Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Could you give your current assessment of job prospects for CA law schools?

If you are an alum or currently working in SF, LA or San Die trijocker01/30/19
Really alarming numbers considering these are the results fo cacrimdefense01/30/19
Go here to see employment rate per total grads for latest sc blakesq01/31/19
Thanks, but most incoming JDS know how to look up 509 report trijocker01/31/19
Good news is that it appears that due to huge drop in enroll triplesix01/31/19
This thread was discussed before. It basically said if y ambulancechaser201301/31/19
That was my thoughts too, but I was looking for someone else trijocker01/31/19
If you're a current student of Western State College of Law lazlo02/08/19
I’ve said it before, if you’re not going to Stanford, Be trickydick02/09/19
Stanford - no worries whatsoever. You've got the golden tic dingbat02/09/19
unaccredited schools are like 1/2 to 1/3 tuition costs. plus whiteguyinchina02/09/19
Considering Loyola, Golden Gate, Chapman, Southwestern, and dingbat02/10/19
totally agree whiteguyinchina02/11/19
Yeah. In CA I think there's really three tiers of accreditat onehell02/13/19
You bring up a good point and distinction re CA law schools. trijocker02/13/19
No, I didn't google it, I just think of it as the quintessen onehell02/13/19
Great Candid assessment. It's interesting that you throw UC trijocker02/10/19
I have a lot of trouble rating Irvine. I didn't expect it t dingbat02/10/19
Would you take out 100k or more in loans for Davis or Irvine trijocker02/10/19
they're not locks, but they do get recruiters. Again, I h dingbat02/10/19
The answer is that you do not go to law school unless you wa wearyattorney02/10/19
there are plenty of other circumstances where it makes sense dingbat02/10/19
No there isn’t. I don’t know what “really, really, wearyattorney02/10/19
“You’re an argumentative ahole.” Get into negotiations dingbat02/11/19
UCLA law school is $46k/year just in tuition for in-state re blawprof02/11/19

trijocker (Jan 30, 2019 - 5:40 pm)

If you are an alum or currently working in SF, LA or San Diego all the better.
That's Stanford all the way down to Thomas Jefferson.
Seat Deposits are coming up for new admits, so this is the time for informed decision making.

The California schools are listed in this ATL article, along with current Bar pass rates.

https://abovethelaw.com/2018/12/a-breakdown-of-california-bar-exam-results-by-law-school-july-2018/

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cacrimdefense (Jan 30, 2019 - 8:58 pm)

Really alarming numbers considering these are the results for the revised/abbreviated/dumbed-down CA Bar Exam.

The scores are down, in part, for the same reasons standardized test scores have cratered in CA’s public schools.

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blakesq (Jan 31, 2019 - 10:28 am)

Go here to see employment rate per total grads for latest school year.

http://www.abarequireddisclosures.org/employmentoutcomes.aspx

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trijocker (Jan 31, 2019 - 10:48 am)

Thanks, but most incoming JDS know how to look up 509 reports.
What I was hoping for was more candid assessments, such as example "Well School X is noteworthy, but actually half their class cannot find work, or ends up doing PI defense, or working as baristas".
Perhaps this would be a better question for one of the less formal JDU forums.

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triplesix (Jan 31, 2019 - 11:03 am)

Good news is that it appears that due to huge drop in enrollment... About 65% can get a law job!!!!

That's 15% percent point Increase since 2013!

Most still unable to service their debt and live a middle class lyfstyle

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ambulancechaser2013 (Jan 31, 2019 - 12:14 pm)

This thread was discussed before.

It basically said if you did not go to Stanford or Berkeley you needed a full ride. I tend to agree unless you are really entrepreneurial and lucky.

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trijocker (Jan 31, 2019 - 12:42 pm)

That was my thoughts too, but I was looking for someone else to say it.
Basically, people have asked me whether they should take out 150 thousand or more
in loans for one of the other UCs or a private law school. My advice would be no, go to another
law school, even out of state, on a full ride, and then come back to CA and take the bar exam.
You will be better off when you are not yoked by loans, and can buy a home.

