking for and fit.

procrastinator

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Re: Why choose USC over UCLA?
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2008, 09:30:40 PM »
As someone who has been debating the merits of going to one school over the other for the last few months I thought I'd chime in.

Putting aside the financial difference, I think there are plenty of reasons to choose SC over UCLA.

(1) Alumni connections, reading through vault surveys and talking to students, SC's alumni network seems to be much, much stronger then UCLA's. SC alumni are compared to a mafia around Los Angeles in that they watch out for their own. Whereas UCLA alumni seemed to be a bit more detached from their school.

(2) Smaller class size. This translates over to more personal attention from different services in the lawschool. It also makes it easier to get involved in clinics, courses, and other activities. While the faculty/student rate is similar, I know SC is planning on hiring a dozen faculty or so fairly soon to help lower that rate.

(3) Biglaw in LA. SC beats out UCLA in placement in the NLJ250. According to USNEWS their 25 and 75% for private practice salary are both 135K whereas UCLA's is 110 and 135K respectively.

(4) Competition - When one school talks up the collegial atmosphere and the other doesn't talk about it much, you know there is a difference. UCLA seems a lot more competitive from what I've gathered and it seems the students study more.

(5) Entertainment Law- While UCLA talks this up, it seems to me to be more a ploy to attract applicants. They just don't seem to back up their program with being able to place students in this area as much(although there are plenty in the industry from UCLA). Whereas SC doesn't brag about it, but seems able to place students in ent. firms and the studios. A lot of the major studios have 10+ USC Law grads working in their Legal department.

Getting back to the financial difference though, that seems to be evaporating. UCLA upped their tuition about 4K this year and from what I understand similar increases of 10-15% are planned for the next two years which would put it's tuition quite close to SCs.

UCLA does have an advantage in national prestige, national placement, nicer location, public interest and clerkships. So it really comes down to what you're looking for and fit.

I just want to respond to biglaw placement - those NLJ250 surveys are deceptive.  They are not a good measure of marketability due to the self-selecting nature of law student bodies.  I think Yale would place around #4, behind Columbia and Northwestern (not sure what the third one is) on such a survey.  Obviously, any major firm would love to hire Yale Law grads, but a large portion of Yale'sstudent body self-select for prestigious jobs in academia, government and clerkshipts.  Thus, the NLJ250 placement should not suggest that a Northwestern grad has a better chance of landing a biglaw job than a Yale grad (when all other factors are controlled).  I think a similar thing is going on with UCLA's NLJ250 placement and median salaries.  UCLA ranks #8 for federal clerkship placement (tied with NYU) and a rather large portion of our student body is public interest bound.  This says nothing about biglaw employers' desire to hire USC grads over UCLA grads or vice versa, but common trends and preferences among the two different student bodies.  UCLA students are just generally more public interest minded than USC students.  This would not be reflected in national surveys on biglaw placement.  Thus, these numbers do not accurately reflect an individual student's disperate chances of landing a biglaw job from USC or UCLA.

SCK2008

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Re: Why choose USC over UCLA?
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2008, 09:33:52 PM »
As someone who has been debating the merits of going to one school over the other for the last few months I thought I'd chime in.

Putting aside the financial difference, I think there are plenty of reasons to choose SC over UCLA.

(1) Alumni connections, reading through vault surveys and talking to students, SC's alumni network seems to be much, much stronger then UCLA's. SC alumni are compared to a mafia around Los Angeles in that they watch out for their own. Whereas UCLA alumni seemed to be a bit more detached from their school.

(2) Smaller class size. This translates over to more personal attention from different services in the lawschool. It also makes it easier to get involved in clinics, courses, and other activities. While the faculty/student rate is similar, I know SC is planning on hiring a dozen faculty or so fairly soon to help lower that rate.

(3) Biglaw in LA. SC beats out UCLA in placement in the NLJ250. According to USNEWS their 25 and 75% for private practice salary are both 135K whereas UCLA's is 110 and 135K respectively.

(4) Competition - When one school talks up the collegial atmosphere and the other doesn't talk about it much, you know there is a difference. UCLA seems a lot more competitive from what I've gathered and it seems the students study more.

(5) Entertainment Law- While UCLA talks this up, it seems to me to be more a ploy to attract applicants. They just don't seem to back up their program with being able to place students in this area as much(although there are plenty in the industry from UCLA). Whereas SC doesn't brag about it, but seems able to place students in ent. firms and the studios. A lot of the major studios have 10+ USC Law grads working in their Legal department.

