Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: California Western...  (Read 4255 times)

dl1227

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
California Western...
« on: January 26, 2010, 05:14:23 PM »
Sorry to those tho read this on the "where should I go" discussion... I meant to put it on this one..

Okay, so I've read MANY other discussions and have struggled with my law school decision for some time.  I'd love any real advice, but please, no condescending comments (especially about 4th tier schools being worthless-bc I don't believe that!). I realize a 4th tier law school does have some limitations, but keep in mind, I DO NOT want any kind of "big law" career.  Also, I want to stay in San Diego, at least for 5-10 years. 
My lsat was 152, and yes I know it sucks,  but it is what it is.  I took a Kaplan study course, and that is actually a decent improvement.  I am taking the LSAT again in Feb, but don't feel overwhelmingly confident it would change - or enough to matter.  LSAC GPA was 3.33.

I applied to Cal Western but have not received a decision yet.  Do you think I will get in, and ANY chance I would get ANY $$?

I used to be so concerned with rankings (I originally thought I wanted to be in Chicago, and was planning on applying to DePaul and Loyola), but now I feel like if its not a T14 or 20, it probably doesn't matter too much.  Even DePaul and Loyola probably have similar cons once you leave Chicago.. As MOST schools..

I love most of what I read/hear about the school, and if Cal West grads have a good chance at finding decent jobs in SD, then that would put me at east a bit to hear. 

Can anyone give me some HELPFUL, honest advice or input about/from Cal West grads?  Thanks

DannyJames

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Just because you're breathing doesn't mean you're alive

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: California Western...
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2010, 02:23:47 AM »
I will just say going to a T-4 in California has been a good experience and I believe anything about a school having a mandatory kick out rate is false, which someone on the thread posted by DannyJames said was the case. I go to Golden Gate and there were all kinds of horrendous rumors written about the school on here none of which are true. 

If you got a 152 you probably won't get a scholarship, but you should get accepted. Don't listen to negative comments about schools on here, if you want to be a lawyer and live in San Diego then California Western will work out perfectly, if you put in the work. Another sidenote about the thread posted by DannyJames where someone said 3 out of 4 people who took the bar failed. Although, bar passage is some reflection on the school a lot of it has to do with the individual. I know two graduates of Hastings that have not passed the bar, it does not make Hastings a terrible school. The Bar is a standardized test and most people take a bar review course BarBri, Kaplan that is unaffiliated with their school and I would almost say you are either going to pass it or not, regardless of the school you go to.  Any ABA school teaches you the same subjects and whether you go to Harvard or Cooley, you will read Pennoyver v. Neff, Palsgraf, Erie and a laundry list of other famous cases, that you will have to put the work in to understand.

Just don't let anyone discourage you man, I remember being terrified about going to a T-4 when I started, thinking they were set to kick everybody out and that it would just be terrible. However, I have really enjoyed my experience, learned a lot and made good friends. Good Luck to you!

dl1227

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: California Western...
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2010, 05:19:16 PM »
Thanks for the post, I really appreciate it.  I realize there had been some discussion about CW in the past, but I was looking for a little MORE.  Anyways, it's good to hear your comments, as well as your other post I just read.  Thanks :) 

DannyJames

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Re: California Western...
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2010, 11:01:15 AM »
I will just say going to a T-4 in California has been a good experience and I believe anything about a school having a mandatory kick out rate is false, which someone on the thread posted by DannyJames said was the case. I go to Golden Gate and there were all kinds of horrendous rumors written about the school on here none of which are true. 

If you got a 152 you probably won't get a scholarship, but you should get accepted. Don't listen to negative comments about schools on here, if you want to be a lawyer and live in San Diego then California Western will work out perfectly, if you put in the work. Another sidenote about the thread posted by DannyJames where someone said 3 out of 4 people who took the bar failed. Although, bar passage is some reflection on the school a lot of it has to do with the individual. I know two graduates of Hastings that have not passed the bar, it does not make Hastings a terrible school. The Bar is a standardized test and most people take a bar review course BarBri, Kaplan that is unaffiliated with their school and I would almost say you are either going to pass it or not, regardless of the school you go to.  Any ABA school teaches you the same subjects and whether you go to Harvard or Cooley, you will read Pennoyver v. Neff, Palsgraf, Erie and a laundry list of other famous cases, that you will have to put the work in to understand.

Just don't let anyone discourage you man, I remember being terrified about going to a T-4 when I started, thinking they were set to kick everybody out and that it would just be terrible. However, I have really enjoyed my experience, learned a lot and made good friends. Good Luck to you!

actually i just posted that link because i had asked the same question, and the thread was about 2 spaces below this one.  that thread has both positive/negative opinions, the only negative being about law school in general, not about Cal Western.  I've heard nothing but great things, I've enjoyed my personal interaction with the staff, and i will be visiting twice in the next 2 months (once on their dime). 
Just because you're breathing doesn't mean you're alive

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: California Western...
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2010, 01:38:49 PM »
Dannyjames I was not trying to say you were being negative, that post was right on point and had some good info. All I was telling the OP was not to listen to the unrealistic negative comments that were in there.  Such as tier 4's kick out 25% of their class, or they have a friend that went to a T-4 that didn't pass the bar, or they have a friend that went to a T-4 that didn't find a job. The list goes on and on and I now realize how idiotic all those posts are. However, when I was making my law school decision I took them very seriously and I was just trying alleviate fear.

