Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses => Topic started by: traffic777 on January 29, 2008, 06:44:28 AM

Title: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: traffic777 on January 29, 2008, 06:44:28 AM
They share the same spot in the rankings, but which one is generally considered better?
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: RockShox007 on January 29, 2008, 09:21:23 AM
My guess is Hastings.... historically Hastings has been higher ranked than Davis.  From what I understand the highest number of lawyers practicing in San Fransisco (all lawyers, not just biglaw) come from Boalt and Hastings.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: Man Crush on January 29, 2008, 02:56:15 PM
I've had similar thoughts over the past few months as I was applying.  I'm sure someone will post how Hastings was high until they didn't report their statistics one year and have never recovered but that doesn't make much sense to me since wouldn't that be rectified the next year?  Also I've read lots of posts on different message boards which seem to believe since Hastings was higher 10+ years ago it is still considered better. I don't understand the ranking equation that well though so if someone could expound on why Hastings is underrated and who they should be placed higher than, that would be nice.

In any case, the reputation rankings among lawyers are about the same with Hastings slightly higher (3.7 vs 3.6) and academically the reputation of Davis is higher (3.4 vs. 3.3).
http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2006/03/_academic_reput.html
As for the larger alumni network in the Bay area and throughout California this could be a definite advantage to Hastings since it has a class size over two times larger than Davis (400+ vs. 180+). Thus it's not difficult to understand why there are more Hastings grads in CA than Davis.

It seems like overall both schools are very comparable in academic quality and reputation although it seems Hastings gets more respect from the message board crowd because it seems to have a higher number of BigLaw placements.  I've also heard it argued that some of that is related to self-selection on behalf of the Davis students and that a lot look for PI work etc. after graduation even though BigLaw was an option.

I enjoy San Francisco but I'm not sure I want to pay the high cost of living and attend a school without a campus.  The traditional campus feel really appeals to me.  I decided to apply to Davis and not Hastings because I never saw myself attending Hastings over Davis.  Plus the smaller-town feel of Davis really seems nice.  Plus, from talking to Davis students they love it there and tout it's laid back atmosphere which I would love.  Although I don't have any legitimate stories, it seems Hastings has a reputation of a lower morale/more cutthroat atmosphere among students at Hastings compared to other law schools.

Hastings seems like a great school with great diversity but the overall feel of Davis seems a better fit for me.  I think it comes down to personal feel.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: t... on January 29, 2008, 03:21:23 PM
It's all about what type of school you want - smaller classes, more rural college town, or larger classes in a large city.

Where are you going to be comfortable?

Obviously Hastings had the advantages of being in the Bay Area, and it has better placement because of it. Davis will place there, but tends to place in Sac. or elsewhere.

Hastings has a more professional, business feel to it, and offers a great many clinics, externships, and some great professors. Davis seems to emphasize public interest, environmental law, and human rights stuff, though you'll find no shortage of that stuff at Hastings. Hastings also has a larger course selection, and allows you to take courses from other schools in the area.

I wouldn't put too much stock in the competitive/laid back dynamic between the schools, but I would say that Davis has smaller (and more intimate) student body. It's supposed to be extremely friendly.

Both offer excellent LRAP programs. Hastings has the larger network and more reputable name.

I'd visit. It's the only way you'll know.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: Phineas on January 31, 2008, 08:45:21 AM
They share the same spot in the rankings, but which one is generally considered better?

Oooo.  Hard call.  From both you will have equal opportunities to get out and make $70,000 and live a wonderful life below the California poverty line.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: kaboodle on February 11, 2008, 11:54:31 PM
They share the same spot in the rankings, but which one is generally considered better?

Oooo.  Hard call.  From both you will have equal opportunities to get out and make $70,000 and live a wonderful life below the California poverty line.

Wow, you're such an ass...
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: credo on February 12, 2008, 12:58:14 AM
They share the same spot in the rankings, but which one is generally considered better?

Oooo.  Hard call.  From both you will have equal opportunities to get out and make $70,000 and live a wonderful life below the California poverty line.

No need to pout about your rejections we knew you sucked even before.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: tashakies on February 13, 2008, 11:36:32 AM
What is the job market in Sacramento like? I know San Fran has a huge legal market but unfortunately am waitlisted at Hastings. Im crossing my fingers for Davis!
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: 1654134681665465 on February 13, 2008, 11:39:09 AM
There have been several threads comparing the two if you want to look them up.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: nhutchin on February 23, 2008, 12:25:38 AM
Being from CA I get the general impression that most people view Hastings more favorably.  On a side note I would suggest you go and check out the two schools to compare because when I went to visit Davis I really did not like the law school facilities.  The buildig was dark and the whole thing felt like it was in a basement.  Plus the library had all thse small rickety metal staircases and considering how much time you will be spending in the library I think the library conditions are something to consider.  So I would check out the schools first because I know the Davis law school building does not appeal to everyone.  I didn't go to visit Hastings so I can't really comment on their facilities.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: dbgirl on February 23, 2008, 02:32:37 AM
I haven't been to Davis, but Hastings has pretty nice classrooms and buildings.
Yeah, it's in a bad neighborhood, but it's also in San Francisco, which I personally prefer over a place like Davis. I'm more of a city person than a country person - a lot of it depends on your personal taste.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: Lowell MVP on February 29, 2008, 09:49:10 PM
I wonder if the smaller size of Davis means smaller first-year classes and more contact with profesors.  Any ideas?  I don't have the stats on hand but I believe the average section size at Hastings is much larger.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: dbgirl on February 29, 2008, 10:10:32 PM
I wonder if the smaller size of Davis means smaller first-year classes and more contact with profesors.  Any ideas?  I don't have the stats on hand but I believe the average section size at Hastings is much larger.
Hastings has a 1L class of about 400, divided into five sections.  With the exception of Legal Writing and Moot Court, you classes will have about 80 students in them.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: OCgirl on March 06, 2008, 11:13:26 AM
Davis has a class size of just under 200. We are broken up into 3 sections of approximately 70 students each, so I guess in the end our section sizes are  similar. Our building is not the best- we do sport a super chic 70's high school motif, but we are in the process of getting a makeover. For info about the new building you can check out the UCD law school website (www.law.ucdavis.edu) under About the School --> Our New Building.

