Law School Discussion


Which would you choose

UC Hastings
4 (22.2%)
Notre Dame
14 (77.8%)

Total Members Voted: 18

Help - Notre Dame v. UC Hastings?

Help - Notre Dame v. UC Hastings?
« on: July 18, 2008, 12:04:07 PM »
I am debating between Notre Dame and UC Hastings.

I'm originally from the Bay Area and did my undergrad at Berkeley but do not necessarily want to stay in the Bay Area forever. I would like to work in government in D.C. at some point. I prefer the SF metropolitan location rather than Midwest town, but have heard Hastings is extremely cut-throat and has poor job prospects anywhere other than Northern California.

Any help/input would be appreciated!


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Re: Help - Notre Dame v. UC Hastings?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2008, 12:13:37 PM »
Most people on this board would tell you that unless  you wanted to work in Northern California, go to ND hands down.

I spoke with some lawyer friends about a similar decision I had to make, and they both told me to pick the best school unless you've got a damn good reason not to.

So having heard from real lawyers, I'd have to agree: ND's name will carry you much further when you graduate.

And I hear ND's london program, though expensive, is awesome.

Re: Help - Notre Dame v. UC Hastings?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2008, 12:55:27 PM »
Notre Dame has more name recognition and would most likely give you portability into the DC market.  Hastings is a fine school, but ND gives you a leg up with regards top big law firms and portability.

Re: Help - Notre Dame v. UC Hastings?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2008, 10:20:04 AM »
Your decision sounds VERY similar to mine (replace Hastings with SMU, ranked 46, in Dallas).  For me, it came down to three main points.

1. Finish middle of class at SMU vs. middle of class at ND:  hands-down ND.  Bottom line is that everyone wants to finish at the top, but statistically speaking most of us are going to be in the middle. Regional school local job prospects are good, but the market falls off a cliff after a certain segment at the top of the class.

2. Access to national markets: hands-down ND. Regional schools are great for their region.  ND on the other hand, not only places well in TX if I choose to return (places well in CA too actually) but it also grants me access to markets in NY, Boston, Chicago, D.C., etc.

3. Looking for a place where students enjoy their time attending: once again, hands-down ND.  I don't know much about Hastings, but most lower t1/t2 schools are relatively cut-throat out of necessity and competition for job spots.  After speaking with a handful of friends from my undergrad who attended SMU Law, it seemed consistent.  Everyone is essentially competing for the same spots.  After speaking to ND Law alumni, there was an overwhelming feeling of having loved attending ND.  That said everything, in my opinion.  ND isn't as cut-throat as other similar schools for a couple reasons - first the students are not ranked, so there is a bit of alleviated pressure there, and second the students come from all across the nation and the result is that you do not end up competing with your entire class over jobs in the same region.

I don't know if that's helps you or not, but asking those questions made my choice much easier.


Re: Help - Notre Dame v. UC Hastings?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2008, 09:51:59 PM »
tough one. you need top 1/3 or higher to get really good jobs from both.

and in case you're wondering, ND is not truly national like a lot of trolls may claim. sure, a good number of students go to places like NY and CA but i've heard from my ND friends that a lot of those are working in small firms. that also seems to be the case when you search for ND grads in lawyer directories. while ND has good lay prestige, you need to have very good grades to get biglaw outside of the midwest.

D.C. is a tough market to crack for everybody. i know people from Hastings and ND who got good jobs in D.C. but they were all top students. GULC even has some difficulty with the D.C. market