Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: why higher ranked school? McGeorge col and $  (Read 6440 times)

wannaB1L

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 765
  • Mike Nifong '08
    • View Profile
why higher ranked school? McGeorge col and $
« on: March 02, 2007, 02:16:52 AM »
If I get into Vandy, USC, or Davis (reach) I will jump at the chance. But when It comes to schools like Hastings, Loyola and Pepperdine, I am just starting to think that McGeorge may be a better choice. These other schools don't get me excited, and the cost of living in San Francisco, LA and Malibu is quite high. I don't like SF or care for Hastings very much. They are all basically 2nd tier schools. But I think that McGeorge will offer up some cash, while the other schools probably won't, or maybe just less. I like McGeorge, I like the cheap apartments, I like the outdoors, I don't like big cities. I prefer suburbs or rural or medium cities like San Diego.

My only fear is that since it is ranked 97 by USNWR that it may fall into a 3rd tier position. The rankings don't mean as much to me as they once did, but I know that it carries weight in the 'world'


USC 17
Vandy 17
Davis  35         reach
George Mason 35
Hastings 43

Loyola65
Santa Clara 87       par
McGeorge 97

Chapman T4     safe
a pirate's life for me.



SAVE THE WTO NOW!

DJ-C

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 35
    • View Profile
Re: why higher ranked school? McGeorge col and $
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2007, 10:55:56 PM »
I would go to Hastings, you'll have a much easier time getting a job. I go to McG, and lucked out by getting a firm job in the Bay Area. If I weren't in the top of the class, though, that probably wouldn't have happened. McG is a great school, but it tough to compete against the other Northern CA schools. If you are deciding between McG and Pepperdine or Loyala, go where you want to practice.

Roman815

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
    • View Profile
Re: why higher ranked school? McGeorge col and $
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2007, 02:09:19 AM »
I agree with you on this issue but would still jump at the chance to go to either Davis or Hastings. Although, I might go to McGeorge since they are my best acceptance so far (with a $12,000 per year scholarship) to put them in the same boat as Hastings would be insane. There is no comparison. Even Loyola and USD are not in the same boat. Only USF and Santa Clara are close enough to McGeorge to warrant a pass for some scholarship money. I'm not saying this because I like big cities. In fact, I have the same desire as you do to live in a smaller and more rural environment but I am looking at this in the long term. It's not just about the 3 years I am going to attend law school, it's about the rest of my life as well. I can either suck it up and go to a superior school over the environment I prefer or go to the school whose city I prefer but would have worse prospects in afterwards. Luckily, Lewis and Clark sent me a fee waiver so I may not have to make this choice, if they let me in that is. They are ranked 77th and have an environment I would prefer. If it were between Hastings, Loyola, USD, or any other highly ranked school and McGeorge, I would probably go to the higher ranked school because McGeorge isn't safely in the second tier yet. If it's between Loyola, USD, and Lewis and Clark then I can justify choosing the lower ranked school. There is just a huge difference between McGeorge and other schools. Look at their attrition, it's kind of scaring me away. I guess I'd better stop my rant since I may actually have to attend if nobody else let's me into their school. Not that it would suck or anything but I have the same worries as you do about rank (plus attrition and the cost of tuition). Maybe the Legal Scholars Day will cheer me up. By the way, what are your numbers?
University of San Diego School of Law Class of 2010!

LSN

Matokah

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1556
  • Ice? In Sacramento? Hmm. . .
    • View Profile
Re: why higher ranked school? McGeorge col and $
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2007, 08:16:27 PM »
I didn't apply to UC-Hastings or UC-Davis (didn't like the "feel" I got from Hastings, and Davis wasn't close enough to an ice rink to continue my training. . .I didn't want to have to drive an hour when I'm also trying to study), but so far I've gotten into Loyola-LA's part-time program and McGeorge with a scholarship.  I'm waiting on USD, but even if I do get into USD, I think McGeorge is still a more desired choice for me.  I loved Sacramento, they have 2 ice rinks close by, and McGeorge has professors who teach in my area of current interest (Middle Eastern affairs).  AND I've been treated wonderfully by everyone I've come into contact with there.  This should be a given at all the schools to which I've been accepted (I mean, technically I'll be spending around 100K for tuition alone at a private school. . .bending over backward for an admitted student should be expected), but it really hasn't been.  The people at McGeorge have made me feel like they actually want me to attend.  My only concern, of course, is the cost of tuition since I want to go into public interest work.  Hopefully that'll work itself out, because I'm itching to send in my seat deposit and have this whole process come to an end (I'm just hoping it'll all work out the way I need it to, financially speaking, of course).
University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law 2010!!