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lazlo (Feb 8, 2019 - 6:21 pm)

If you're a current student of Western State College of Law at Argosy University (lol), my guess is your prospects are... poor.

https://abovethelaw.com/2019/02/law-school-student-loans-delay-receivership/

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trickydick (Feb 9, 2019 - 2:46 pm)

I’ve said it before, if you’re not going to Stanford, Berkeley, USC, or UCLA, you’re facing an uphill battle.

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dingbat (Feb 9, 2019 - 3:59 pm)

Stanford - no worries whatsoever. You've got the golden ticket, just don't screw it up.

Berkeley - the vast majority should be fine, but a non-negligible number of students will need to struggle

USC/UCLA - if you do well, you should land on your feet. If you do so-so, you may need to hustle. A handful of careers will be still-born / non-starters

UC Irvine - Anyone paying attention will know early on who's going to be a success and whose career path will be a dumpster fire.

UC Hastings/Davis - A handful will be quite successful, the majority will need to hustle. But everyone's got a decent chance.

Pepperdine / San Diego / Loyola (maybe Santa Clara?) - there will be a handful of winners, and the school will be happy to tout them as the typical outcome. But really, success stories are few and far between. Roughly half the class will be able to make it as an attorney, but it'll be a struggle. The rest won't be so lucky.

Chapman / Southwestern / McGeorge / Thomas Jefferson / Golden Gate / Whittier, etc. - If you have a job lined up already, by all means, go ahead. Otherwise, you may as well spend your tuition dollars on lottery tickets.

Non-Accredited Law Schools - if you don't plan on going solo, don't go. Your degree is a scarlet letter, no one in their right mind will hire you knowing you went there.

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whiteguyinchina (Feb 9, 2019 - 11:00 pm)

unaccredited schools are like 1/2 to 1/3 tuition costs. plus classes are at night so you can keep working or get a legal slavership. start a solo career early on.

if you really have the lawyer dream it's probably a toss up between going to the accredited schools besides the top four, and just going to night school.

the fact that the bar passage is so low at unaccredited schools is that they accept anyone. you get stay at home moms, foreign students and not so scholastic is dumb.

but the bar exam and the education provided at law school have no relation. if you are smart you can pass the bar by self study. if you are dumb you will struggle.

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dingbat (Feb 10, 2019 - 11:36 am)

Considering Loyola, Golden Gate, Chapman, Southwestern, and Western State all have part-time / evening options, I'm gonna say you're wrong.

If you plan on going solo and/or have a guaranteed job when you graduate, the non-accredited schools are certainly an affordable option. And after a few years your resume will speak for itself, and your school won't matter as much. But otherwise? No chance.

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whiteguyinchina (Feb 11, 2019 - 12:53 am)

totally agree

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onehell (Feb 13, 2019 - 12:35 pm)

Yeah. In CA I think there's really three tiers of accreditation, not two. There's the ABA schools, then there's the state-accredited schools, and then there's the totally unaccredited places. Not sure what the distinction is between the state-accredited and unaccredited since both have to take the baby bar after 1L, but perhaps state-accreditation is sufficient to get federal loans. Regardless, the truly unaccredited ones can be really truly dirt cheap. Take a look at this place, for example:

http://www.peoplescollegeoflaw.edu/admissions/tuition/

Totally unaccredited, yes. But geez. $4000 per year. $12,000 total for a credential that will allow you to sit for the bar exam (assuming you first pass baby bar).

If you have literally no other plan other than to go solo, someplace like that might actually be worth considering. For example, imagine some cop who retires at 40, already has a nice pension and lots of connections within the department and knowledge of how law enforcement thinks. Such a person could easily pay for this credential in cash and make a nice side income as a solo criminal defense lawyer. And if it doesn't work out who cares, you're only out 12k.