Also, I have to say that it really comes down to preference, and I think it's more than simply being a city person or not. I consider myself a city person and I love San Fran. But part of the attraction of Davis (at least for me) is that it's not in the city and doesn't contain the distractions of the city. If I was in the city I would have to muster up the self-discipline to not go out every night, and while I know I could have done it I think it's just all around easer to not have the temptation. Davis is only about an hour away from San Fran and about 20 minutes away from Sac, so getting out when you do have free time is always an option, but during the week I stay local and go out with friends from school or just focus on my work.

Another perk that I like about Davis is that we are affiliated with the undergrad campus, and we get a lot of benefits from it. We have a really great gym that the law students go to all the time. There are lectures and activities on the undergrad campus and at the Mondovi center that deal with issues that many law students are interested in. There are also several opportunities for on-campus jobs for 2Ls and 3Ls.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: jdhu on March 06, 2008, 12:57:28 PM
I went to UCD for undergrad.  It is not the most exciting place, but the "cow-town" reputation is undeserved in my opinion.  There are some decent bars, a lot of undergrads (which keep the town interesting), and as someone else mentioned, a lot of renovations as of late(the planned law school, the gym/rec center, Mondavi center).

Sac is close by, SF not far, and depending on your interests, there are a lot of clubs and organizations, both private and campus-based.  I am a 1L at George Mason, looking to transfer back to CA (CA really is the best, it took me going away to realize), and so I always find these Davis v. Hastings threads interesting.

I'm leaning towards Hastings, but you can do worse than Davis for fun/quality of life.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: Lowell MVP on March 07, 2008, 10:22:23 AM
Thanks for the responses.  When I wrote that Hastings has a larger section size, I got mixed up - I was actually thinking of the student-faculty ratio, which I have as being 21:1, as opposed to Davis's 13.5:1.  I was just wondering if that bore out in terms of professor accessibility.
I also imagine that Davis would be a little more tightly-knit, being in a smaller town.  Overall I have the impression of Hastings as more competitive (between students) and corporate, and Davis more collegial and public interest-focused.  Is there any truth to those generalizations?
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: credo on March 10, 2008, 07:47:00 PM
Thanks for the responses.  When I wrote that Hastings has a larger section size, I got mixed up - I was actually thinking of the student-faculty ratio, which I have as being 21:1, as opposed to Davis's 13.5:1.  I was just wondering if that bore out in terms of professor accessibility.
I also imagine that Davis would be a little more tightly-knit, being in a smaller town.  Overall I have the impression of Hastings as more competitive (between students) and corporate, and Davis more collegial and public interest-focused.  Is there any truth to those generalizations?

There are more public interest opportunities at Hastings from the individual/group representation clinics to the GAAP program helping people right here in the tenderloin.  Part time internships/clerkships with outside public interest/and government groups here in SF are easy to come by also (it helps that so many are based within blocks of Hastings).  Hastings even offers a Public Interest Concentration if you are interested.

As for being "tight-knit" I don't what the social dynamics are like at Davis.  I do know they have a curve so when it comes down to finals you get the high grade by out-doing your classmates the same as most every law school.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: obamavshilary on March 11, 2008, 08:35:16 PM
Hastings over Davis. Hastings has better biglaw placement, a better location if you want public interest and government because SF is the location of the CA supreme court i think and theres plenty of hippie organizations there for you to do PI. Make the right choice.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: OCgirl on March 12, 2008, 01:05:38 AM
Thanks for the responses.  When I wrote that Hastings has a larger section size, I got mixed up - I was actually thinking of the student-faculty ratio, which I have as being 21:1, as opposed to Davis's 13.5:1.  I was just wondering if that bore out in terms of professor accessibility.
I also imagine that Davis would be a little more tightly-knit, being in a smaller town.  Overall I have the impression of Hastings as more competitive (between students) and corporate, and Davis more collegial and public interest-focused.  Is there any truth to those generalizations?

At Davis all of our professors are pretty accessible. All hold regular office hours. Students do go to office hours so you may not be able to talk to your professor right when you show up, but you will be able to talk to them during that office hours session. I don't know how other schools do it, but we also have TAs for all of our 1L classes- normally 2 for our classes of approx. 70 students and 1 for our smaller classes of approx. 35. The TAs also hold regular office hours and hold review sessions.

You are right in thinking that we are a tight-knit community. We all know each other and spend time outside of class together. The affects of the small town are apparent, but for the most part that's a good thing. You get to feel really comfortable in class because you know everyone and for the most part consider everyone friends.

In general we are a casual group, but we don't deviate too much from the standard practices of all law schools. We are on a forced curve, our professors do use the socratic method, and our 1L grades are pretty much 100% final.

I give it to Hastings on the big law placement - hands down they have better placement in large firms. But I have to disagree about the PI and government jobs. We have plenty of both here in Sacramento and we get leads on bay area jobs. As for where you want to be, I'm not even going to try to talk up Sacramento when it's compared to S.F.- there's not point. But I will say that many of our students come from the bay area and have intentions on returning during their summers and after graduation. I personally know several 1Ls that will be working in the bay area over the summer. In general I think that a bay area job is more likely if you go to Hastings than if you go to Davis, but you aren't knocking yourself out of the running for a bay area job by going to Davis. That is of course assuming you want to work in the bay. If you want to work somewhere outside of S.F. or Sac. I'm not sure how the two schools compare in placement.