(LSN)

Krisace

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 97
    • View Profile
Re: why higher ranked school? McGeorge col and $
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2007, 10:30:40 PM »
I would place Hastings, Loyola and Santa Clara well above McGeorge.  McG is a great school education-wise, but as has been written here it's tough to compete for jobs - outside of Sac. that is. Chances are that unless you are in the top 15% and transfer out, you'll end up working in Sac. which is fine for some but not for others. 

You will lost likely miss out on BigLaw opportunities available at Hastings (and to a lesser extent Loyols and Santa Clara - even if they do provide many more opportunities than McGeorge in their own right).  Check out nalpdirectory.com and do an advanced search.  Look up each school and see how many employers come to OCI (on campus interviews). This is a good way to check out how much in deman you will be coming out of each school.

Hastings = 347 firms/offices for about 419 students
Davis = 197 for 200 students
Santa Clara = 125 for 310
Loyola = 182 for 410
USD = 142 for 365
McGeorge = 27 for 340


Also check out ILRG namely: vhttp://www.ilrg.com/rankings/law/index.php/2/desc/EmployGrad/2007

Matokah

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1556
  • Ice? In Sacramento? Hmm. . .
    • View Profile
Re: why higher ranked school? McGeorge col and $
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2007, 11:55:16 PM »
I would place Hastings, Loyola and Santa Clara well above McGeorge.  McG is a great school education-wise, but as has been written here it's tough to compete for jobs - outside of Sac. that is. Chances are that unless you are in the top 15% and transfer out, you'll end up working in Sac. which is fine for some but not for others. 

You will lost likely miss out on BigLaw opportunities available at Hastings (and to a lesser extent Loyols and Santa Clara - even if they do provide many more opportunities than McGeorge in their own right).  Check out nalpdirectory.com and do an advanced search.  Look up each school and see how many employers come to OCI (on campus interviews). This is a good way to check out how much in deman you will be coming out of each school.

Hastings = 347 firms/offices for about 419 students
Davis = 197 for 200 students
Santa Clara = 125 for 310
Loyola = 182 for 410
USD = 142 for 365
McGeorge = 27 for 340


Also check out ILRG namely: vhttp://www.ilrg.com/rankings/law/index.php/2/desc/EmployGrad/2007

Krisace: Again, thanks for the information.  It's really nice to get some info from someone who's already been down this road.

I totally agree with you that McGeorge is likely not good for getting jobs in BigLaw.  I honestly don't know much around the communities surrounding Sacramento.  Would you say that McGeorge grads have decent job opportunities in suburbs around Sac (like Roseville, for one) and potentially even into Northern Nevada in places near Reno?  I assume you'd have to be proactive and contact those firms on your own, but there don't seem to be any other schools with the exception of Davis around Sacramento and to the East.  Also, do you find that McGeorge grads get beaten out for government jobs by higher-ranked SF school grads who want similar work?

Lastly, just to pick your brain further, I was accepted into Loyola LA's part-time program.  I assume you went full-time at McGeorge, but do you have any idea how part-timers get summer internships to help them in their job search when they're presumably working at another job during school?  Loyola and Pacific are top choices, but I wonder how I would have a shot at getting a job offer if I were to work at a permanent job while attending school part-time.

Sorry for all the questions.  I know some of them are a little far out for you to answer, but I think advice and opinions from current law students is fairly valuable (especially after they've completed their 1L year).

/end babble.
University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law 2010!!

(LSN)

ImpactPlayer

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 328
    • View Profile
Re: why higher ranked school? McGeorge col and $
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2007, 12:07:54 AM »
Wasn't UC-Hastings #20 a few years ago and then forgot to submit their data and subsequently dropped to #45?  It sucks that they haven't recovered since then.

