Law School Discussion

USD FT vs. Loyola LA PT?!?!?

Re: USD FT vs. Loyola LA PT?!?!?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2006, 02:21:13 PM »
With profile picture...I'm hoping you go to Loyola so that I have a chance to see you around ;)

But in all honesty, I was in the same boat with admission to both (evening division at LLS and full time at USD), but after I met with the admissions office at LLS, they granted me a day division spot.  I was prepared to turn down all of my scholarships and admissions for LLS part time (USD, Santa Clara, McGeorge $$$, UNLV $$$, USF $$$).  I went to an information session about a month ago where we were able to meet with professors, members of the admissions office, current students and the career services rep.  In all honesty, the part time program is a fantastic choice. 

The professors actually enjoy teaching the evening classes more than they do the regular day division because of the diversity in the class - the professors said that the class dynamics makes for a better learning environment (they admitted this during my day division information session as well).  As far as job prospects, there really isn't much of the "you're in the part time program, you're a lesser being" when it comes to recruiting.  You have just as good of a shot recruiting for big law firms as long as you place in the top 10-15% of your class.  This is also a benefit for the evening division because historically, evening division students are generally less competitive and don't place as high in the overall curve - this is attributed to the fact that a majority of the students are working or caring for their families and thus, have less time to devote to their studies. 

As many have stated, you WILL NOT be able to transfer to the day program.  There have been unique cases in the past 5 years where students were allowed to after giving good reason to the dean of admissions, however, in the past couple of years, there have been no transfers so good luck.

For Los Angeles career prospects, there is no comparison between USD and Loyola.  True, there are some LA firms that recruit out of USD, but again, thats granted you place in the top 10-15%.  For the regular student, say top 50% of his/her class, you will be far better equipped utilizing the Loyola network.  I have personally spoken with a number of Los Angeles firms regarding career prospects, every single one of them recommended Loyola over all of the other choices.  A couple stated that LLS students even do better than USC's graduates.  Here is my past post:

Of course you have Stanford, Berkley, UCLA, USC, Davis and Hastings as better ranked and more highly regarded schools, but beyond those:

1. Loyola:  Strongest alum network out of the listed schools with alot of big law OCI.  Great curriculum and new facilities, though a little sterile.  Many law firms told me that Loyola grads do better than their USC counterparts because they have a chip on their shoulder about not getting into USC or UCLA and work THAT much harder as a result.  Might not be your cup of tea in terms of environment, but rough it out and it'll be worth it.  Also note that part-time program at Loyola is also well recognized and is worth considering over Pepperdine and Southwestern AS LONG AS you're working while in school.  If you're just taking the 4 year route without getting any worthwhile working experience, you'll be perceived as being lazy and taking advantage of those who need to work to support themselves. Not that you necessarily have to work, but you better have a good explanation of your time.   In addition, some will argue that Los Angeles Career Prospects at Loyola are actually better than UC Hastings because of the Alum Network and regional proximity.  Of course you don't get the in-state tuition rate, but there are a number of people who turned down Davis and Hastings because they want to be in the Los Angeles area.

2. Univ. of San Diego: Great faculty, high bar-passage rates.  Facilities are a bit dated, but overall, very well respected and underrated by the US News.  Job placement isn't fantastic in Los Angeles, but comprable to schools like Pepperdine and Southwestern.  However, if you choose to practice in the smaller San Diego market, students are highly regarded and place quite easily.  Also place well in Orange County.

3. Southwestern (I was shocked by this too):  Apparently, despite its being a 3rd Tier since... well... forever, graduates who pass the bar exam tend to do very well and this is consistently recognized by law firms and judges.  It is very much a sink or swim mentality (granted, much less than before).  OCI isn't great, but it has a very extensive network of alum in the Los Angeles area.  Facilities are a little sterile, but the building is gorgeous.  Consistently ranked above Pepperdine by 3 out of the 4 law firm recruiters that I spoke with.  Highly competitive, but if you can do well, you will place well.

4.  Pepperdine:  Great view and nice location at the expense of Downtown Los Angeles proximity.  Good curriculum with an all-star dean (Ken Starr... this could be a good or bad thing depending on you).  Relatively religious and conservative school.  Level of competition is low relative to other Los Angeles schools, but has a good curriculum.  Great ADR program.  I still would have chosen Pepperdine over Southwestern despite my findings.

5.  Santa Clara:  If you have engineering/science experience and you want to go into Intellectual Property, this would probably jump up toward the top of the list.  Great placement in the area, particularly in IP firms.  Great school, very highly regarded.  OCI isn't that extensive in the Los Angeles area, but you still have a shot in the LA market.

6.  University of the Pacific McGeorge:  My brother currently attends McGeorge.  Very nice campus with a very nice, close knit faculty (all of the deans actually live on campus).  Noted by a couple of law firms to churn out very well-educated attorneys.  Job placement is primarily in the Sacramento area.  I personally love the school, and if the school was located in Los Angeles, I would choose it over Loyola.

7.  Univ. of San Francisco:  Don't actually know THAT much about it, but from what I've heard, its VERY competitive.  I was actually waitlisted there, but admitted to every school above.  I was told that its the Southwestern of San Francisco.

8.  Chapman:  Definitely a newer, but up and coming school.  Gorgeous campus, but because it is so new, its alumni network isn't too extensive.  Job placement is OK in the Orange County area, but struggles more north toward Los Angeles.  Wouldn't be surprised to see it pop in to the second tier within the next 10 years, but for now, its a safer bet to attend any of the schools above.

9.  Whittier:  Whenever I mentioned that I applied to Whittier, there was an odd, awkward silence.  Definitely not regarded too well by BIGLAW (if at all).  Scary how low the bar passage rates are.  They throw presidential full scholarships left and right to bump up their admission stats.  Talks of losing its ABA Accreditation, but not likely.  Don't attend unless you REALLY want to be an lawyer and you didn't get into anywhere else.  If you're just toying with the idea of law school and you ONLY have Whittier as a choice, I would reconsider your plan altogether.


I hope this has been helpful as this has taken me about 6 months to research via forums interviews, alum, and current students.  The interviews I conducted were with 4 founding partners of some very large respected firms (one of them is actually one of the most regarded in Los Angeles).  I interviewed one Federal Judge (a Southwestern Alum) and another District Judge.  Dozens of students at all of the schools, campus recruiters from each of the career centers (though they may be biased toward their own school, they gave very helpful input when told "out of the other schools remaining, which would you prefer and why".  Overall, if you want to work in the Los Angeles area and you don't quite have the numbers for UCLA or USC, then this post should be very helpful in making your decision about California Schools

Thanks  :D