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Author Topic: Questions about Golden Gate  (Read 13154 times)

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Re: Questions about Golden Gate
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2008, 12:50:45 PM »
Wow... Please tell me that "Little Red Riding Hood" trial was a joke.  That's just ... (I'm at a loss for words).

I don't know if the original poster still reads the boards or not, but I just looked at his LSN profile.  With a 155, you might have a shot a Bay Area PT program, but I wouldn't be counting my chickens before they hatch.

But, if you actually manage to pull your score up by five points, which can be done with some studying, you'd then pretty much get into some decent Bay Area school (SCU or USF).  And, a little further out, you'd probably get into McGeorge (you can always move back from Sacramento).

To add some detail about me:  I'm from the Bay Area, but I chose to go to a school out-of-state (regional school, ranked in the forties) on a scholarship.  My goal is to come back to the Bay after graduating, and i'm sure it will be tough, but hopefully, manageable.  If you're willing to take the gamble, like me, you can go somewhere else around the nation and network yourself back to California.  I say this, primarily as a means, to let myself believe that it can be done.

 

rhesusman

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Re: Questions about Golden Gate
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2008, 01:12:40 PM »
No, it's no joke.  That was actually in there.  I just looked up the stats on Golden Gate on US News.  Of the 96% of students who borrowed to go there, the average indebtedness was $112,477.  The median private sector salary (as reported by the 71% who bothered to share that information) was $65,000 - and the Bay Area is not a cheap place to live.  This, with the 60.4% bar passage rate amounts to a very strong case against going to that school.

This is why I hate fourth tier schools.  They rip their students off.  So many of them charge tier 1 tuition and let their students graduate with tier 1 debt while knowing full well that most of them will not be able to pay it off.

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Re: Questions about Golden Gate
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2008, 01:42:15 PM »
I'm actually stunned at that marketing technique. 

Another option (though, I do not recommend this at all, but maybe something to consider weighing pro's and con's) is going to a California Accredited Law school.  This might make more sense than going to Golden Gate because as the poster above notes, the tuition at GGU is ridiculously high for what you may inevitably get as a "return."  If money is no object, and if you have no other choice, then it might be OK (as long as you understand the type of prospects you may get upon graduation).  However, a California Accredited law school is going to have FAR cheaper tuition.  I think some of them are about $10,000 per year for tuition.

Of course going to one of those schools will have some drawbacks:  firstly, you'll have to sit for the "baby bar" which you take after your first year, I believe, and you must pass that before you can continue (I heard this exam is ridiculously hard, maybe even harder than the bar exam); secondly, job prospects coming from a school like this will definitely not yield the most sophisticated of legal work (i.e., no biglaw [though, this is virtually certain for GGU, also]).

I know a couple of people who went to a California Accredited law school (but not in the Bay Area), in Monterey.  Over in Monterey, they do well enough if they pass the bar and probably can find some form of legal employment while they try and build their skills as lawyers.

Like I said, I'm not sure if this is the "smart" route, but something in me says that there's some logic in going to a school that's not ABA accredited, if the tuition is far cheaper, and the job prospects might in the end even out.  It's a cost/benefit analysis also weighed against your future aspirations.

My advice:  just study for the LSAT hardcore (even if this means putting off law school for one more year).  Get above a 160 and go to a decent Bay Area school.

rhesusman

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Re: Questions about Golden Gate
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2008, 04:06:09 PM »
Another option (though, I do not recommend this at all, but maybe something to consider weighing pro's and con's) is going to a California Accredited Law school.  This might make more sense than going to Golden Gate because as the poster above notes, the tuition at GGU is ridiculously high for what you may inevitably get as a "return."  If money is no object, and if you have no other choice, then it might be OK (as long as you understand the type of prospects you may get upon graduation).  However, a California Accredited law school is going to have FAR cheaper tuition.  I think some of them are about $10,000 per year for tuition.

An intriguing suggestion.  While as you note this wouldn't be a good idea for most people, if you're looking at schools like Golden Gate being your only choice, I can't see this as being much worse.

One thing I would suggest to people who can't get into a top 30 law school is to establish residency in the state in which you want to work and go to a public school in that state.  My understanding is that state schools' career offices tend to be reasonably well-connected in their states and their in-state tuition is usually substantially cheaper than even the worst private schools.  In Florida, for example, UF and FSU have annual tuition in the neighborhood of $10K to $11K a year for in-state students and they offer career opportunities in the state that are far more impressive than the much more expensive Florida Coastal, which charges nearly three times as much.  Other state schools seem generally to have in-state tuition less than $15K, so I think that it pays to bring one's LSAT up to the point at which one can get into one of those rather than shell out the big bucks to go to a low-prestige school.

