Sunday, October 01, 2006

SoCal Law Schools

So, I was ran into someone last night who had come to the bar after taking her LSAT that morning. And being the nice guy that I am, with no ulterior motive whatsoever, I talked to her about Southern California law schools. Here is a brief overview for any prelaws out there reading this:

In SoCal, there are basically two top law schools: UCLA and USC.

UCLA is better in three main regards:
a) it's the highest ranked school in LA/SD
b) it's cheaper
c) it's in a better neighborhood

I will admit that USC has a better alumni network, but I'm not sure it's worth paying $11,000 more.

After that, there is Loyola, Pepperdine, and SD, all of which are solid law schools that will land you a decent law gig in SoCal. You're going to work a bit harder to get jobs, but they're respectable schools.

Then below them are various third and fourth tier schools that I would recommend against if at all possible, even if they are offering you fat scholarships. If those are your only options, I would focus on retaking and kicking butt on the LSAT. The decks are staked against you should you do wind up going to any one of them.

Below them are a scary bunch on non-accredited law schools (i.e. People's College of Law). DO NOT, UNDER ABSOLUTELY ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, GO TO THEM. These schools exist because California, unlike most other states, allow graduates from non-ABA accredited schools to sit for the bar. Few graduates from these schools pass the CA bar (Current LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a proud PCL graduate and has failed the CA bar four times), and those who pass basically wind up hanging up their own shingle. If these schools are your only options, study, study, and study some more and retake the LSAT. You will be much happier.


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