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Author Topic: UVA and Boalt  (Read 833 times)

McVittie

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UVA and Boalt
« on: April 10, 2005, 08:20:59 PM »

I'm trying to decide between UVA and Boalt. I prefer the overall atmosphere at Boalt, and I like the idea of being in California (I am from CA, and want to work in the Bay Area), however I would actually prefer living in Charlottesville to living in the Berkeley area. I haven't lived in the city before, and I'm concerned that as a poor and busy law student, I would be dealing with the hassles without having the time or means to really enjoy the area. Basically, in Charlottesville I can live somewhere decent and close to campus. In Berkeley, I can't.

UVA will end up being cheaper, despite Boalt's scholarship match, due to cost of living (64k at UVA vs. about 30k at Boalt, should I get the match). I also liked UVA's building much better, and although I understand that Boalt's new dean is expected to make some much-needed changes, I'm wondering how quickly these changes will be taking place. Will students starting in the fall semester be there long enough to enjoy them?

Can anyone offer any info or insight on these schools, living in Berkeley, and placement in CA at Boalt versus UVA? At UVA, they told me that I would have no problem finding a good position in California. Can anyone back this up? Your response is appreciated!

McVittie

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Re: UVA and Boalt
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2005, 08:58:37 PM »
I scored a 176 and still haven't heard from Stanford (GPA is 3.81 - I guess a little low by their standards, and my app wasn't complete until sometime after the December LSAT). I'm moving on without them. So, any more Boalt/UVA comments please?

Lgirl

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Re: UVA and Boalt
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2005, 09:04:48 PM »
I'm going to Boalt but this isn't biased, as I'm sure UVA is lovely, but surely if you want to practice in California, Boalt is the obvious choice? Alumni relations, the law firms being so close and recruiting so heavily at Boalt... I'd go there without hesitating for that reason alone. But the marking system really does it for me, too - I think it creates a great atmosphere. But that part _is_ biased!

Of course, you're still in the running for Stanford, so I wish you luck with that. Congrats on those fantastic stats - very impressive! And tell us what you decide!

InVinoVeritas

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Re: UVA and Boalt
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2005, 09:09:04 PM »
Boalt places extremely well in CA.  it's arguably one of the top two schools in the state, if not the entire west coast region.  but because most Boalt grads stay in California to work, you'll be competion for jobs there may be keener.  on the other hand, while UVA sends a fair amount graduates to the west coast, proportionally fewer UVA grads want to end up there, so it may be easier to land a CA job out of UVA than Boalt.  that said, i think the difference between the schools (assuming comprable law school performance) is small.  choosing UVA over Boalt won't leave you at a major disadvantage in the hunt for Bay Area jobs.

i think, for you, the choice between the two schools comes down to fit.  it sounds like you'd like to have a change of pace for the next few years and that UVA very much offers what you're looking for in this respect. 

mattb23

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Re: UVA and Boalt
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2005, 09:29:21 PM »
I can't really comment as to Boalt--but I will say that I've really been won over by Virginia, to the point that I'm on the verge of sending in my deposit this week. Never really expected that to happen--a year ago, the thought of being admitted to Penn Law (I'm a Penn alum, still lots of great friends in Philly, as well as my little bro who I'm really tight with) and not going would've been inconceivable, as would have been the notion of turning down Columbia for UVA.

But they've impressed me that much. The facilities are truly fantastic. I'm not intimately familiar with every detail of Leiter and GTO's studies of elite firm placement, but UVA does tremendously well in both, coming in at 3rd and 5th respectively. To the extent that rankings are a consideration beyond rating consistently in the top 10 in USNWR, UVA does exceptionally well in virtually any type of ranking methodology one could point to. They also, I believe (and not certain of every detail here) have the most managing partners at large American law firms over a certain size (not positve where the cut-off is) than any law school in the country besides Harvard. One of their big themes in selling the school's national reputation is that, in regards to succesful alumni, "wherever you go, there we are." That really does seem to be the case based on the statistics.

In terms of the school's atmosphere, my gut sense is just that while lots of schools throw around ridiculous buzz words/phrases like "collegial" and "work hard, play hard," it's actually true at UVA.

