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GUEST BLOG by Dani Gies,
1L at UCLA School of Law

NARROWING YOUR LIS[Z]T, PART II (Hungarian Rhapsody No.2)

This is a continuation of my last post, trying to help 0Ls decide which law school to attend!

  1. Programs: I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but if you know what type of law you want to go in to, look for law schools with that program. I’m not talking about one sentence on their webpage that says they’re committed to Public Interest. I’m talking about a demonstrated commitment to the area of the law you want to practice. Ask the students you talked to because you read my last post what the school’s actual commitment is. Follow the law school on Twitter. I only applied to four schools and after I nixed one of them because of location (i.e., not in California), I started comparing their Twitter feeds. While all three schools purported to place a heavy emphasis on Public Interest Law, one of them never tweeted about it, only tweeting big law and intellectual property-related material. That told me a lot about the programming they were hosting and what they valued when showing their wares.
  2. After Graduation: I want to stay in Los Angeles and practice law here when I graduate. As such, every connection I make is a potential employer or resource, which makes the value of my networking feel much greater. It also makes learning the California Civil Code in some classes way more useful. However, I have some classmates who came to UCLA knowing that they are going to return to another state. For most of them, it was for the programs UCLA offers that aren’t available at the schools in the state where they want to practice. I don’t have advice on which one is better, except to suggest that you take it into account when making your decision.
  3. Other Priorities: Do you want to get a dual degree? What about taking other classes offered outside of the law school? Do you want to leave the door open to moving later, and thus care more about going to a “national” school as opposed to one that’s known regionally? Are there particular faculty members you want to work with? Do you want to study abroad? The more nuanced the item on your list, harder you may need to look for it. Law schools can differ greatly in their offerings, so don’t just assume that every school will have what you want.

If you have any more questions, please tweet me @The1Llife! I would be happy to talk to you about your decision. Congratulations, and good luck!

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