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Can't decide between law schools...

westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
edited April 2018 in Law School Admissions 3788 karma

So far I got into UCI with 60k and UIUC (illinois urbana champaign) with 108k.

In light of UCI posting a biglaw/fed percentage of 41 percent in 2017, I'm not sure if Its worth getting into more debt in UCI. UCI beat ucla and is edging close to usc. 2017 was the first graduating class after UCI its accreditation from ABA. I am not sure how sustainable thrse numbers are since their class size was exceptionally small that year at 96 and admissions officers in UCI told me they planned to increase them to 170 for the incoming class of 2021. The out of state tuition in Illinois is the same as the in state as UCI. My parents will help me with housing and I have some money saved up.

In terms of career goals, I wouldnt mind a non negligble chance at biglaw. At the same time, I'm open to public interest. What would you guys choose? For context, I'm in the process of negotiating with UCI and should hear back later in april. I am a california resident but wouldnt mind practicing out of state

Law school decisionss
  1. Which law school?25 votes
    1. uiuc
      12.00%
    2. Uci
      88.00%

Comments

  • LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
    13286 karma

    West Coast Best Coast. UCI is doing great things already and is just getting its footing. I think it’s worth attending for sure!

  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma

    UCI has one of the highest rates of student satisfaction in the country. Trust me you won't regret the decision.

  • FixedDiceFixedDice Legacy Member
    edited April 2018 1804 karma

    NOW I see why you wrote that one post about the future prospects of UCI the other day...

    I'm not a big fan of uncertainty (as only about a billion of other prelaw and law students too are), but I personally would go with UCI on this one. UIUC has been around for a while now, but UCI has much more room to expand. Granted, UCI's decline too is a distinct possibility. But I have no reason to think that the momentum built and sustained by Prof. Chemerinsky would disappear anytime soon.

    @LSATcantwin Congrats on hitting 9000th karma! Couldn't help but notice.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    Midwest firms can supposedly be pretty insular so I would lean toward staying in California if I were you. While I hate the extra debt, it is better to be in debt with a legal job than possibly without one if you go to Illinois and don't get high enough grades for big law and can't as easilly hunt for jobs where you have ties in California and can't convince smaller firms in Illinois that you want to stay.

    No one can tell you for sure if UCI will keep moving up the ranks or return down to earth, but it is obviously a pretty good school.

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    Midwest firms can supposedly be pretty insular so I would lean toward staying in California if I were you. While I hate the extra debt, it is better to be in debt with a legal job than possibly without one if you go to Illinois and don't get high enough grades for big law and can't as easilly hunt for jobs where you have ties in California and can't convince smaller firms in Illinois that you want to stay.

    No one can tell you for sure if UCI will keep moving up the ranks or return down to earth, but it is obviously a pretty good school.

    You make valid points about the insularity of midwest law firms. It concerned that with so many good law schools like USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Stanford and possibly other schools gunning for law in socal that being unemployed from uci is also a possibility. I believe 79 percent of UCI's graduates had jd preferrred and jd required jobs whereas uiuc had close to 87 percent. The second biggest state that illinois graduates work is in California. For uiuc, I would have 39k in loans but for uci i would have 87k.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    Ah ha, I was just going to ask if you knew what your total cost would be for both. Honestly, that is a great price for either school. If I were you, I’d go UCI. Keep negotiating though and see if you can get more cash! Do you have acceptances at any other area schools? USC or UCLA? Even if you didn’t get money, an acceptance there might help persuade them to up your scholly. But I think if you would go to UIUC wanting to come back to CA, then you should go to UCI.

    My other concern is the beast of the CA bar. The LST report doesn’t show the most recent years for CA bar passage rates (probably too few people taking it) but in 2011-2012, it shows only mid to high 50s percent passing the CA bar from UIUC. UCI has been in the upper 70s to low 80s. If you want to end up in CA, I think you I should attend a CA school partially because they prepare you much better for practice in that state specifically. The CA bar is brutal and only the top of the T14 has students that can pass it at the same rate as the CA schools (Berkeley and UCLA have the highest rates at only the mid 80s).

    Loans are for sure intimidating, but you’ve got a really good outlook at those prices. There of course is a lot of competition in SoCal, but UCI has made a name for themselves. I think if you ultimately want to practice in CA, that is a great option.

    (Also, I applied to UIUC too and totally recognize that it is a solid school that also has good outcomes. No negativity from me on that! Both are solid choices.)

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