Ninja1

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Re: Questions about Golden Gate
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2008, 05:18:57 PM »
No, it's no joke.  That was actually in there.  I just looked up the stats on Golden Gate on US News.  Of the 96% of students who borrowed to go there, the average indebtedness was $112,477.  The median private sector salary (as reported by the 71% who bothered to share that information) was $65,000 - and the Bay Area is not a cheap place to live.  This, with the 60.4% bar passage rate amounts to a very strong case against going to that school.

This is why I hate fourth tier schools.  They rip their students off.  So many of them charge tier 1 tuition and let their students graduate with tier 1 debt while knowing full well that most of them will not be able to pay it off.

One virtue of this though, if enough of these people get worthless degrees and a ton of debt, maybe we'll finally see a "bail out" package for student loans. Probably not happening, but it's fun to pretend...
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

SF.3L

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Re: Questions about Golden Gate
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2008, 07:53:36 PM »
Hi Big-

I'm a 3L at GGU and I am happy with the school.  It has a great location, staff, and student body.  GGU just remodeled its law library (it opened a week ago), bookstore, and cafe.  Many of the professors teach at Boalt and Hastings also.  We read the same textbooks and have the same homework assignments as every other law school.  Yes, we are a tier 4 school.  This is because our entering statistics are lower and, until recently, our bar pass rates were significantly lower that other CA ABA schools.  The school was put on probation by the ABA in 2006, but has subsequently been taken off probation.  This is because the bar pass rates are back up- 68% for first time takers and 80% overall for the July 2007 bar.  If I could have gotten into Boalt or Hastings, of course I would have gone, but that wasn't my reality.  I had a little too much fun in college. :) I had a solid LSAT score (162) but an abysmal GPA (2.6).

All BS aside, it's not a stellar "brag about the name" institution.  But there is nothing wrong with GGU.

People carry on about the number of people who fail out... most GGU first years are like me- smart kids who had a lot of fun in college, did not enter with the best work ethic, and after a semester of law school realized it was time to buckle down or seek life elsewhere.  Those who didn't pull it together were out.  I regard this as a good thing (it made me get my ducks in a row) and the primary reason the school's bar rate has risen so dramatically.

I honestly think it is unfortunate how quickly people who have 0 experience with the school are ready to rip it to pieces.  And, I think some of the most negative posts you find are from those who didn't make the cut...

As for job placement, no one I know who recently graduated has been unable to find a job.  My BF just graduated/took the bar and now has a job and six figure salary.  He was in the top 1/2 of the class, but not the top 10 percent. 

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Re: Questions about Golden Gate
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2008, 09:07:19 PM »
Hi Big-

I'm a 3L at GGU and I am happy with the school.  It has a great location, staff, and student body.  GGU just remodeled its law library (it opened a week ago), bookstore, and cafe.  Many of the professors teach at Boalt and Hastings also.  We read the same textbooks and have the same homework assignments as every other law school.  Yes, we are a tier 4 school.  This is because our entering statistics are lower and, until recently, our bar pass rates were significantly lower that other CA ABA schools.  The school was put on probation by the ABA in 2006, but has subsequently been taken off probation.  This is because the bar pass rates are back up- 68% for first time takers and 80% overall for the July 2007 bar.  If I could have gotten into Boalt or Hastings, of course I would have gone, but that wasn't my reality.  I had a little too much fun in college. :) I had a solid LSAT score (162) but an abysmal GPA (2.6).

All BS aside, it's not a stellar "brag about the name" institution.  But there is nothing wrong with GGU.

People carry on about the number of people who fail out... most GGU first years are like me- smart kids who had a lot of fun in college, did not enter with the best work ethic, and after a semester of law school realized it was time to buckle down or seek life elsewhere.  Those who didn't pull it together were out.  I regard this as a good thing (it made me get my ducks in a row) and the primary reason the school's bar rate has risen so dramatically.

I honestly think it is unfortunate how quickly people who have 0 experience with the school are ready to rip it to pieces.  And, I think some of the most negative posts you find are from those who didn't make the cut...

As for job placement, no one I know who recently graduated has been unable to find a job.  My BF just graduated/took the bar and now has a job and six figure salary.  He was in the top 1/2 of the class, but not the top 10 percent. 

Not to doubt you or anything, but I'm just curious.  Did your BF have any specialized background (IP, Tax... etc.)?  Is he working at a law firm? 

GGU may be a good school, but I think the way the post was written makes it seem like it's easy to go there, take on tons of debt and come out doing well.

I go to a school that is certainly not one of the best.  It's at the end of the "top fifty" and I'm pretty sure that people who are graduating at the middle of pack aren't getting six figure salaries or anything.

I think you're right that people who haven't ever gone to the school can't truly give the school a fair assessment, but I also think that you're over looking the fact that there are some generalizations that can be made which are based in some reason.  It's generally the case that people who do end up going to lower ranked schools have a tougher time finding jobs.  That's the case with people all over the place! 

More than anything, though, I think that people who are considering ANY school should be able to find enough information about the school so that they will be able to make a MUCH BETTER and more INFORMED decision about whether or not they want to attend that specific school.