The California Supreme Court is in S.F., but Sacramento is still the capitol of California and has plenty of courts to fill your interest. I'm not going to be working a court job this summer, but from what I hear the separation is more over federal v. state rather than state supreme v. appellate/district, so the fact that the CA Supreme Court is in S.F. may or may not be of interest to you. (both S.F. and Sacramento have federal courts.) It's also worth noting that not everyone works for a judge. So again, all of this may or may not be important to your decision. It's really about your personal interest.

As for PI jobs, S.F. is a huge city that has always been very liberal. So yes, there are a ton of PI jobs out there. But the politicians are in Sacramento during the week, so the bulk of PI lobbying is done here in Sacramento and all of the large PI groups have a presence here in Sac. Davis also has a PI concentration, as well as a human rights and social justice concentration.

We have four clinicals here at Davis focusing on  civil rights, immigration, prison, and a family rights. So, just like Hastings, there are opportunities to do PI work and gain great experience while in school. The clinics between the two schools focus on different areas and serve different populations, so again, I think what is going to appeal to you is going to be based primarily on personal interest.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: credo on March 12, 2008, 03:19:10 PM
I should mention Hastings will be changing its grading curve and the Dean has expressed intentions to trim the class size which ought to vault it past UC Davis in the US News Ranking within the next year or two.


As far as courts San Francisco has the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, Cal Supreme Court, California Appeals 1st District, and the US District Court for the Northern District of CA.  Bear in mind there are TWO Hastings Alums on the California Supreme Court and ZERO Davis Alumni.  Hastings is much better represented throughout the California judiciary.

Sacramento has the US District Court for the Eastern District of California and the California Appeals 3rd District.

If you are interested in State Legislative work Hastings also has a Legislative Clinic where you actually work in the California State Legislature in Sacramento for a Semester.  Davis despite its proximity does NOT have this program and Davis students are admitted only after Hastings students have an opportunity to enroll: http://www.uchastings.edu/?pid=1514
 (http://www.uchastings.edu/?pid=1514)
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: SwEep on March 12, 2008, 11:23:43 PM
Hasting's Rep was soooo awesome I want to apply there just cuz of him.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: credo on March 13, 2008, 02:36:28 AM
Hasting's Rep was soooo awesome I want to apply there just cuz of him.

LOL ION There are more/better jiu-jitsu and kickboxing gyms around Hastings than Davis.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: OCgirl on March 13, 2008, 09:47:08 PM
I don't know the statistics for Davis --> Hastings transfers, but I do know that Davis accepts very few transfer students, and every year there is representation from Hastings. Hastings students regularly transferring to Davis despite all of the great things you read on this site about Hastings should tell you something...
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: Astro on March 14, 2008, 12:25:08 AM

As for the larger alumni network in the Bay area and throughout California this could be a definite advantage to Hastings since it has a class size over two times larger than Davis (400+ vs. 180+). Thus it's not difficult to understand why there are more Hastings grads in CA than Davis.


Please, let's not overlook this point, because it's possibly more important than anything else mentioned in this thread.

Alumni networks are what get the majority of students at law schools jobs (outside of maybe the top seven or eight schools in the country).  The larger your alumni network is, the better off you are as a student, particularly at a mid-T1.  The mere fact that there are more Hastings grads in CA than Davis grads (and, for that matter, QUITE a number more) is telling.  It doesn't mean Hastings is a better SCHOOL necessarily, but it does mean that your shot at landing the job you want in California is greater coming out of Hastings than out of Davis, simply because there are likely to be more lawyers in your field near you who graduated from Hastings. 

This won't matter to the top 10-15% at either school.  They'll get what they want.  But below that, and particularly in the bottom half of the class, that alumni network makes a HUGE difference.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: Pixies on March 14, 2008, 12:44:22 AM

As for the larger alumni network in the Bay area and throughout California this could be a definite advantage to Hastings since it has a class size over two times larger than Davis (400+ vs. 180+). Thus it's not difficult to understand why there are more Hastings grads in CA than Davis.


Please, let's not overlook this point, because it's possibly more important than anything else mentioned in this thread.

Alumni networks are what get the majority of students at law schools jobs (outside of maybe the top seven or eight schools in the country).  The larger your alumni network is, the better off you are as a student, particularly at a mid-T1.  The mere fact that there are more Hastings grads in CA than Davis grads (and, for that matter, QUITE a number more) is telling.  It doesn't mean Hastings is a better SCHOOL necessarily, but it does mean that your shot at landing the job you want in California is greater coming out of Hastings than out of Davis, simply because there are likely to be more lawyers in your field near you who graduated from Hastings. 

This won't matter to the top 10-15% at either school.  They'll get what they want.  But below that, and particularly in the bottom half of the class, that alumni network makes a HUGE difference.


But still the number of alumni would probably be roughly proportional to the graduating class, no? I mean, if the class at Hastings has been larger than Davis for a substantial period of time than sure they'll have a larger network, but there will also be a larger number of Hastings students looking to take advantage of that network. I really don't know all that much about either school and am assuming their regional reputations are roughly equivalent. The only argument I can see for the larger class/network is that there may be more variety in the jobs alumni hold. But by sheer numbers I would think that the student to alumni ration would be roughly the same.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: Astro on March 14, 2008, 01:27:30 AM

As for the larger alumni network in the Bay area and throughout California this could be a definite advantage to Hastings since it has a class size over two times larger than Davis (400+ vs. 180+). Thus it's not difficult to understand why there are more Hastings grads in CA than Davis.