Absolutely never consider these places if you want to get hired as someone's W-2 employee to practice law. But if you are 100% committed to going solo and 100% committed to staying in CA then who cares, you should do it as cheaply as possible and the unaccredited places are places you can literally pay out of pocket. Also, don't go if that's the only place you can get into, because then you will definitely fail the bar. Take the LSAT and make sure you can at least crack 150. Even though you don't need it for such a place, it will give good statistical information about the likelihood of being able to actually pass. And don't skimp on the bar review courses, the hundreds of thousands saved more than covers them and you don't want to be like most of your classmates, who are going to fail.

As an aside, it's interesting how much prices drop when an institution is not eligible for federal student loans. It's an interesting example of what happens when a school is forced to get by on what it TRULY needs, which is really just some rooms, desks and teachers. Makes you wonder how much doctor's prices would drop if there were no health insurance, or how much housing prices would drop if there were no 30 year mortgages.

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trijocker (Feb 13, 2019 - 1:00 pm)

You bring up a good point and distinction re CA law schools.
Did you happen to Google that law school?
It's only open at five pm and has graffiti and barred windows.

This link provides a list of ABA Accredited, as well as CA accredited law schools.
With the CA Accredited schools, you are locked into staying in the state of California.

Anyone thinking of attending a non ABA law school should do their due diligence first.

https://www.lawyeredu.org/aba-accredited-schools.html#california

https://lawstudents.findlaw.com/choosing-a-law-school/accredited-vs-unaccredited-law-schools-whats-the-difference.html

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onehell (Feb 13, 2019 - 1:04 pm)

No, I didn't google it, I just think of it as the quintessential unaccredited law school. People used to make fun of it all the time on the ancient Princeton review board which later became a weirder forum called autoadmit or xoxohth. I used to post there but eventually it devolved into this weird trolly nonsense that had nothing to do with law. Then I found something called jdjive which eventually became this place.

Anyway, PCL do have some pretty ludicrously bad facilities, and some pretty funny pictures used to get posted a lot on those old boards, so it came to mind in this thread.

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trijocker (Feb 10, 2019 - 8:42 am)

Great Candid assessment.
It's interesting that you throw UC Irvine/Davis/Hastings all together.
Irvine was ranked 21, but that was before Erwin left, yet students still clamor to get in Irvine.
Hastings was thought of highly when I was in school, but now it is ranked in the sixties, and it doesn't get much appreciation on law school admissions reddit.
What about attending schools out of state, such as ASU, and trying to get back in CA over the border?

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dingbat (Feb 10, 2019 - 11:54 am)

I have a lot of trouble rating Irvine. I didn't expect it to do as well as it did, and now the question is how long it'll maintain. Given a choice between it and UCLA/USC, I'd take UCLA/USC any day. But if it's between Irvine and Hastings/Davis/Pepperdine/Loyola, may as well take a shot.

*note: my comments have been indiscriminate about geography. But outside of Stanford/Berkeley/USC/UCLA, location makes a big difference. If you want to live and work in L.A., Loyola and Pepperdine will be better than Hastings, whereas San Diego is a better choice if you want to live and work there. Likewise, if you want to go to Sacramento, Davis is a more logical option than Irvine, and Hastings is better for the Bay Area

As for attending schools out of state, if they're called Harvard or Yale, absolutely. Columbia, NYU and Chicago are also fine. Outside of that, well, the T14 certainly has recruiters from top California firms regularly picking up talent, but they're not better options than California's power four.

To a lesser degree, if you're top of your class at Vanderbilt, Minnesota, Boston, GW, Notre Dame, Fordham, and Arizona, there are recruiters who may give you a chance, but it's not a likely outcome and you shouldn't go there with the intent of ending up in California.
*Arizona might be the exception there, due to proximity, but I certainly wouldn't pick Arizona over Davis or Hastings.

Beyond that, anyone with hustle can make it work. You certainly won't be at a disadvantage for picking Florida Coastal over Golden Gate, but why make your life harder than it has to be?