The main reason I wrote the post and have been posting on this site a lot is to let people know that are considering tier 4's to not listen to the horror stories about lower ranked schools. I honestly think a lot of people are just talking out of their ass and I have no idea why they want to knock lower ranked schools they know nothing about. Then there are disgruntled Tier 4 students who after their first year realize that going to a T-4 will not result in law firms drooling over them. I saw one post on here that SAID DO NOT GO TO PACE LAW SCHOOL it was written by a Pace student that was complaining about Pace's OCI and how it didn't meet his expectations, because only 15 employers came.  He was going on about how horrible Pace is, because employers were not drooling over him. However, if you go to a T-4 or lower ranked school and you have a shred of common sense you have to know that it will be harder to find employment from a lower ranked school, but it can be done if you take the initiative.  It will be easier for a Harvard Grad to find employment than for a California Western Grad and I hope anyone considering law school would have enough common sense to realize that. 

I just want to go on to say that tier 4's like California Western, Golden Gate, Pace, Liberty, Florida International and so on are not out to rip people off and ruin people's lives. The ABA has stringent guidelines and they don't just hand out accreditation see WESTERN STATE, which does have real issues and as a result has not been approved. Even my school GGU was put on probation a few years ago, which is BAD, but in response GGU hired a lot of new faculty, hired a new Dean, and got two well regarded bar instructors, and created a program called academic development. As a result of all these new programs bar passage rate shot up and now the bar passage rate at GGU is only 3% less than at Hastings. This just goes to show that the ABA is actively involved in making sure ABA schools are legitimate institutions.


 

DannyJames

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Re: California Western...
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2010, 09:08:24 PM »
no worries, i just didn't want anyone to think i was trying to be negative.  this site just doesn't get many responses so i figured the link would provide a number of responses that will echo the different views of the school itself.  i totally agree with you in regards to the school ranking and realistic expectations.  The work MUST be done by you the student, and i truly believe that working a bit harder will make you a better attorney down the road.  it may not make you more money than the harvard grad, but it will be worth the effort
Just because you're breathing doesn't mean you're alive

nerfco

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 731
  • U.Chi '10
    • View Profile
Re: California Western...
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2010, 12:26:36 PM »
Dannyjames I was not...

I think this is correct. Many lower-ranked schools do have some academic attrition though. (See http://rightcoast.typepad.com/rightcoast/2007/06/california_law_.html, the second number only since the first number includes students transferring upwards among other things.)

But, it is like bigs said--if you know what you are getting into, go for it. Look at bar passage rates, academic attrition rates, ask alumni what employment prospects are like. If you are happy with the answers you receive and are going in with realistic expectations (ie. not expecting to be top 3% of your class or something), go for it.

Just don't go to a T4 school expecting to be top 1%, transfer to a T20 school and get biglaw. You're bound to be disappointed.

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: California Western...
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2010, 08:21:14 PM »
Yes do not go in expecting to transfer! 100% of law students at the beginning think they will be in the top 10%, although law school is not calculus you can do the math and see how that plays out. At any ABA law school everybody is smart and going to try hard. Nobody shells out thousands of dollars without wanting to put some work in.  If you will only be happy if you end up in the top 10% and will be dissatisfied unless you transfer out DO NOT GO.  The odds of transferring are low and if you will only be satisfied with going to a certain school. Try to boost your LSAT or take classes to boost your GPA, but do not go to any school expecting to transfer.

However, as I said before a tier 4 will provide you with the tools to become a good lawyer and no ABA school has a mandatory kick out rate. Tier 4's will be honest with you as GGU was to me and tell you employers are not going to roll out the red carpet for you and I had enough common sense to know that coming in. However, people do find jobs including myself and a lot of the people I hang out with.


People at Stanford I am sure had an easier time finding employment, but at the same time going to a higher ranked school is no guarantee of anything. The only two people I know that went to Hastings both failed the Bar and obviously have no employment lined up. Hastings is a great school, but law school is what you make of it no matter where you go. It is a huge financial and time consuming risk and something you should really consider before doing it. Furhermore, no matter what school you go with maybe the exception Harvard,Standford and other ELITE SCHOOLS you will need to study your ass off for the bar and even if you pass employers are not going to track you down, you are going to have to do a lot of the leg work.  I personally love law school and my experience at Golden Gate thus far and the bottom line is if you want to be a lawyer go to an ABA school, work your ass of and things will work out.