Please, let's not overlook this point, because it's possibly more important than anything else mentioned in this thread.

Alumni networks are what get the majority of students at law schools jobs (outside of maybe the top seven or eight schools in the country).  The larger your alumni network is, the better off you are as a student, particularly at a mid-T1.  The mere fact that there are more Hastings grads in CA than Davis grads (and, for that matter, QUITE a number more) is telling.  It doesn't mean Hastings is a better SCHOOL necessarily, but it does mean that your shot at landing the job you want in California is greater coming out of Hastings than out of Davis, simply because there are likely to be more lawyers in your field near you who graduated from Hastings. 

This won't matter to the top 10-15% at either school.  They'll get what they want.  But below that, and particularly in the bottom half of the class, that alumni network makes a HUGE difference.


But still the number of alumni would probably be roughly proportional to the graduating class, no? I mean, if the class at Hastings has been larger than Davis for a substantial period of time than sure they'll have a larger network, but there will also be a larger number of Hastings students looking to take advantage of that network. I really don't know all that much about either school and am assuming their regional reputations are roughly equivalent. The only argument I can see for the larger class/network is that there may be more variety in the jobs alumni hold. But by sheer numbers I would think that the student to alumni ration would be roughly the same.


Not quite.  One alumnus/alumna can be an important job contact for more than one student.  This is frequently true -- it's not necessarily that alumnus who gets you the job, but someone to whom they introduced you.
 
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: nhutchin on March 14, 2008, 09:13:11 AM
I think a lot of people are missing the fact that an alumni network is not limited to the alumni of the law school.  This puts Hastings at a serious disadvantage since Hastings does not have undergrad alumni to get help from.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: Astro on March 14, 2008, 09:20:57 AM
I think a lot of people are missing the fact that an alumni network is not limited to the alumni of the law school.  This puts Hastings at a serious disadvantage since Hastings does not have undergrad alumni to get help from.


This may be true, but I don't think it's quite as pertinent in the legal field.  I'm lazy, but I'll explain if required.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: newyorker1987 on March 17, 2008, 10:58:24 PM
UC Hastings has a better reputation in the legal world than UC Davis. No doubt on this one.

Both schools are great.

If I had to choose between the two, I would personally go with UC Hastings.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: Krisace on March 18, 2008, 09:24:05 PM
Hastings has a better rep than Davis???  Where are you people getting your information?!?

Anyone that knows the reputation of the two schools will tell you that their reps are identical.  I guarantee that NOT ONE person you speak with in the legal community will say that they would take a student from one of these two schools over the other. Anyone that says otherwise isn't working in the legal community.

Hastings has an edge in the quantity of alumni relations, absolutely, since it's a bigger school.

Meanwhile actually connecting with a Davis alum will do more for you as it truly is a much more tight-knit environment and with fewer student pestering the fewer alums, alums are going to be more willing to help out.

Both schools place approximately 25% of their matriculating 3L's into BigLaw every year. And yes, this is placement almost entirely in SF and LA.  The remainder of the studentbody can pretty much go whereever they want in CA and be at the highest level for jobs open in the market. Hastings students are not confined to the Bay Area and Davis students are not at all confined to the Bay Area or Sacramento (the ones that end up in Sac. go there because they choose to - not by default).

A decision between the schools should be based on where one wants to live for three years, how competetive of an atmosphere one wants (Davis is very laid back) and whether it is important to be at a school connected to an undergraduate campus which has much to offer or annoy.

Just my two cents.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: newyorker1987 on March 18, 2008, 09:32:35 PM
Hastings has a better rep than Davis???  Where are you people getting your information?!?

Anyone that knows the reputation of the two schools will tell you that their reps are identical.  I guarantee that NOT ONE person you speak with in the legal community will say that they would take a student from one of these two schools over the other. Anyone that says otherwise isn't working in the legal community.

Hastings has an edge in the quantity of alumni relations, absolutely, since it's a bigger school.

Meanwhile actually connecting with a Davis alum will do more for you as it truly is a much more tight-knit environment and with fewer student pestering the fewer alums, alums are going to be more willing to help out.

Both schools place approximately 25% of their matriculating 3L's into BigLaw every year. And yes, this is placement almost entirely in SF and LA.  The remainder of the studentbody can pretty much go whereever they want in CA and be at the highest level for jobs open in the market. Hastings students are not confined to the Bay Area and Davis students are not at all confined to the Bay Area or Sacramento (the ones that end up in Sac. go there because they choose to - not by default).

A decision between the schools should be based on where one wants to live for three years, how competetive of an atmosphere one wants (Davis is very laid back) and whether it is important to be at a school connected to an undergraduate campus which has much to offer or annoy.

Just my two cents.


I know a lot of lawyers in the west coast and they all regard Hastings as slightly better. This is coming from Stanford, Boalt, USC, UCLA lawyers. I work in a big law firm in the east coast and the ones that know about Davis and Hastings regard Hastings as better.

Edit: I'm sure everybody has different opinions so my post isn't meant to bash on yours. It's just that the only time I hear that Davis is better than Hastings is from Davis students.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: Astro on March 19, 2008, 12:41:39 AM
Hastings has a better rep than Davis???  Where are you people getting your information?!?

Anyone that knows the reputation of the two schools will tell you that their reps are identical.  I guarantee that NOT ONE person you speak with in the legal community will say that they would take a student from one of these two schools over the other. Anyone that says otherwise isn't working in the legal community.

Hastings has an edge in the quantity of alumni relations, absolutely, since it's a bigger school.

Meanwhile actually connecting with a Davis alum will do more for you as it truly is a much more tight-knit environment and with fewer student pestering the fewer alums, alums are going to be more willing to help out.