Anyways, I would go to Hastings out of those listed but you're still waiting on three great schools, so it's too early to call. 

Krisace

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 97
    • View Profile
Re: why higher ranked school? McGeorge col and $
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2007, 07:50:10 PM »
Hey Matokah,

Yeah I'd say McGeorge grads would be in good stead for anything in the greater Sac. area as well as Reno etc.  As far as Government jobs go, the more prestigious government jobs (federal and certain state positions) will always go to students at the top schools.  In fact, for the most part, schools like Davis and Hastings may even have trouble in this area (especially for any federal positions - they're almost impossible to get out of law school unless your at a T-14). But there are plenty of middle of th road government positions that will hire from McGeorge.  I know McG places well into the DA's offices and PD's offices in the area.

As far as jobs for part-timers go, I'm not so sure.  However, the best route to take, in my opinion, would be to snag a good legal internship if you are offered one. Future employers will look at work experience (although grades are the most important thing - especially if you are looking for non-government work). What may work, is to get on a track where you can transfer to full-time for your third year or so.  Then, you can stay at your FT job between your first and second years, quit before your second summer to do an internship, interview for jobs in the fall of your third year, and then continue on without working and just going to school FT.  I imagine that being PT for the first year would put you on a four year track right?

When comparing Loyola and McG, unless you would much rather end up working in Sac., I would go to Loyola. It has a much better rep. than McG (even if McG deserves to have a better rep. than it does, it's just a fact of life) and places quite well in LA.  I imagine it might even place ok in San Diego. In addition, while cost of living in LA is higher than Sac., the pay will be better down there too. I suppose the difference in employment prospects is that if you do awesome at McGeorge, there's no guaranty (especially if you decide not to transfer out) that you'll wind up in an awesome job.  Meanwhile, Loyola grads are all over excellent private firms in LA and I'd imagine government jobs too.

However, you seem to want to snag a good public interest position.  Cutting debt load is key, so maybe McG is a good way to go.  Then again only the top 1/3 keep their scholarships.  You'll have to do pretty well.  In fact the Kennedy scholar from my section finished just outside of the 1/3 and lost his scholarship my 1L year.  Sort of sucks.

For public interest, people often tend to forget that these are as coveted oftentimes as BigLaw jobs.  In fact, often a good way to get such a position is to go work in BigLaw, cut down your debt, then go with one of the clients you've done work for Pro Bono (generally solid PI groups).

I've written a book and have rambled myself.  Hope some of this helps!


Matokah

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1556
  • Ice? In Sacramento? Hmm. . .
    • View Profile
Re: why higher ranked school? McGeorge col and $
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2007, 08:16:00 PM »
Hi Krisace.

You're the best!  Thanks for such a detailed response.  Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what I want to do yet after I graduate.  I've been thinking public interest-type stuff like immigration law.  Ideally, I'd love to work for a NPO with human rights issues in the Middle East and Africa.  This is obviously something that probably won't happen for me unless I get really lucky, but I can dream, right? :)

The one thing that stinks about Loyola is that, as a part-timer, you don't have the option to transfer into the day division without a really good reason to do so.  I suppose, though, that I could work during my first year, take a leave of absense over the summer, and see if I could pick up an internship before my 2L year.  I wonder if I might be able to work part-time after my first year at a paying job and part-time at one of Loyola's clinics.

I don't know, to be honest.  Another concern is my boyfriend.  He hates SoCal but has expressed an interest in relocating through his job to Sacramento with me.  I know that can't be the largest consideration, but it is important.  I've had a couple people tell me I'm crazy to be considering Pacific over Loyola (even if it is part-time), but to me I'd assume Pacific is the way to go if you want to work in Sacramento, whereas Loyola is a good option for the LA market.  One downside for me is that I don't think I'll be able to visit Loyola which might have helped me make a better decision.  I imagine my work's annoyed enough at me already about taking so much time off to visit schools. 

