Why UCI? Class of 2016 Edition
Why UCI? Why not? The moment I first stepped foot on campus the difference was palatable. No other law school that I had looked at had the sense of community and optimism that marks the soul of UCI Law. After seven weeks of classes and getting to intimately know my 127 new best friends for the next three years, I still feel the glow of ASW, I’m still enjoying the trip, and I’m looking forward to what UCI throws at us next.
I chose UCI Law because the environment is nurturing and the people are genuinely nice.
UCI Law stood out to me most of all for its emphasis on creating a nurturing environment to promote, among other things, pro bono community service. Any school can encourage pro bono service with a pretty poster board and a website – but it is clear to me that pro bono is deeply rooted in the entire culture of this law school, from the Dean down. It is more than a line to espouse community values without cost – it is a vibrant, valuable, and much needed part of UCI Law’s contribution to the legal and overall community.
I chose UCI Law because the people here blew me away at ASW! From the faculty to the staff to my fellow students, everybody I’ve met associated with the school has been fantastic.
Like many others who joined UCI, I was absolutely thrilled by the prospect of a new school, of having the opportunity to help continue the amazing work other classes have done so far and expand upon it. I was drawn to the professors, who weren’t afraid to be funny during Admitted Students’ Weekend, who so obviously find a joy in teaching that as a former public school teacher I respected and looked up to. I was drawn to the school’s public interest focus. Most of all, during Admitted Students Weekend, I was told by two faculty members, who stayed with me long after everyone else had left the Crystal Cove gala, that the school “selects for niceness.” The more I live the more I realize I don’t have the time, the disposition, nor the patience for nastiness. Coming to a place with passionate, smart, and KIND people seemed like just the fix, and there, as I watched dolphins and finished up my mashed potato cocktail, overlooking the Pacific, I knew I was all in. I’ve never looked back.
I chose UCI Law because of the sense of community. I looked at the stats of the other schools I was accepted to and decided that they were all pretty even. When I visited UCI, students were very kind and assured me that the culture of the school was one of cooperation and helpfulness. I’m glad to say that this is the case for students and teachers alike.
–Jameson G. Frazier
I chose UCI Law because of it’s strong dedication to public interest work and the excellent reputation of the pro bono program. After attending the ASW’s of various other highly regarded schools, I was disappointed to find a severe lack of dedication to public interest careers and pro bono work. It was, for many of these institutions, an afterthought to corporate careers. I wanted to attend a school with like-minded students interested in promoting equal access to the law and committed to becoming what I like to call the “Citizen-Lawyer” – someone dedicated to increasing social good and not simply to increasing their pocketbook. UCI Law offered this, and I don’t regret my decision at all.
After I visited, I knew UCI was the law school for me. The professors seemed to be extremely helpful and to be concerned about their students’ success. Likewise, the students I met were extremely friendly and happy with their choice. This was something I had not seen at other law schools. Now that I am here, I know I made the right decision.
I chose UCI Law for a number of reasons, but the biggest was that it was a brand new school. I thought the fact that the school had no history, no tradition, and no alumni created a unique opportunity to really contribute to building and shaping the school’s culture and institutions. To the extent that these qualities might hurt my chances at a good career, I felt that the administrators, professors, and other stakeholders in the school would be that much more committed to their students’ success than in many other schools with established and secure reputations. Our success would be their success in a way it just wouldn’t be at another top-20 school. The school’s focus on public service and experiential learning only further demonstrated that from the outset the school’s vision was in line with what I desired and envisioned for myself from law school. In so many ways this was the perfect meeting of all the qualities that make up my ideal law school, and I was fortunate to have been applying to law school when I was. 5 years before or after and this might have been a different story.