Both schools place approximately 25% of their matriculating 3L's into BigLaw every year. And yes, this is placement almost entirely in SF and LA.  The remainder of the studentbody can pretty much go whereever they want in CA and be at the highest level for jobs open in the market. Hastings students are not confined to the Bay Area and Davis students are not at all confined to the Bay Area or Sacramento (the ones that end up in Sac. go there because they choose to - not by default).

A decision between the schools should be based on where one wants to live for three years, how competetive of an atmosphere one wants (Davis is very laid back) and whether it is important to be at a school connected to an undergraduate campus which has much to offer or annoy.

Just my two cents.


Yeah, we get it.  You're at Davis.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: jdhu on March 19, 2008, 01:12:55 AM
Hastings seems to have the stronger reputation (because of its age and historically higher ranking), but I agree with Krisace that you should choose where you will be happy and comfortable.

Some people may not enjoy living in SF and attending school in the Tenderloin.  Davis is a bit boring for my tastes, but it is a safe, quiet town. 

I think if you do well at either school you will have good job prospects, so why not spend 3 years somewhere you will enjoy living?  Law school is tough enough; it's not worth the slight differences in rankings or reputation to choose a school that doesn't fit your preferences.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: gobigredgo on March 19, 2008, 08:48:36 PM
Even though I really like my Davis Law friends, I would say that Hastings clearly has a better reputation than Davis.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: JamesGandolfini on March 29, 2008, 03:56:42 PM
After touring these schools this month, I realized that Davis was definitely the better option. At first, I applied to both thinking Hastings would be best because of its access to SF jobs and location in a great city, but what I found was quite different. SF is certainly beautiful, but Hastings is in one of its worst neighborhoods. I knew this before I visited, but what I found in The Tenderloin was even worse than I expected. Walking there from my hotel near Powell Street BART via Market Street, I was approached by a drug dealer, a couple times by beggars, and harassed by someone else. This is not the sort of neighborhood where I would enjoy spending three years of my life...

The Hastings buildings were nice and newly renovated, but students seemed downright gloomy. Socratic Method in the class I visited was the most extreme and unnecessary that I have seen in the five schools where I have attended classes. The Hastings class also had over 100 students and a seating chart that almost rivaled the height of the professor.

Moreover, the cost of living in San Francisco is just too high for law students. Let's face it, you will not perform at optimal levels if you're living in a cheap apartment in a sketchy part of the city or commuting from another part of the Bay Area. Paying perhaps $10k more per year for housing in San Francisco for a school equally prestigious as Davis just does not make sense. Why not just wait until after graduation and job offers to live in San Francisco, when you can actually enjoy it!

In contrast, I was very impressed by Davis. Before visiting, I was somewhat weary of the surroundings, since I live in a major city and enjoy it. But this was not an issue! Davis is an attractive and very leafy place with a defined downtown. People were friendly and laid back, and there were ample recreational activities. If you have a car, you can easily use it in Davis with a short commute. If you don't have one, you can easily get just about anywhere using a bicycle. The cost of living is much lower than San Francisco, which is still only an hour-long Amtrak ride away.

As for Davis Law itself, I found that the "open door" policy among the professors is true. Office doors were indeed open, and the professors were very approachable! Staff were responsive and really do seem to care about the students. I was also blown away by how much students trust each other with personal belongings. Generally, I noticed that Davis has the same high level of intellectual stimulation and career prospects as Hastings, but the quality of life at Davis, which is crucial for one's own success, is much higher than what one can expect at Hastings. Davis also beat Hastings in the most recent CA bar passage rates, and job prospects/average salaries in the public and private sectors are pretty much equal.

Regarding reputation, I spoke with a number of Bay Area attorneys who went to neither school (to avoid bias), and one school does not, by any means, beat the other. They are both fine schools, but one seems to have a better quality of life and smaller student body than the other.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: HastingsOneL on March 29, 2008, 06:19:19 PM
After touring these schools this month, I realized that Davis was definitely the better option. At first, I applied to both thinking Hastings would be best because of its access to SF jobs and location in a great city, but what I found was quite different. SF is certainly beautiful, but Hastings is in one of its worst neighborhoods. I knew this before I visited, but what I found in The Tenderloin was even worse than I expected. Walking there from my hotel near Powell Street BART via Market Street, I was approached by a drug dealer, a couple times by beggars, and harassed by someone else. This is not the sort of neighborhood where I would enjoy spending three years of my life...

The Hastings buildings were nice and newly renovated, but students seemed downright gloomy. Socratic Method in the class I visited was the most extreme and unnecessary that I have seen in the five schools where I have attended classes. The Hastings class also had over 100 students and a seating chart that almost rivaled the height of the professor.

Moreover, the cost of living in San Francisco is just too high for law students. Let's face it, you will not perform at optimal levels if you're living in a cheap apartment in a sketchy part of the city or commuting from another part of the Bay Area. Paying perhaps $10k more per year for housing in San Francisco for a school equally prestigious as Davis just does not make sense. Why not just wait until after graduation and job offers to live in San Francisco, when you can actually enjoy it!

In contrast, I was very impressed by Davis. Before visiting, I was somewhat weary of the surroundings, since I live in a major city and enjoy it. But this was not an issue! Davis is an attractive and very leafy place with a defined downtown. People were friendly and laid back, and there were ample recreational activities. If you have a car, you can easily use it in Davis with a short commute. If you don't have one, you can easily get just about anywhere using a bicycle. The cost of living is much lower than San Francisco, which is still only an hour-long Amtrak ride away.