I think what it's really going to come down to is 1) if Loyola offers me ANY merit aid (which is unlikely given my LSAT and the fact that I'm attending their part-time program) and 2) if Pacific can increase my scholarship.  It really does suck that the Kennedy Fellow at Pacific lost his scholarship.  I imagine staying in the top 1/3 of one's class isn't a walk in the park.  That's sort of why I'm not seriously considering my huge money offer from Hamline.  If I lost my McGeorge scholarship, I think I'd still be happy to go there, and I don't think I could say the same for Hamline.  That's why I'm pushing to get some more aid from McGeorge.  The good news is that I know someone at McGeorge who's currently a 2L who managed to keep his scholarship, so I know it can be done!  The bad news is that there's probably countless others who didn't manage to keep their scholarships, too.

Random question before I bring this babble to a close: why did you pick McGeorge to begin with?  Did you have to narrow it down between schools, or did something about the school appeal to you over other options?  I'm just curious since a lot of my good feelings about McGeorge are due to the friendliness of students, faculty, and staff and the overall atmosphere on campus (I'd heard it used to be incredibly cutthroat but now it seems more friendly and cooperative).

Thanks again for the help. :)

Hey Matokah,

Yeah I'd say McGeorge grads would be in good stead for anything in the greater Sac. area as well as Reno etc.  As far as Government jobs go, the more prestigious government jobs (federal and certain state positions) will always go to students at the top schools.  In fact, for the most part, schools like Davis and Hastings may even have trouble in this area (especially for any federal positions - they're almost impossible to get out of law school unless your at a T-14). But there are plenty of middle of th road government positions that will hire from McGeorge.  I know McG places well into the DA's offices and PD's offices in the area.

As far as jobs for part-timers go, I'm not so sure.  However, the best route to take, in my opinion, would be to snag a good legal internship if you are offered one. Future employers will look at work experience (although grades are the most important thing - especially if you are looking for non-government work). What may work, is to get on a track where you can transfer to full-time for your third year or so.  Then, you can stay at your FT job between your first and second years, quit before your second summer to do an internship, interview for jobs in the fall of your third year, and then continue on without working and just going to school FT.  I imagine that being PT for the first year would put you on a four year track right?

When comparing Loyola and McG, unless you would much rather end up working in Sac., I would go to Loyola. It has a much better rep. than McG (even if McG deserves to have a better rep. than it does, it's just a fact of life) and places quite well in LA.  I imagine it might even place ok in San Diego. In addition, while cost of living in LA is higher than Sac., the pay will be better down there too. I suppose the difference in employment prospects is that if you do awesome at McGeorge, there's no guaranty (especially if you decide not to transfer out) that you'll wind up in an awesome job.  Meanwhile, Loyola grads are all over excellent private firms in LA and I'd imagine government jobs too.

However, you seem to want to snag a good public interest position.  Cutting debt load is key, so maybe McG is a good way to go.  Then again only the top 1/3 keep their scholarships.  You'll have to do pretty well.  In fact the Kennedy scholar from my section finished just outside of the 1/3 and lost his scholarship my 1L year.  Sort of sucks.

For public interest, people often tend to forget that these are as coveted oftentimes as BigLaw jobs.  In fact, often a good way to get such a position is to go work in BigLaw, cut down your debt, then go with one of the clients you've done work for Pro Bono (generally solid PI groups).

I've written a book and have rambled myself.  Hope some of this helps!


University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law 2010!!

(LSN)

Krisace

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 97
    • View Profile
Re: why higher ranked school? McGeorge col and $
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2007, 09:01:09 AM »
Hey Matokah,

You're right in that McGeorge is a friendly school.  But I chose it simply because my options were really limited to say the least.  That being said, the fact that even I could excel just goes to show that hard work will help you keep your scholarship without too much of a problem.  If you're OK being in Sacramento, then McGeorge might be a great place to go for you.  This especially is the case if you aren't necessarily attached to LA.  Just work really hard for one year (as a 1L) so as to keep a lot of options i.e. transferring, a decent job, as a possibility.

Wish I had more info as to why I picked McGeorge but it really was by default.  It does sound though that maybe it would be a good choice for you.  And I have to say, the 1L professors there are great.  The only downside again is the competitionf for jobs outside of the small-firm market.  There aren't that many positions available.  It might make sense to go to McGeorge and if you do well, then to consider a transfer to somplace with better name recognition to get you where you want to go with the immigration work.  You could start out on a larger scale outside of McGeorge but heck, if I hadn't transferred out, I probaly would have been just fine staying - and you will be too!