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USC Preview Day

HerculePoirot

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USC Preview Day
« on: April 22, 2007, 10:16:17 AM »
I went to USC preview day last Friday and was incredibly impressed with the school.

I had never been to the West Coast before, so I didn't know what to expect.  The school is located on USC's main campus about a mile from the heart of LA.  Even though I heard the surrounding area is ghetto-like, during the day it seemed safe and secure.  I'm sure at night it could get rough, though. 

As for the campus itself, it is extremely beautiful with Spanish inspired architecture, well kept lawns, and bustling USC students.  I could strongly sense what the school means by "The Trojan Family".  Maybe it's because it is played up all the time, making it true by repitition.  but I got the feeling students from all colleges at USC work to instill a sense of comraderie.  I felt part of a select group of talented individuals, which is USC afterall...

The weather during the preview day was cloudy, but they said it was only the second cloudy day of the year.  Apparently, it truly is sunny in southern california all year long.  The average temp in January is 70.  I come from the East Coast, so for me that was a major selling point.

All of the staff and facultly at the preview day were really nice.  That's to be expected since there trying to sell the school, but I got the feeling it was more genuine than other schools I have visited.  The school seems to have a sense of humor,too, embodied by Dean McCaffery, and trickling down to the students.  They talked up the notion that USC law is "fun", and I felt like it is true.  I came across as a really exciting and fun environment in which to live and study.

The law school building is not so pretty, but it's not nearly as bad as some people on this board have described it.

All the current law students at the event were extremely welcoming and easy to talk to.  They unhesitatingly provided personal contact information to me in case I had questions or concerns.

After visiting the school, I am almost 100 percent certain I will go there, even if I get into some "higher ranked" schools.  for example, I'm waiting on Cornell, but you can't beat LA weather and USC's remarkable school spirit.

if anybody has questions, fire away!

 

Re: USC Preview Day
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2007, 10:33:59 AM »
I was there (I asked a smartass question about the possible negatives of going to a small school at the faculty panel).  While I totally agree with everything you wrote, my biggest concern is that going to USC = living in LA for at least 2-3 years after you graduate.  It seems like everyone I met was going to be working in LA.  And more importantly, it seemed like everything about the school was designed to put students in top firms in LA (and nothing else).  I'm curious what you thought about that being from out of CA.  I like LA, and could live there for awhile, but I'm not so enamored by the city that I want to make that decision today.  Thanks bro.  Fight on.

HerculePoirot

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Re: USC Preview Day
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2007, 10:45:46 AM »
Hey redacted...I don't remember you per se, but I do remember the question...i think it was a reasonable question to ask.

As far as working in LA after you graduate, I do believe you're correct.  Although the school does have some national recognition, I believe it is strongest in Southern California.  The Trojan Network is strongest in LA.

But I believe this is due to self selection more than anything.  To me, there doesn't seem to be any place better to work after you graduate than LA: the legal market is huge and lucrative, the weather is unbeatable, and the city is socially and culturally diverse.  Since you can get some of the highest paying jobs in the nation, why not just go to LA?

However, I tend to be more liberal than conservative, so the area is the right fit for my personality.  If you're a conservative republican type, I can see how you might feel out of place.

Personally, I would have no probelm settling down in LA for at least a few years.  I'd probably stay there my whole life.

It also depends on the other schools you're considering.  I see you have UT.  Does UT place that much better nationally than USC that you wouldn't be stuck in, say, Dallas or Houston for a few years?


iscoredawaitlist

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Re: USC Preview Day
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2007, 10:51:43 AM »
I'll go ahead and do my summary.

I was likewise very impressed by USC's preview day. They know how to run an event. I'm having trouble connecting all the disparate ideas into one cohesive summary, so I'll just try and talk about them as they occur to me.

1) There is no inferiority complex at USC. Although many of the speakers during the day had a good time ribbing other california schools (UCLA in particular), I didn't get the feeling that anyone felt inferior to them. There was a definite feeling there that USC belonged in the "big leagues." Whether or not this is true isn't really the important part for me. This sort of attitude I think inspires good morale among a student body.

2) Everybody at USC exudes a certain degree of contentness. Nobody called 1L lots of fun or anything, but there was definitely an emphasis on not being miserable while at law school or afterwards.