Getting back to the financial difference though, that seems to be evaporating. UCLA upped their tuition about 4K this year and from what I understand similar increases of 10-15% are planned for the next two years which would put it's tuition quite close to SCs.

UCLA does have an advantage in national prestige, national placement, nicer location, public interest and clerkships. So it really comes down to what you're looking for and fit.

I just want to respond to biglaw placement - those NLJ250 surveys are deceptive.  They are not a good measure of marketability due to the self-selecting nature of law student bodies.  I think Yale would place around #4, behind Columbia and Northwestern (not sure what the third one is) on such a survey.  Obviously, any major firm would love to hire Yale Law grads, but a large portion of Yale'sstudent body self-select for prestigious jobs in academia, government and clerkshipts.  Thus, the NLJ250 placement should not suggest that a Northwestern grad has a better chance of landing a biglaw job than a Yale grad (when all other factors are controlled).  I think a similar thing is going on with UCLA's NLJ250 placement and median salaries.  UCLA ranks #8 for federal clerkship placement (tied with NYU) and a rather large portion of our student body is public interest bound.  This says nothing about biglaw employers' desire to hire USC grads over UCLA grads or vice versa, but common trends and preferences among the two different student bodies.  UCLA students are just generally more public interest minded than USC students.  This would not be reflected in national surveys on biglaw placement.  Thus, these numbers do not accurately reflect an individual student's disperate chances of landing a biglaw job from USC or UCLA.


Interesting.  And the anecdotal evidence I've seen suggests UCLA is anything but competitive/cutthroat...can you speak to this at all?
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greenie

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Re: Why choose USC over UCLA?
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2008, 09:37:09 PM »
This sounds largely like the BU/BC debate.  Schools have largely similar employment prospects and "rule" their city so to speak.  But of course are different in the sense that they both have different strengths, weaknesses, class/clinics offerings, and environments.

I gotta say go to where you think you fit in best.

Koobideh

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Re: Why choose USC over UCLA?
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2008, 10:53:18 PM »
There are people who say UCLA is more competitive than USC, longer study hours etc and there are people who claim the opposite.

I would feel so much more comfortable in a less tense and competitive atmosphere...but honestly, after visiting both schools and talking to a lot of people i seem to get mixed reviews.

Can anyone speak on this topic?

Also...I know USC does not rank (other than top 10% distinction) and career services has a lottery system for assigning interviews...any UCLA peeps know what the system at UCLA is like?

Thanks for all the feedback

JeNeSaisLaw

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Re: Why choose USC over UCLA?
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2008, 01:29:49 AM »


Doesn't look like UCLA places 8th for clerkships (this is the NLJ 250 data, including clerkships (second bar), ordered by clerkships.
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dlboarder

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Re: Why choose USC over UCLA?
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2008, 01:48:34 AM »

Interesting.  And the anecdotal evidence I've seen suggests UCLA is anything but competitive/cutthroat...can you speak to this at all?



I don't think either are very competitive and I might have overstated the difference. They both seem fairly collegial. But after reading a hundred or so student surveys on Vault and having talk to students at both schools, my general impression is that UCLA students seem to study a bit more and are a bit more competitive(although certainly not at the hiding books/cutthroat level). USC students seemed to be a little less academic and more into socializing from what I read. Although the difference between the two school doesn't seem immense, there does seem to be a noticeable difference.

procrastinator

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Re: Why choose USC over UCLA?
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2008, 02:16:45 AM »


Doesn't look like UCLA places 8th for clerkships (this is the NLJ 250 data, including clerkships (second bar), ordered by clerkships.
Accessed from http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2007/11/law-school-rank.html.
November 30, 2007
Law School Ranking by Federal Appellate Court Clerkship Placement
The Federal Appellate Clerkship Blog ranks law schools by the total number and percentage of their graduates with 2008-09 circuit court clekrships. 

The Top 10 law schools in both measures are:

Harvard (#1 in total number of graduates, #4 in percentage of graduates)
Yale (#2, #1)
Stanford (#3, #2)
Chicago (#4, #3)
Columbia (#5, #7)
Michigan (#6, #8)
Texas (#7, #12)
Georgetown (#8, #17)
NYU (#8. #13)
UCLA (#8, #8)
Northwestern (#11, #5)
Duke (#13, #6)
Penn (#13, #10)

Because I don't know anyone at USC, I can't compare the two schools' level of competitiveness.  Law students are mostly type-A personalities.  That'll be the case everywhere.  UCLA doesn't rank.  It reveals the top ten students (that's top ten, not ten percent) at the end of 2nd year and the students who graduate order of the coif (top ten percent) after 3rd year.