Be careful not to misuse the data provided by US News...I don't think you can look at those salary numbers and say that Boalt grads aren't "getting" good jobs, since the data doesn't reflect what they were offered, only what was accepted, and it would be a mistake to assume that everyone accepts they're highest paying job offer. The data does reflect that at least 25% of the Boalt grads that reported their salary for private practice is less than $70,000, and this is about all you can conclude (if that's even a conclusion) without more data.As an aside, does anyone else wonder how Harvard, Yale and Stanford can all report a median salary of $125,000 for private practice, yet also indicate that at least 75% of their graduates are earning this figure? (They each show a 25-75 percentile range of $125,000) Is it that US News won't report a median higher than $125,000? Has this been discussed on this board previously?
In fact, you can have my Stanford letter in exchange if the choice is too difficult.
cutthroat or not, you can still get 125K out of harvard if you finish in the bottom of your class. you can't say the same for Boalt.
How big are lifestyle issues for you? If they are so big that these issues would have a significant affect on your grades/ability to study then perhaps Boalt is the place for you. Barring that though I think Harvard is the choice and an obvious choice. Boalt's rep is good and better in CA than USNWR would suggest but it just doesn't match up to Harvard (in or out of CA). People at the firm I work looked at me funny when I told them if Boalt accepted me I might take them over Michigan. I think they'd have me examined if I told them I might take them over Harvard. The difference in prestige is just huge.For some reason Boalt had subpar (for them) bar passage rates last year. UCLA beat them. Don't know why this was the case. The faculty is still as good as ever. Maybe last year were a bunch of slackers. Anyway something worth enquiring about.I don't think Boalt grads are substantially different in terms of what they want than grads from other top schools or at least the grads from Boalt be they ACLU folks or big firm folks don't seem much different overall in terms of what they want then folks at other top schools. It's not like Boalt is a public service school, while Harvard is a coporate branch office. It's a mix like any other school. So if there are big discrepancies in salaries I'd be careful about attributing it to Boalt just being particularly service, small/med. firm oriented. Hard to discern much from differences of desire re the program between Harvard and Boalt. I mean if you went to Boalt would you go to Harvard for a semester or whatever? It's not like you'd get a Harvard diploma or anything. On the other hand if you went to Harvard a trip to CA would sound pretty nice I think and you could still say you went to Harvard.
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