Law School Discussion

Univ of San Francisco Vs. Univ of Pacific McGeorge

Univ of San Francisco Vs. Univ of Pacific McGeorge
« on: April 14, 2009, 12:55:10 PM »
Hey fellow lawyers-to-be!
I've recently heard back from a few schools including USF and McGeorge, which I am very happy about since I am hoping to study in Cali.  But I'm not sure which is a better school.  U.S. News seems to say McGeorge is a higher ranked school, but I'm not sure how the job prospects are outside of Sacramento - as in the San Francisco Bay area.  From my research, USF seems to have a good regional reputation.  What are everyone's thoughts?  Is anyone a grad from either of the schools or know of anyone that is?  I'm from Canada, so I can't really go down and do campus visits before the deposit deadlines are due either, but I'm hoping to be able to make it down in late June to take a look.  Thanks everyone!

Re: Univ of San Francisco Vs. Univ of Pacific McGeorge
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2009, 01:05:38 PM »
Great question as I am also considering McGeorge. I went to school at UC Berkeley, so I think I've had enough of the Bay Area. The traffic is awful, which is a big reason why I'd not like to practice there. Aside from that I've also steered away from the Bay Area because you'll be competing with Stanford, Boalt Hall, Hastings, and Davis. All these schools are MUCH better ranked than USF (third tier if I remember correctly). These schools also have fantastic reputations as far as I'm concerned.
I guess it all depends on where you really want to practice. If you're dead set on SF and these are your choices, then go for USF. However, if you're more open to other opportunities outside of the area, I'd choose McGeorge. My cousin and his wife graduated from there. They loved it and had a lot of good things to say about Sacramento. McGeorge is also a good option if you're considering government. Overall, I just see SF as a very hard market to penetrate with SO many great schools near and the fact that SF is so desirable even to those on the East Coast. People come from all over to be in SF. It's just my personal opinion, take it with a grain of salt. :-)

Re: Univ of San Francisco Vs. Univ of Pacific McGeorge
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2009, 01:16:52 PM »
Calilaw -

Thanks for your input!  Have you been to Sacramento and what do you think of it?  I've only been to SF once when I was younger and don't remember much other than the fact that I did like it.  Hopefully I can go for a visit in June!  I am definitely ready for warm weather - it just snowed here again today, can you believe it?!

I know I'd unfortunately be competing with grads from higher ranked schools if I wanted to stay in SF, but do you know if it'd make a big difference I graduate in the top 15% or so of my class?  Also, what are the chances of transferring to another school after 1L, specifically Hastings?

Oh, and anything else you can tell me about SF and surrounding area is more than welcome!!


Re: Univ of San Francisco Vs. Univ of Pacific McGeorge
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2009, 03:10:52 PM »
I too have thought about transferring during this whole process. However, I truly believe that you should choose the school as if you are going to graduate from it. Also, I think all of us believe we can be in the top, however, the truth is not all of of CAN be. Someone's gotta fall elsewhere. Just try your best and see where that takes you. I'm no expert, but I do believe you'd get a good job coming from the top at either school. Do you want "Big Law"? What are your plans for after law school? If you want some huge high profile job, find another school. I don't like hearing that either, but your chances are better with a better school. However, I'm not looking for "Big Law."

I live 70 miles from Sacramento and 90 from SF. Being so close, I don't think I'd be a very good judge of either. Personally, I'm tired of Northern California. That's why I was considering schools in SoCal. But the cost of living is just too high to put on loans (with interest!!!).

San Fran is frequently overcast and a bit depressing in my opinion. It can get pretty chilly at night even in the summer. I really hate the traffic! And the public transit isn't very reliable and takes forever. I used it during my undergrad years and I am SOOOO thankful those days are over! If you like city life, then SF is a good place. I don't find people especially friendly there. Many are into their own thing, earbuds in their ears worrying about their own problems. I guess that's society in general these days.

Sacramento isn't my favorite city either. I think the crime in both places is high enough. Old Town Sac is nice though. Also the newer places by the airport look nice. McGeorge is located in a bad neighborhood, unfortunately. Though, campus is fairly safe I've heard. McGeorge, despite being located away from its undergrad, does have a real campus feel. It's pretty big for just being a law school. The weather in Sac has its extremes. It's the same weather I experience 70 miles South. We get frost in the winters, but the winters are fairly mild. But the summers are really HOT. 90s are usual, but it does get into the 100s often enough. It's also very dry, which I prefer to humidity.

Since you're coming from Canada, SF's weather probably won't bother you as much as it does me. Sac might be pretty hot for you in the summer. I think both places offer night life and the like. But SF offers a bit more. I hope that helps. That's all I can really say about the cities themselves. Ask around 'cause everyone has different opinions. I think you'd enjoy this area more being that you haven't lived here your whole life. Good luck!


Re: Univ of San Francisco Vs. Univ of Pacific McGeorge
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2009, 11:35:23 PM »
The USF/McG discussion seems pretty popular here. I was accepted to SCU/USF/McG and am a 3L at McG.

I would recommend visiting both campuses and interacting with the staff.  The area is not as bad as some people say - the campus itself is beautiful and very safe.  Also, what area of law do you want to go into? McG has very good international and advocacy programs.  I recommend against making a decision based on rank alone, as USF and McG seem to flip flop in ranking each year.

Feel free to contact me with any questions (that goes for all applicants considering McGeorge).