Law School Discussion

University of San Francisco - Current Students/Alumni

University of San Francisco - Current Students/Alumni
« on: January 08, 2015, 02:32:19 PM »

Even though I'm retaking and 99.99% sure I won't be attending law school this Fall, I applied to USF and am looking to hear the good/bad from current/alumni students. This is clearly not a top school, however the lack of discussion around this school has me curious. I've seen many students from other T3/T4 schools go on to defend their schools, however I have seen NOTHING from USF students.

PLEASE don't bash T3/T4 schools and say things like, "retake or don't go to law school!" I posted a similar thread on TLS and although I was thankful to see people encouraging me to retake, that is not what I am looking for here.

Thank you,
-TrippyMickey  :D

Re: University of San Francisco - Current Students/Alumni
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2015, 06:16:13 PM »
First and foremost realize that anything you read on this board or others myself included comes from anonymous internet posters that know nothing about you, your situation, or goals and on the internet anyone can give themselves delusions of grandeur for all you know I could be the Dean of Harvard Law School or a crackhead in a public library. Therefore, take anything you read from anonymous internet posters with a major grain of salt.

With that intro I am familiar with USF, because I live right next to the campus and am a lawyer in San Francisco. Ymy litigation partner went there as did a number of other attorneys I deal with in court all the time. As with any law school in America from Harvard to Cooley there are great lawyers and terrible lawyers from every school. I have met some great attorneys from USF and some terrible ones at the end of the day whether you succeed in the legal profession has far more to do with the individual than the school they attended.

I think this is a great article explaining how to choose a law school.

With that intro I will go into a little bit about USF and the Bay Area Law Schools.  For all intents and purposes if you want to live in the Bay Area University of San Francisco is a fine school. The campus itself is beautiful and San Francisco is an amazing City. One of the realities of attending law school in a major city like San Francisco is that all the law schools in the area will often have the same professors. Outstanding lawyers often want to live in San Francisco, New York, L.A, etc and University of Nebraska could be ranked far higher than a Tier 4 in San Francisco, but the professor will often prefer to live in San Francisco opposed to Nebraska. However, there are plenty of talented lawyers that would prefer Nebraska over the Hustle and Bustle of a City, but that is the main point there are countless paths to choose and you need to evaluate what is best for YOU.

In the Bay area for example there are 6 ABA schools. (1) Stanford; (2) Berkeley; (3) Hastings; (4) Santa Clara; (5) USF  (6) Golden Gate.

The same professors teach at these schools because the law is the same. A professor can spend an hour teaching contracts at Golden Gate hop on Bart teach at Hastings then take the N line down to USF and teach four hours in one day while collecting three paychecks and many do.

One example is Peter Keane who was an excellent Criminal Defense Lawyer in San Francisco.  He now teaches both Constitutional Law, Trial Advocacy and Criminal Procedure at Golden Gate, Hastings, USF, and has lectured at all the bay area schools. Below are his profiles for both Hastings and Golden Gate.

So whether you attend Hastings or Golden Gate next year you will read the same Con Law Book likely written by Chemerinsky and Peter Keane will teach it to you in San Francisco.

Jon Sylvester is another contracts expert in the Bay Area who teaches everywhere. You will read the Contracts book written by Epstein and likely take 1L contracts from Jon Sylvester.

I could go on and on with examples of this, but the important thing to realize is that at any ABA law school you will learn the same thing. U.S. News is nothing more than a magazine offering an opinion and back when I was applying to law schools University of San Francisco was ranked in the top 70 schools and I guess now it is not, but in a few years it will probably go back up again.

This is par for the course of law school rankings as U.S. News is nothing more than a magazine offering an opinion. U.S. News ranks more than law schools and listed Albuquerque New Mexico as the number one place to live. (I imagine you are not considering applying to New Mexico Law School, because U.S. News  ranked it the #1 place to live as it would be crazy to make a life altering decision such as where to live based on a magazine's opinion.

However, for some reason incoming law students make life altering decisions based on U.S. News. U.S. News is not doing anything wrong by publishing it's opinion and it us up to people to apply common sense when choosing a law school.

There will never be right answer as to what school to choose. I was accepted to 20 different schools and I always think what if I would have chosen X? I will never know and even know I really enjoy by job, but I had other offers again what if I had chosen? Again, I can't know and one of the most important thing for a lawyer to be is decisive and the sooner you come to realize that there is no right answer and nobody really knows what they are doing the further you will go.

Good luck in your pursuit of a legal education and if you have any specific questions about USF or San Francisco you can personal message me or just keep sharing on this board.

Re: University of San Francisco - Current Students/Alumni
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2015, 06:42:10 PM »

I've read many of your posts, and I always find your insights super helpful! Whether you are who you say you are, or a crackhead off the street (your words from a previous post of yours, I believe), I really needed to hear those words. Even though I'm re-taking, you gave me a small boost of confidence to make a decision beyond rankings, thank you!

As for questions, how is the location of USF? Is it urban, suburban, etc...? Also, is it centrally located? How's the surrounding area, as far as things to do, public transit accessible, etc...?

Re: University of San Francisco - Current Students/Alumni
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2015, 11:33:45 AM »
Thanks for the kind words.

I am not sure where you live now, but San Francisco is in actuality a very small city only 7 square miles and for all intents purposes pretty small geographically.

USF is about 1-2 miles away from Downtown San Fransico and parking is not bad for San Francisco in that area. However, that area is not near Bart or Caltrain or Muni Line. There are buses everywhere though and you can get around.

I think the University of San Francisco is one of the most beautiful places in San Francisco and it is only a few blocks from Golden Gate Park, which is awesome.

What I recommend you do is come to San Francisco and visit USF to see how you personally feel about it. You might also want to apply to Golden Gate and Santa Clara and visit those campuses as well. I know when I was choosing schools it was stressful, but when I visited and talked to professors, students, walked around the campus etc, I loved some and disliked others, but again that is totally subjective. Santa Clara for example gave me a bad vibe as did Hastings, but I loved USF and Golden Gate, but you might love Santa Clara and Hastings and hate USF and Golden Gate it is your 3 year $100,000 commitment so make sure it works for you.

As for the LSAT retake you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by retaking. If you nail it on the next try you can expand your options or other schools might offer you substantial scholarship money and my two cents is unless you are going to a "TOP" school, which would be Stanford or Berkeley in San Francisco get out as cheaply as possible.