As for Davis Law itself, I found that the "open door" policy among the professors is true. Office doors were indeed open, and the professors were very approachable! Staff were responsive and really do seem to care about the students. I was also blown away by how much students trust each other with personal belongings. Generally, I noticed that Davis has the same high level of intellectual stimulation and career prospects as Hastings, but the quality of life at Davis, which is crucial for one's own success, is much higher than what one can expect at Hastings. Davis also beat Hastings in the most recent CA bar passage rates, and job prospects/average salaries in the public and private sectors are pretty much equal.

Regarding reputation, I spoke with a number of Bay Area attorneys who went to neither school (to avoid bias), and one school does not, by any means, beat the other. They are both fine schools, but one seems to have a better quality of life and smaller student body than the other.


Which class did you observe?  It appears that your observation is not representative of the school as a whole and I would caution other students to visit and judge for themselves because in my experience the students are far from "gloomy."   If the class was large I bet it was a first year class, which means the section has about 80 students, not 100;  2L and 3L classes are much smaller.  As for the Socratic Method, it can be intimidating, but it serves a purpose which may seem "unnecessary" or "extreme" when observed by a 0L.

Speaking of classes: Hastings' size is a benefit because you have more classes from which to choose.  Our size is a benefit because it assists in developing a variety of strong on campus groups rather than just a handful. Additionally, along with the smaller student body you have fewer class options, fewer professors, and a limited alumni network.  Is Davis located next to any Federal courts? 

Hastings is in a big city and that comes with a big city lifestyle.  yes there are drug dealers and the homeless, but a polite "no thanks" usually does the trick to let them know you are not interested.  Access to every court in the nation except for the US Supreme and all the legal opportunities in the Bay Area is a huge trade off for having to say "no thanks" once in a while. 

Davis might be "definitely the better option" if you are concerted with driving your car to the library rather than walking, but other than that I'm not so sure the the "definitely better" conclusion is warranted.  Many students that want access to a car and live in the residence tower (The Tower) which lets them pay well under market rates for SF housing, and then sign up for a service like ZipCar so they can access a car for super cheap. 

Students should really investigate the school for themselves and think about the options available to them both before and after graduation.  If you know you want to work in Sacramento, go to Davis without a doubt.  If you know you want to work in SF, go to Hastings without a doubt.  If you are on the fence, look at the school that has more options in your field.  Don't have a field?  then go with the "better" school in how you weigh your school preferences.  Don't like a big city then go to Davis.  Think you might want to extern in a Federal Court then go to Hastings...   want to avoid cutthroat, gloomy students then you are fine at either school. 
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: JamesGandolfini on March 29, 2008, 07:13:07 PM
Which class did you observe?  It appears that your observation is not representative of the school as a whole and I would caution other students to visit and judge for themselves because in my experience the students are far from "gloomy."   If the class was large I bet it was a first year class, which means the section has about 80 students, not 100;  2L and 3L classes are much smaller.  As for the Socratic Method, it can be intimidating, but it serves a purpose which may seem "unnecessary" or "extreme" when observed by a 0L.

Speaking of classes: Hastings' size is a benefit because you have more classes from which to choose.  Our size is a benefit because it assists in developing a variety of strong on campus groups rather than just a handful. Additionally, along with the smaller student body you have fewer class options, fewer professors, and a limited alumni network.  Is Davis located next to any Federal courts? 

Hastings is in a big city and that comes with a big city lifestyle.  yes there are drug dealers and the homeless, but a polite "no thanks" usually does the trick to let them know you are not interested.  Access to every court in the nation except for the US Supreme and all the legal opportunities in the Bay Area is a huge trade off for having to say "no thanks" once in a while. 

Davis might be "definitely the better option" if you are concerted with driving your car to the library rather than walking, but other than that I'm not so sure the the "definitely better" conclusion is warranted.  Many students that want access to a car and live in the residence tower (The Tower) which lets them pay well under market rates for SF housing, and then sign up for a service like ZipCar so they can access a car for super cheap. 

Students should really investigate the school for themselves and think about the options available to them both before and after graduation.  If you know you want to work in Sacramento, go to Davis without a doubt.  If you know you want to work in SF, go to Hastings without a doubt.  If you are on the fence, look at the school that has more options in your field.  Don't have a field?  then go with the "better" school in how you weigh your school preferences.  Don't like a big city then go to Davis.  Think you might want to extern in a Federal Court then go to Hastings...   want to avoid cutthroat, gloomy students then you are fine at either school. 


Yes, I visited a 1L class. As for the Socratic Method, you’re right…it can seem intimidating for people not familiar with it, and it serves a purpose. Almost all law schools use it. The difference is that it is applied in different ways at different schools. This is why it is important to visit schools to pick up on this.

As for Hastings’ proximity to federal courts, this may be advantageous, but I think it is overemphasized. Exactly how much can one accomplish by working during the already busy academic year? And how exactly does Hastings have “access to every court in the nation except for the US Supreme Court?” Summer jobs in the Bay Area, the jobs which most determine career prospects, are equally fair game for students from either school.

It is good that Hastings offers student housing, which is priced well under SF market rates. But most Hastings students do not live in The Tower. Many commute from other parts of the Bay Area. Don’t count on ZipCar for “super cheap” driving either, I already use it and the rates exceed $10/hour.

As far as jobs in San Francisco, including those during the summer and following graduation, the assertion that Hastings unquestionably beats Davis is just not true. The decision that admitted students face is between a large school with certain advantages (more course offerings, not having to get another apartment for summer jobs in SF), and a smaller school with others (more collegial, better quality of life). The schools are very similarly ranked and carry the same prestige. Visit them to determine their differences. Which one is better suited to help you succeed?
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: Astro on March 29, 2008, 07:38:20 PM

As for Hastings’ proximity to federal courts, this may be advantageous, but I think it is overemphasized. Exactly how much can one accomplish by working during the already busy academic year? And how exactly does Hastings have “access to every court in the nation except for the US Supreme Court?” Summer jobs in the Bay Area, the jobs which most determine career prospects, are equally fair game for students from either school.