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trijocker (Feb 10, 2019 - 1:01 pm)

Would you take out 100k or more in loans for Davis or Irvine?
Just to get the UC law school name on your resume.
That was what I was asked by someone who had grades good enough to get full rides at Loyola & USD.

I agree with your assessment of the out of state schools. Outside of HYNYU or Chicago, I'm not even sure whether Vandy or Boston are locks to get back to CA. Of course you could just drive back and take the CA bar, and try shooting your resume off via Indeed, without law school recruitment.

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dingbat (Feb 10, 2019 - 5:46 pm)

they're not locks, but they do get recruiters.

Again, I have a hard time judging Irvine, but, there is no way I'd justify $100k in loans for Davis. I wouldn't say that's justified for any school outside the T14, and even within it's questionable.

For example, in New York, you'd definitely have a better chance at getting a good outcome at Fordham than at Cardozo, but if you can get into Fordham, you can get a scholarship at Cardozo, and considering how few people get biglaw* to begin with, the increased odds aren't worth a big difference in price**. In D.C. the same can be said for G.W. vs American, in Philly the same can be said about Temple vs Drexel. etc.

*legitimately, biglaw is the only way to quickly be able to pay off a large increase in debt. If you're not shooting for biglaw or PSLF, there's no way no how you should take on significant debt. And PSLF should stand for "Please Stop Laughing, F-cker"
Also, not getting into whether someone can survive in biglaw, which is a whole different conversation

**If the price difference is much smaller, such as when you're debating between different scholarship offers, yeah, the better school might be worth a few thousand dollars more, but not tens of thousands

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wearyattorney (Feb 10, 2019 - 1:40 pm)

The answer is that you do not go to law school unless you want to be a law professor and/or are independently wealthy and want the prestige.

It isn’t worth it under any circumstances.

If you get into Stanford law, then you can get into Stanford business school. The odds of short term and long term success are the same from both, and the work hours are going to be brutal no matter which path you take, but the money will be better if you go the MBA route and it works out.

The same analysis will apply the further down the rankings you go: there are better options where the money is either much more and/or the quality of life is better.

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dingbat (Feb 10, 2019 - 5:53 pm)

there are plenty of other circumstances where it makes sense:

- you really really want to be a lawyer*
and don't mind sacrificing every other aspect of your life*

- you already have a guaranteed job lined up
more common than many people think

- you're an argumentative a**hole


*usually a purpose-driven do-gooder type, of many different varieties

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wearyattorney (Feb 10, 2019 - 8:35 pm)

No there isn’t.

I don’t know what “really, really, really want to be a lawyer means.” It will almost always make more sense to do something else instead. I know a guy who was a violent crime victim and he thought he wanted to be prosecutor because of it, but in reality, cop would have been better on every single level.

“You have a guaranteed job lined up.” Who cares, law is law. If you had a guaranteed job lined up at MCDonalds doesn’t mean you should take it. If you mean your family owns a law office or another massive business and you are doing law for prestige, then you fit in the first category I mentioned, ie independelty wealthy.

“You’re an argumentative ahole.” Get into negotiations on the business side of finance. More money.

“You are a good doer type.” Become a social worker.

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dingbat (Feb 11, 2019 - 6:10 pm)

“You’re an argumentative ahole.” Get into negotiations on the business side of finance. More money.

You don’t know much about business, do you?

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blawprof (Feb 11, 2019 - 10:26 pm)

UCLA law school is $46k/year just in tuition for in-state residents. Factor in the high COL in California and you can graduate with some serious debt. Passing the bar exam is another challenge because the CA bar is by far the hardest in the nation based on passage rates.
Passage is no lock-even for the UC schools. Check out the passage rates from July 2018.

UC Irvine: 69 percent
UC Hastings: 59.6 percent

Even the super smart ones from Stanford are only at 91 percent (or 9 percent failing). What would it feel like to be a Stanford law grad and fail the bar exam? It's probably the first time in your life you ever felt like a failure academically.

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