As someone who's spent basically his entire life in NYC and Philly, and also as a Jew (though not an overly observant one), I think I had some pre-conceived concerns as to whether UVA would be a "good fit." or whether I'd find myself feeling outside the school's mainstream culture. But those concerns have been totally done away with. I just couldn't get over how truly happy the students at Virginia seemed to be, how loyal the school's alumni are (they have, I believe, the highest percentage of donating alumni of any law school in the country), and the truly national placement (both in terms of firms and geographic location). I've also been particularly impressed by UVA's Law and Business program, which seems designed for folks like me--those who have at least some interest in practicing corporate law, but don't have any business background to speak of. UVA also has outstanding international law and constitutional law offerings, which are of particular interest to me.

I don't consider myself much of a prestige whore--but I tend to be attracted to people/institutions that know they've got alot going for them and are secure about it and hence don't go overboard in flaunting it. I definitely get that vibe from UVA--they know that it's a great school and a great environment. They don't shy away from extolling its merits, but they also don't see the need to be keep getting in your face telling you how great they are (I've gotten really insecure vibes from a few schools, Duke most specifically, but also Penn to an extent where truly all their material seems like it was written primarily by the marketing department).

I didn't really know what to expect from Charlotsville, as I've never really lived in a college town--but it struck me as really a perfect setting in which to study law. Quality of life is huge with me, amd the thought of living in a pretty luxurious apartment with my fiance in VA for the same money that would buy me a closet in a northeastern city is awfully compelling. I should note, though, that I'm def. a fairly frat-oriented guy who enjoys the whole beer/softball thing. My sense of UVA is that it is probably somewhat more of a fraternity atmosphere than other schools--but also that those who really are into that culture are probably actually just a vocal minority, as opposed to the majority. And also note that here I use fraternity in the best sense of the word--there really doesn't seem to be any element of competition. The B+ median ensures that virtually anyone who puts in the effort will do well enough to open a whole lot it of doors--and I was constantly struck by all the students who emphasized how much they all pull for their section-mates.

I figure my whole life is gonna be spent in Northeastern cities--and I think there's something to say for spending my last three academic years in a different kind of environment, one that feels absolutely right for me. I know next to nothing about Boalt, so I can't really compare--and I certainly understand the desire to stay local (I have it also to an extent). But I don't think you can go wrong with Virginia. Best of luck with the decision.

hocuspocus

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Re: UVA and Boalt
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2005, 11:52:25 PM »

I'm trying to decide between UVA and Boalt.

UVA will end up being cheaper, despite Boalt's scholarship match, due to cost of living (64k at UVA vs. about 30k at Boalt, should I get the match).

I'm in the same exact boat -- deciding between Boalt and Virginia, and waiting for Boalt to match UVA's merit money.  I'm curious to see how exactly they match it -- whether they just match tuition, which considering my in-state CA status, won't take much, or if they will match overall educational cost, as they claim they will.

Regardless, it's a quite a dilemma.  Here are some random thoughts: 

-UVA is a much nicer setting.  The Bay Area is beautiful, perhaps even more so than Charlottesville, but when in Berkeley, it's not always easy to remember that. And Boalt's building is downright ugly while UVA may have the nicest physical plant of all the top law schools.
-I don't see the reputations differing significantly, although Boalt clearly has some fiscal issues to address.
-I don't know whether I want to wind up in DC or the Bay Area (I'm from CA, but live in DC).  Because of this, I give UVA an edge as UVA places better in the Bay Area than Boalt does in DC.
-Boalt is smaller and has more of a stress-free grading system, but somehow, UVA definitely has a more laid back reputation, and after visiting, I think the reputation is deserved.

Ultimately, it's difficult to find an area where Boalt is better than UVA, but it's fairly easy to find areas where UVA has a definite edge over Boalt.  That's why I'm leaning toward UVA.  Despite this, I feel very uncomfortable having to give an answer to Boalt by Friday.

McVittie

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Re: UVA and Boalt
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2005, 12:12:17 AM »

A decision by Friday?? Can't we just give them a tentative or undecided, pending more scholarship info? I am going to visit Boalt again at least one more time. I'll probably check out craigslist to get an idea of where I might be living. I was realizing that I have never heard anything anti-Boalt from anyone who actually attends there (same with UVA). Has anyone else? I went to the XOXO message board after the UVA dean mentioned it. A bit scary, really. It seems that the anti-Boalt comments are coming from abrasive racists who are bitter about being rejected by Boalt, rather than from anyone that has a real connection to the school. I hope they don't go to UVA!

Also, when I was at Boalt, I was told that the scholarship match was only for tuition, not overall cost of attendance. So, since in-state Boalt is about 10,000 less than out-of-state UVA, Boalt would take 10,000 per year off of the amount of your UVA scholarship.