Based on this paragraph, I'm not quite so sure you know how law school actually works.

As for the rest, meh.  One thing, though: Hastings does carry more prestige than Davis in the Bay Area. 
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: HastingsOneL on March 29, 2008, 07:49:09 PM
Which class did you observe?  It appears that your observation is not representative of the school as a whole and I would caution other students to visit and judge for themselves because in my experience the students are far from "gloomy."   If the class was large I bet it was a first year class, which means the section has about 80 students, not 100;  2L and 3L classes are much smaller.  As for the Socratic Method, it can be intimidating, but it serves a purpose which may seem "unnecessary" or "extreme" when observed by a 0L.

Speaking of classes: Hastings' size is a benefit because you have more classes from which to choose.  Our size is a benefit because it assists in developing a variety of strong on campus groups rather than just a handful. Additionally, along with the smaller student body you have fewer class options, fewer professors, and a limited alumni network.  Is Davis located next to any Federal courts? 

Hastings is in a big city and that comes with a big city lifestyle.  yes there are drug dealers and the homeless, but a polite "no thanks" usually does the trick to let them know you are not interested.  Access to every court in the nation except for the US Supreme and all the legal opportunities in the Bay Area is a huge trade off for having to say "no thanks" once in a while. 

Davis might be "definitely the better option" if you are concerted with driving your car to the library rather than walking, but other than that I'm not so sure the the "definitely better" conclusion is warranted.  Many students that want access to a car and live in the residence tower (The Tower) which lets them pay well under market rates for SF housing, and then sign up for a service like ZipCar so they can access a car for super cheap. 

Students should really investigate the school for themselves and think about the options available to them both before and after graduation.  If you know you want to work in Sacramento, go to Davis without a doubt.  If you know you want to work in SF, go to Hastings without a doubt.  If you are on the fence, look at the school that has more options in your field.  Don't have a field?  then go with the "better" school in how you weigh your school preferences.  Don't like a big city then go to Davis.  Think you might want to extern in a Federal Court then go to Hastings...   want to avoid cutthroat, gloomy students then you are fine at either school. 


Yes, I visited a 1L class. As for the Socratic Method, you’re right…it can seem intimidating for people not familiar with it, and it serves a purpose. Almost all law schools use it. The difference is that it is applied in different ways at different schools. This is why it is important to visit schools to pick up on this.

As for Hastings’ proximity to federal courts, this may be advantageous, but I think it is overemphasized. Exactly how much can one accomplish by working during the already busy academic year? And how exactly does Hastings have “access to every court in the nation except for the US Supreme Court?” Summer jobs in the Bay Area, the jobs which most determine career prospects, are equally fair game for students from either school.

It is good that Hastings offers student housing, which is priced well under SF market rates. But most Hastings students do not live in The Tower. Many commute from other parts of the Bay Area. Don’t count on ZipCar for “super cheap” driving either, I already use it and the rates exceed $10/hour.

As far as jobs in San Francisco, including those during the summer and following graduation, the assertion that Hastings unquestionably beats Davis is just not true. The decision that admitted students face is between a large school with certain advantages (more course offerings, not having to get another apartment for summer jobs in SF), and a smaller school with others (more collegial, better quality of life). The schools are very similarly ranked and carry the same prestige. Visit them to determine their differences. Which one is better suited to help you succeed?


The Socratic method is applied by professors, not schools.  It's just as incorrect to say that one professor's enthusiastic use is characteristic of the whole school as it is to say that one professor who did not use the socratic method during a tour is somehow characteristic of other professors at the school, or the school as a whole.

Courts: Hastings students have the ability to extern during the school year and it is nice to walk down the street and extern at federal district court, in the 9th Cir., or any level of the California courts.  At Davis you cannot walk from school to this many courts.  Additionally, as many students (specifically 1Ls) intern at courts during the summer you are already settled in the area and do not have to make housing arrangements for your internship. 

Housing: yeah, I think there are only 250 or so rooms in the tower so not everyone lives there.  Those that live off campus, like myself, commute in via public transit (Bus/MuniUndergrount/Bart).  For those curious, I pay about $2.50 each way on bart.  The ZipCar suggestion was for those that NEED a car, though the public transit in SF is sufficient to make owning a car unnecessary.

As for summer jobs, many 1Ls intern at courts (see above), while those at Hastings that choose firm jobs have a larger market to choose from (SF/Sac) assuming you don't want to move during the summer.  If you are able to move during the summer then either school will do well--though each has an edge in their respective metro area.  Don't forget to take the location of job interviews into account, however.  And to clarify, it is unquestionable that Hastings has an edge in SF, but that does not mean this edge is unquestionably disproportionate.  Hope that clarifies my position.

I'm not sure I buy the argument that King Hall has more collegial students than Hastings, we are a happy and helpful bunch.  Also, the better QOL reflects a preference for rural versus city life or some other value placement.  For me the QOL at Hastings beats Davis, for you it is the opposite.  I also don't buy the Davis and Hastings have an equal rep argument... Hastings is usually considered 'better.'

Still, you your advice is correct: 'Visit them to determine their differences. Which one is better suited to help you succeed?'
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: JamesGandolfini on March 30, 2008, 12:54:49 PM
Based on this paragraph, I'm not quite so sure you know how law school actually works.

As for the rest, meh.  One thing, though: Hastings does carry more prestige than Davis in the Bay Area. 



TheJ, just curious if you are a student at Hastings or a decided admitted student?
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: Astro on March 30, 2008, 02:35:52 PM
Based on this paragraph, I'm not quite so sure you know how law school actually works.

