The answer is Maybe and honestly with what UC schools are doing the costs are probably going to go up even more drastically. All the UC schools in California just increased their tuition 15% this year, and another 15% increase may be upcoming next year. That is really something to consider. For example UCLA in 2009 was 37k for a non-resident. 2 years later it was 45k and I believe they have increased it to 52k starting next year. http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Publications/official-guide-archives.asp
. So one thing to do is see if you can get resident status that will save you a lot of money it is much cheaper if you get it.
As for USD what are the conditions on the scholarship? Law school merit scholarships can be very tricky http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all
. This article does a great job explaining it. Usually you will get a letter saying you need to maintain a 3.0 at the end of your first year. Individuals who qualified for an ABA law school scholarship generally got a 3.0 in undergrad without breaking a sweat, and believe the same will be true in law school. However, most schools only allow the top 35% of the first year class to have a 3.0 so you have a 65% chance of losing your scholarship for years two and three. If there are no conditions on the scholarship then you have a great deal, but pay close attention to the condtions most 0L's don't realize the situation until it is to late. If there are conditions ASK questions about them you are a paying customer of the school and you have the leverage until you enroll.
As for Cardozo same thing with the scholarship situation.
This is a HUGE factor in your decision New York and Southern California are very different places, and if you go to Cardozo there is a strong chance you will spend the rest of your life in New York. If you go to UCLA or USD odds are you spend the rest of your life in California. I know there are exceptions, but three years of law school is a long time. Your going to get an apartment, get a boyfriend/girlfriend if you don't have one already, make friends, and all that stuff then probably take the bar in the state you went to school. You will do internships in New York or Southern California make connections all that stuff, and your roots will get dug in deep in whatever city you go to school in. Of course there are exceptions and people get out leave their areas, but that is not the case the majority of the time. Personal Feelings:
Visit these schools and see how you feel about them. Each school has their own culture, feel, etc to it and you can see how students, professors, and admin staff interact. It is different at every school. I did a lot of mock trials in law school and visited a lot of schools when I was deciding what school to attend and each place definitely has a culture to it. I loved some schools and their culture and others I did not, but that was my feeling, and what I loved about X school you may hate. So visit these schools and see how YOU feel about them. This is a huge investment of time & money, and you really need to know your personal feelings toward the school.
There is no right choice here deciding what school to go to is a life altering choice. 0L's try to find something that gives them the right answer, but nothing will ever tell you exactly what to do. If you go to Cardozo parts of you will say I wonder what woudl have happened if I went to UCLA. Vice Versa if you go to UCLA. Also when your doing your research I know the internet is the easiest place to access information, but a lot of what you hear comes from anonymous sources that are doing their best explanations. I am just writing this on a break with my stream of conscious and I'm sure there are ton of typos, and nobody spending time posting anonymously on an internet board knows YOU. You are the best judge of what is best for yourself and listen to what you think the answer is above all else. Don't leave your common sense at the door, but trust your gut.
Also good luck to and congrats on the acceptances and scholarships!