I'm trying to decide between UVA and Boalt.

UVA will end up being cheaper, despite Boalt's scholarship match, due to cost of living (64k at UVA vs. about 30k at Boalt, should I get the match).

I'm in the same exact boat -- deciding between Boalt and Virginia, and waiting for Boalt to match UVA's merit money.  I'm curious to see how exactly they match it -- whether they just match tuition, which considering my in-state CA status, won't take much, or if they will match overall educational cost, as they claim they will.

Regardless, it's a quite a dilemma.  Here are some random thoughts: 

-UVA is a much nicer setting.  The Bay Area is beautiful, perhaps even more so than Charlottesville, but when in Berkeley, it's not always easy to remember that. And Boalt's building is downright ugly while UVA may have the nicest physical plant of all the top law schools.
-I don't see the reputations differing significantly, although Boalt clearly has some fiscal issues to address.
-I don't know whether I want to wind up in DC or the Bay Area (I'm from CA, but live in DC).  Because of this, I give UVA an edge as UVA places better in the Bay Area than Boalt does in DC.
-Boalt is smaller and has more of a stress-free grading system, but somehow, UVA definitely has a more laid back reputation, and after visiting, I think the reputation is deserved.

Ultimately, it's difficult to find an area where Boalt is better than UVA, but it's fairly easy to find areas where UVA has a definite edge over Boalt.  That's why I'm leaning toward UVA.  Despite this, I feel very uncomfortable having to give an answer to Boalt by Friday.

mattb23

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Re: UVA and Boalt
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2005, 12:18:17 AM »

A decision by Friday?? Can't we just give them a tentative or undecided, pending more scholarship info? I am going to visit Boalt again at least one more time. I'll probably check out craigslist to get an idea of where I might be living. I was realizing that I have never heard anything anti-Boalt from anyone who actually attends there (same with UVA). Has anyone else? I went to the XOXO message board after the UVA dean mentioned it. A bit scary, really. It seems that the anti-Boalt comments are coming from abrasive racists who are bitter about being rejected by Boalt, rather than from anyone that has a real connection to the school. I hope they don't go to UVA!

Also, when I was at Boalt, I was told that the scholarship match was only for tuition, not overall cost of attendance. So, since in-state Boalt is about 10,000 less than out-of-state UVA, Boalt would take 10,000 per year off of the amount of your UVA scholarship.


I'm trying to decide between UVA and Boalt.

UVA will end up being cheaper, despite Boalt's scholarship match, due to cost of living (64k at UVA vs. about 30k at Boalt, should I get the match).

I'm in the same exact boat -- deciding between Boalt and Virginia, and waiting for Boalt to match UVA's merit money.  I'm curious to see how exactly they match it -- whether they just match tuition, which considering my in-state CA status, won't take much, or if they will match overall educational cost, as they claim they will.

Regardless, it's a quite a dilemma.  Here are some random thoughts: 

-UVA is a much nicer setting.  The Bay Area is beautiful, perhaps even more so than Charlottesville, but when in Berkeley, it's not always easy to remember that. And Boalt's building is downright ugly while UVA may have the nicest physical plant of all the top law schools.
-I don't see the reputations differing significantly, although Boalt clearly has some fiscal issues to address.
-I don't know whether I want to wind up in DC or the Bay Area (I'm from CA, but live in DC).  Because of this, I give UVA an edge as UVA places better in the Bay Area than Boalt does in DC.
-Boalt is smaller and has more of a stress-free grading system, but somehow, UVA definitely has a more laid back reputation, and after visiting, I think the reputation is deserved.

Ultimately, it's difficult to find an area where Boalt is better than UVA, but it's fairly easy to find areas where UVA has a definite edge over Boalt.  That's why I'm leaning toward UVA.  Despite this, I feel very uncomfortable having to give an answer to Boalt by Friday.

I feel pretty confident that it's really only a few individual posters over at xoxo that sadly lend the site it's reputation for virulent racism. That being said, the stuff over there is offensive enough that I restrict my posting to this site. But I do feel confident that it's only a few folks, and given the type of people that seemed to predominate at UVA, it's not them. And I agree that many of the Boalt bashers are bitter rejected white kids. Good luck with the decision.

jimmyp

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Re: UVA and Boalt
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2005, 09:17:17 PM »
UVA will end up being cheaper, despite Boalt's scholarship match, due to cost of living (64k at UVA vs. about 30k at Boalt, should I get the match)

What are these numbers?