School of Law
Los Angeles
University of California

4.6 of 5 stars Average Student Rating (of 28 Student Reviews)

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5.0 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Classes are largely Socratic in the first year. Thereafter, the classes vary by professor. The professors are very approachable and are committed to helping the students learn. Classes are graded on a curve.


Quality of Life

The facilities are excellent. You need to have a car if you want to get out of Westwood.


Level

2L


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5.0 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

The entire 1L class is split into sections of about 35 people each. Two 1L classes combine two sections, one class is with just your section, and Lawyering Skills (research and writing class) is about half of your section. The classes aren't strictly Socratic method, and my classes are competitive enough that I'm always making sure to keep up with everyone else, but the atmosphere here definitely isn't competitive between students. Everyone in my class is very supportive and helpful, and we are frequently in study groups.
I think our grading curve is just about in the middle (not too forgiving, but not too harsh either)
The academic advising here is fantastic. Tons of faculty to help out with tons of resources.


Quality of Life

Cost of living is similar to other big cities, but you can do it for cheap. For on campus housing right now, I'm paying $1100. I plan on paying $675 next year for housing that's a 1 minute drive south. Anything close to campus will be very expensive and probably surrounded by undergrads.
The UCLA housing is very nice and I highly recommend living in Weyburn Terrace your 1L year if you like to be more social.
We have a lot of fun here though, many people go out 2-3 times a week even during the more busy points in the semester.
I feel very safe walking around campus, even at night. Westwood (where UCLA is) is very isolated from the more run-down, dangerous places in LA. We're close to Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Santa Monica too.
The facilities here are nice. I thought they looked a little older than other private schools I visited, but once I got here it felt comfortable and I don't notice anymore.


Admissions

Admissions process was pretty straight forward, more simple application than others. Great scholarship opportunities here, I got funding based on merit, need, and a departmental scholarship that I didn't even know about when applying.


Level

1L


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4.8 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

more theoretical than practical. many teachers use socratic method. 1st year classes are larger than 2nd and 3rd year classes. many opportuntiies for externships.


Quality of Life

cost of living in la is expensive. westwood village is nice. safe neighborhood.


Admissions

application plus lsat, etc


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5.0 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

The quality of classes and seminars was exceptional. The teachers are brilliant yet accessible and supportive. Some used the Socratic method, but many didn't. The students are ambitious and competitive, but by and large welcoming and friendly. The coursework was challenging and workload rigorous, but not overwhelming. I loved every moment at the school.


Quality of Life

Great facility, fine, spacious library, beautiful campus, terrific location in Westwood, near the beach, lots of people live in Brentwood or Santa Monica. I lived in Ocean Park near the beach, a short bus rid from campus.


Admissions

The process is described in detail on the user-friendly web site.


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4.8 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Professorial style at UCLA is quite varied; it really depends on the particular professor you have. Some are hard core cold-callers; others wait for volunteers; I had one professor who just called on people in alphabetical order. Most of them prefer the Socratic method, but also take time to lecture on points that are particularly esoteric or complicated. Whatever their style, they are some of the friendliest, genuinely caring teachers I have ever had. They always encourage e-mails, office visits, and questions if you don't understand the material. And they also take the time to interact on a personal level; I've had many professors take groups of students out to lunch or dinner, and several have even hosted end-of-the-semester parties at their homes. There are even 1-unit courses called "Perspectives" classes that some professors teach; these courses are meant to be a low-stress (there are no papers or tests), small (10 students), fun (the topics range from the TV show "The Wire" to Comic Books) means of engaging professors in a more relaxed setting.
Student body wise, there is little competitiveness amongst UCLA students. The records office doesn't release your class rank (EVER), so while there is still a forced curve, not knowing your rank takes away a lot of the pressure. Students eagerly share notes from class with those who missed. Nobody hides books in the library; in fact, people actually mark off the section in the books their classmates will need that contains the answer to the problem.


Level

3L


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5.0 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

UCLA has one of the best clinical programs in the country. Students work on real Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit cases under the supervision of attorneys. For example, in my clinic, I wrote a brief and made an oral argument before the Ninth Circuit to bring back a man wrongfully deported from the United States. In several other clinics, students work on real contracts for small businesses, administrative cases to obtain government benefits for disadvantaged clients, or dispute resolutions for a variety of parties.
In the non-clinical classes, the professors are both important names in their field (e.g. Mark Grady) but also committed to teaching students how to think like lawyers without hiding the ball (there's little use of the Socratic method here). Because an unusual amount of professors have real-world experience, they include more relevant and cutting-edge issues. I remember, for example, a tenant who came to one of our clinics to learn what recourse he had to fix his slum housing. Having just studied landlord-tenant law in property, I was only too happy to tell my supervising attorney all about implied warranty of habitability and when the landlord’s responsibility for a substantial defect was triggered.


Quality of Life

I can't think of a better place to study than on the beaches of sunny Southern California. Campus housing was the nicest, most spacious apartment I've ever lived (much of it was built in the past few years, so it's wheel-chair accessible and clean). No crime concerns and affordable, hip communities within commutable distance (30 mins).


Admissions

UCLA requires a unique essay, LSAT, and general application form. In addition, the more exclusive pubic interest program (acceptance rate into the program is about 10%) requires an additional essay demonstrating commitment to public service, detailed resume of public service jobs/interships (including hours worked), and references.


Level

3L


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5.0 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Interactive, unintimidating.


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5.0 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Superb, engaged faculty, top to bottom.


Quality of Life

Extremely collegial atmosphere, which is fostered by faculty and staff in the midst of a robust extremely rigorous academic agenda


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4.3 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Excellent. Students and professors are all very supportive of each other, without an immense sense of competition. Class sizes are 25-80, depending on the subject. The grading is strict bell curve. I love having the opportunity to learn from some renowned constitutional law scholars.


Quality of Life

Excellent. Everyone loves being at such a beautiful campus in Los Angeles.


Admissions

Standard process. Application through LSAC and submitting the proper letters of recommendation, etc. LSAC makes it very easy.


Level

1L


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4.7 of 5 stars

2011 | VERIFIED STUDENT


Academics

Perhaps because of the beautiful setting, quality of life and high ranking for a young school, UCLA has attracted some of the best teachers in the world and best students as well. Two things I especially appreciated were the diversity of the student body, and the access to Los Angeles (e.g., " Hollywood") firms and companies.


Quality of Life

All of the facilities are above average, even top-notch, but the best thing about UCLAW is the camaraderie. I was amazed at the culture of friendliness and support. Although I graduated prior to 2000, I am still in in touch with a large number of my classmates. My husband went to a different law school, and he said that my experience was uniquely warm.


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