First hand experience, like that of SF.3L, is great; but, it's still just one perspective of many.

I don't think the OP has been back here since he initially posted, though.

Ninja1

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Re: Questions about Golden Gate
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2008, 09:26:30 PM »
...

But there is nothing wrong with GGU.

...

Except the cost, bar passage (62% against an artificially deflated CA average of 65%), employment prospects (22% unemployment? Holy christ... if GGU was a country, that would be the 31st highest in the world. Well, you might not be Serbia or Sudan, but you're sure beating Afghanistan), attrition rate (especially for 1Ls), the entering classes numbers, that whole "nearly losing accreditation" thing...
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

SF.3L

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Re: Questions about Golden Gate
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2008, 11:31:30 AM »
1) Law school costs a bundle no matter where you go.
2) Bar pass rates are back up.  GGU's first time bar pass rate was 8 percent higher than the ABA average for 2007.
3) Employment prospects: certainly not as good as graduating from a tier 1 school, but better than than the odds a BS in  History yields at the end of undergrad.
4) Attrition rate: affected by a) those who transfer at the end of 1L year to a better institution, b) night students who realize they have bitten off more than they can chew, and c) slackers who don't pull it together and fail out.  The point is, if you prioritize law school and work hard you will be just fine.
5) Entering class numbers: I assume you mean the generally lower statistics (LSAT/GPA)?  We're a tier 4.
6) "Nearly losing accreditation": Key word, "nearly".  GGU remains a fully accredited law school.

I'm not saying the decision to attend GGU will bring you all the benefits attending a tier 1 school would.  My point is simply, graduating from GGU earns you a JD and gives you the chance to practice law just like every other law school.  GGU students have to fight a little harder to get good grades and jobs, but that is because most of us just skated through undergrad.  The morale of the student body is good.  My classmates are generally happy people.

As to Sr.'s question, my BF did specialize in IP law.  And he landed an awesome job due to connections and personality.  These latter two traits are just as important as repute of the institution and GPA.  And, thankfully, wholly independent.

Bottom line, if you can get into a tier 1, 2, or 3 school, you should go.  But if your choice is to forgo law school entirely of attend a tier 4, attend a tier 4.  To use Ninja's metaphor- we're not a super power country, but a country nevertheless and even a tier 4 JD is a JD.  After a few years of practice, employers care much more about the quality and quantity of work than GPA/institution.

rhesusman

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Re: Questions about Golden Gate
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2008, 06:36:51 PM »
But if your choice is to forgo law school entirely of attend a tier 4, attend a tier 4.  To use Ninja's metaphor- we're not a super power country, but a country nevertheless and even a tier 4 JD is a JD.  After a few years of practice, employers care much more about the quality and quantity of work than GPA/institution.

Unless you can't see yourself doing anything but practice law and you have anchored your entire identity on that career choice, I still think that, for most people (particularly those who don't have connections), if Golden Gate is the only school you have the chance to attend, it might be a good idea to rethink going to law school.  It's true that Golden Gate is completely qualified to give JDs by the ABA.  But most people don't just want a JD, they want a JD and a reasonable chance of getting a job that will allow them to pay off their loans.  And I think that if you attend Golden Gate law school, you could be taking a substantial risk of ending up in a worse position financially than you would have been had you not gotten a JD.

Let's look at the most recent statistics the school reported to US News and World Report.  The average indebtedness of a GGU student is $112,477.  The median private sector starting salary is $65,000, and you have to figure that most graduates will be living in SF - not a cheap place.  Of the students who elected to report their employment status, 71% were employed nine months after graduation.  Of the employed graduates, only 54% were actually practicing law.  And these are the numbers the school reported to US News and World Report - schools tend to pad these, so the reality might be worse.  All of this, of course, assumes that you aren't part of the 36.9% of students who doesn't make it out of 1L year.  To me, this exposes GGU students to an undesirable amount of risk.  It's not that you can't have a successful career in law if you go there.  Every law school has successful graduates, like your boyfriend.  The problem is that with tier 4 schools, the odds become increasingly small that you will be one of them.  Law school graduates can have desirable outcomes (like getting a good paying or fulfilling job), and undesirable outcomes (bad job or no job and/or high debt).  All law schools produce students with both types of outcomes, but when you go to a tier 4 school, the odds of an undesirable outcome are greater.  I don't think I could advise someone in good conscience to take a chance on GGU unless they could not see themselves doing anything else with their lives.

Also, and this to me is a big strike against tier 4 schools generally and GGU in particular, law school doesn't cost an exorbitant $32,940 "no matter where you go."  In state tuition at various state schools around the country is often $15,000 or less per year.  I think it's very much worthwhile to strive to get an LSAT score that can get you into a cheap state school.  If you're going to a school that can't promise its graduates great job prospects, it should at the very least not charge as much as GGU.