As for the rest, meh.  One thing, though: Hastings does carry more prestige than Davis in the Bay Area. 



TheJ, just curious if you are a student at Hastings or a decided admitted student?


Got in, but am currently elsewhere.
Title: USNEWS New Rankings Hastings 38 Davis 44
Post by: hastingsOK2008 on March 30, 2008, 04:28:14 PM
Hastings >>>Davis
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: dobson on March 30, 2008, 04:32:27 PM
McGeorge>hastings/davis/pepperdine/santa clara
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: credo on April 01, 2008, 08:29:07 PM
McGeorge>hastings/davis/pepperdine/santa clara

Nah brah nah
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: lol715 on April 30, 2008, 12:22:30 PM
This is an interesting thread, since I was accepted to Davis but waitlisted at Hastings. Since we all know how waitlists go, I'm preparing for entering the fall as a Davis 1L. Even if I do get off the Hastings waitlist, the impression I get reading this thread (as well reading other commentaries and assessments about each law school, talking with students, etc) is that Hastings has at best, a marginal advantage over Davis. The fact remains that both schools are mid tier 1 and still competing with Stanford, Boalt, UCLA and USC grads for top jobs in the CA legal market.

Also, in talking to colleagues currently working at top firms (I've been working for 5 years now), where you place in your class at Davis/Hastings is probably the biggest factor of whether or not you land a job at all. I have no doubt a strong alumni network may help you get a foot in the door, but I'd be very surprised if a bottom feeder from Hastings got a job over someone from Davis who's top 20% in their class.

And, to put things in perspective, almost all of us who enter law school do so in hopes of being employed by the time we graduate or soon thereafter. Given the current state of the economy and firm recruiting, maybe ALL of us are in the same boat, irrespective of which law school we go to.  :-\
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: credo on May 02, 2008, 02:28:08 PM
In other Hastings news the dreaded curve was voted out by the faculty last week.  Starting in Fall '08 we're using basically the same curve as UCLA, with no curve whatsoever in classes under 30 students.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: filet o' fish on May 02, 2008, 02:37:49 PM
In other Hastings news the dreaded curve was voted out by the faculty last week.  Starting in Fall '08 we're using basically the same curve as UCLA, with no curve whatsoever in classes under 30 students.

::flaunts Penn curves::
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: Astro on May 02, 2008, 04:39:07 PM
In other Hastings news the dreaded curve was voted out by the faculty last week.  Starting in Fall '08 we're using basically the same curve as UCLA, with no curve whatsoever in classes under 30 students.


Jesus Christ, dude.  That's huge.  Great for you, bad for me.   >:(

 :D
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: filet o' fish on May 02, 2008, 08:22:59 PM
In other Hastings news the dreaded curve was voted out by the faculty last week.  Starting in Fall '08 we're using basically the same curve as UCLA, with no curve whatsoever in classes under 30 students.


Jesus Christ, dude.  That's huge.  Great for you, bad for me.   >:(

 :D


That's what I told your dad last night.

Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: dbgirl on May 02, 2008, 11:50:12 PM
In other Hastings news the dreaded curve was voted out by the faculty last week.  Starting in Fall '08 we're using basically the same curve as UCLA, with no curve whatsoever in classes under 30 students.
;D
But that happens next semester right?
After I leave?  :'(
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: credo on May 04, 2008, 05:08:19 PM
In other Hastings news the dreaded curve was voted out by the faculty last week.  Starting in Fall '08 we're using basically the same curve as UCLA, with no curve whatsoever in classes under 30 students.
;D
But that happens next semester right?
After I leave?  :'(

 ;D
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: UVAnProud2L on May 05, 2008, 10:09:30 PM
both do well on the west coast but UC Hastings is better than UC Davis no matter what the rankings say in the future. the end.
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: hastingsOK2008 on May 17, 2008, 12:18:34 PM
RE: Changes in Graduation Honors and Grade Normalization Guidelines (Grading Curve)


I am happy to report two recent decisions made by the faculty that will increase recognition of the academic achievements of Hastings students. As explained below, the faculty has significantly expanded the academic honors to be granted upon graduation, effective with the Class of 2008, and the faculty also voted to change the grade normalization guidelines (or grading curve) to increase the grades of A- and above and to decrease the number of grades below B-, effective beginning the 2008-2009 academic year.
2. Revision of Grade Normalization Standards
Over the past school year, the Hastings Academic Standards Committee conducted a detailed study of how the Hastings grade normalization standards (or grading curve) compared with those at peer schools. The Committee concluded that the Hastings standards were more restrictive than most other schools and that most other schools did not apply their grading standards to classes with relatively small enrollment. The Committee also found that in recent years more than 40% of upper-division course grades at Hastings have deviated from the guidelines by giving more grades of A- or higher and by giving fewer grades below B- than called for by the Hastings normalization standards, based on waivers granted by the Academic Dean's Office. (Deviations are not allowed for first-year classes.)


For the above reasons, the Committee recommended and the faculty recently voted to adopt several changes to the College痴 grade normalization guidelines. Briefly summarized, the changes have the following effect:


Increase the number of A- and above grades that instructors must give from 10% - 20% (the current requirement) to 15% - 25%;


Decrease the number of grades below B- that instructors must give from 20% -35% (the current requirement) to 12% - 17%;


Abolish the normalization restrictions for all classes with fewer than 30 students, except to require that such classes shall have a range of grades;


Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: t... on May 17, 2008, 08:04:05 PM
Even more reason Hastings is amazing.

::kicks self::
Title: Re: Davis vs. Hastings
Post by: vsting on May 25, 2008, 11:25:37 AM
To get more information about how schools compare to each other in terms of student experience, it might be interesting to find some people who have transferred from one school to the other. Any takers?