3) There is no denying that the alumni network is very important to everyone involved. I don't know how much this actually helps job opportunities, but that sort of connection to the law school years afterwards seems like a definite positive.

4) It had the fanciest lunch of all the ASD. A three course meal served by waiters. The speech at lunch went a long, but it was still good and the speaker clearly felt very passionate about USC.

5) It rained! If I were to visit Michigan in January, I'd hope that it wouldn't be 60 degrees out because that seems to give a false impression of the place. Likewise, visiting LA for the first time I would have liked to have the typical LA weather.

6) Apparently they're trying for an even smaller class this year, going below 200.

I'm not sure what else to say, so i'll it here.

iscoredawaitlist

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Re: USC Preview Day
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2007, 10:53:43 AM »
Hey redacted...I don't remember you per se, but I do remember the question...i think it was a reasonable question to ask.

As far as working in LA after you graduate, I do believe you're correct.  Although the school does have some national recognition, I believe it is strongest in Southern California.  The Trojan Network is strongest in LA.

But I believe this is due to self selection more than anything.  To me, there doesn't seem to be any place better to work after you graduate than LA: the legal market is huge and lucrative, the weather is unbeatable, and the city is socially and culturally diverse.  Since you can get some of the highest paying jobs in the nation, why not just go to LA?

However, I tend to be more liberal than conservative, so the area is the right fit for my personality.  If you're a conservative republican type, I can see how you might feel out of place.

Personally, I would have no probelm settling down in LA for at least a few years.  I'd probably stay there my whole life.

It also depends on the other schools you're considering.  I see you have UT.  Does UT place that much better nationally than USC that you wouldn't be stuck in, say, Dallas or Houston for a few years?




Yes it does, but he raises a fair point. Both of the schools self-select to a huge degree I think. Still, I guess if you'd be absolutely unhappy living in one place for a few years after, then maybe it's not going to be right.


iscoredawaitlist

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Re: USC Preview Day
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2007, 10:55:14 AM »
I was there (I asked a smartass question about the possible negatives of going to a small school at the faculty panel).  While I totally agree with everything you wrote, my biggest concern is that going to USC = living in LA for at least 2-3 years after you graduate.  It seems like everyone I met was going to be working in LA.  And more importantly, it seemed like everything about the school was designed to put students in top firms in LA (and nothing else).  I'm curious what you thought about that being from out of CA.  I like LA, and could live there for awhile, but I'm not so enamored by the city that I want to make that decision today.  Thanks bro.  Fight on.

Anyway, how was your marathon weekend?

HerculePoirot

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Re: USC Preview Day
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2007, 11:29:36 AM »
I have a feeling that the reason USC doesn't have an inferiority complex to other schools is that, even though it is ranked lower than other California schools, it has such a strong school spirit and sense of companionship among fellow students and graduates that, in a way, it occupies its own powerful place in the world, like a fortress. 

USC students from all colleges are so smart and success-oriented individuals that there is unnecessary reason to communicate with grads from other schools.  Everything and everybody you will ever need to "make-it" is at USC.  All you have to do is graduate from the school and stay close to it after you leave.  Again, it really does feel like a "family".  I wouldn't use the Mafia analogy because it has such a negative connotation to it, but USC grads are close knit and loyal.

And somebody there, I forget who, mentioned that other schools ranked higher do not have such a strong alumni assocation. Like Boalt and UCLA, which are probably considered to be better schools overall.  Grads just do not stay in touch as much as USC grads.  Why this phenomenon developed is beyond me, but it truly exists.

But if it is like the mafia, I wonder what happens when somebody says something bad about the school...haha

Funky Cold Hrdina

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Re: USC Preview Day
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2007, 01:26:09 PM »
The bit about being the second cloudy day of the year was a flat out lie. Compared to the rest of the country LA has great weather, but it's not sunny and beautiful 363 days a year.. as unfortunate as that is.  :-[

Pugnacious

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Re: USC Preview Day
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2007, 01:48:50 PM »
"Grads just do not stay in touch as much as USC grads.  Why this phenomenon developed is beyond me, but it truly exists."

My guess is that it's because it is a private school. Private schools depend heavily on alumni support so it is in their interest to keep close ties with alumni and for alumni to keep contact with each other.
I was there too and will write my thoughts on it later - bottom line is I was impressed.

Re: USC Preview Day
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2007, 03:18:17 PM »
redacted