Law School Discussion

chicago or boalt? help!

SleepyGuyYawn

Re: chicago or boalt? help!
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2005, 02:04:40 PM »
Perhaps the question could be where you want to live for the next three years.  Both Chicago and Boalt are national enough to get you a great job without a problem after graduation, but there's a bit difference between Berkeley, CA and Chicago, IL.

I had a housemate while I was at Michigan (who's now at Cravath in NY) who accepted Michigan's offer of admission before he even heard from Boalt or Stanford.  It was b/c he'd gone to Stanford and he needed a change.

But perhaps you really like Northern California.  Anyhow, if I were you, I'd visit Chicago in the winter before signing on the dotted line (just kidding -- obviously you won't have time for that).

Forget rankings.  Yes, Chicago traditionally has a top five reputation.  Boalt perhaps has a top ten reputation.  And perhaps it would be a bit easier to become a prof if you go to Chicago.  But part of the reason that more professors come from top five schools is that the top five schools attract the most intelligent students...

Re: chicago or boalt? help!
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2005, 02:11:10 PM »
which would you choose and why?  no aid at chicago, in state + 8000 in grants at boalt.  probably want to work in california after LS but want to keep the option of academia open.  thoughts?

This is almost a full ride at Boalt right?  I'm sure you can get a summer associate position 2L summer and maybe both, so you could graduate just about debt free.  The grading system is sweet too.

No loans + No grades = go to Boalt!

Wanting to work in CA really seals the deal. 

Re: chicago or boalt? help!
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2005, 02:37:21 PM »
thanks for all the responses guys.  just to clear some stuff up, tuition for boalt is over 20k a year right now and expected to increase.  that said, the 8k a year would be very helpful.  also, i would very much like to go into academia; prior to law school i was looking into top 10 phd programs. however, it seems the attrition rate for actually becoming a professor is so bad that i'm trying to be realistic about my options.  one of the latter poster brought up a good point about the environment. i never visited chicago. would i be an idiot to go without visiting first?

risingMC

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Re: chicago or boalt? help!
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2005, 02:52:39 PM »
BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING:

Make a chart as to what school is actually going to cost you. Include the expected tuition increases for Boalt by roughly adding past increases to each year of tuition. So if tuition increased by $10k last year, expect to pay $10K more your 2L year, and $10K more on top of that for your 3L. Include the cost of living for all three years, as it is more expensive to live in the Berkeley area than it is to live in Chicago. Assume a non-paying job your first summer and a paying one for your second, taking into account how (and if your) grant or aid will decrease because of your employment. Some schools will decrease your aid if you work during the summer; keep that mind.

After you've done all that on an Excel worksheet, sit back and look at the numbers. If the difference is something crazy, like $100K, then my advice would be to look very carefully at Boalt. If it's around $30K, then go with your gut.

As to your question ... usually I'd say no, don't choose a law school primarily on the school's immediate location. People go to Yale even though it's in New Haven, and Columbia is in Harlem. However, the differences between Chicago and Berkeley is HUGE. And I'm not just talking about the immediate vicinity. The professor's styles and their respective reputations could not possibly be more different. Berkeley has no grades, has the liberal SF-area reputation, while Chicago is known for its difficulty and conservatism. Etc, etc. If you can't make it out there, I'd suggest doing alot of research on both and getting a "feel" for the schools. 

Re: chicago or boalt? help!
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2005, 03:00:42 PM »
thanks for all the responses guys.  just to clear some stuff up, tuition for boalt is over 20k a year right now and expected to increase.  that said, the 8k a year would be very helpful.  also, i would very much like to go into academia; prior to law school i was looking into top 10 phd programs. however, it seems the attrition rate for actually becoming a professor is so bad that i'm trying to be realistic about my options.  one of the latter poster brought up a good point about the environment. i never visited chicago. would i be an idiot to go without visiting first?

I wouldn't go to Chicago without visiting.  It is in a bad neighborhood on the south side and not on the 'L' (elevated train).  The city is great but you will have a commute on your hands if you want to live somewhere fun or just somewhere with a reasonable crime rate. 

Chicago is a United Hub so you can probably get cheap flights between there and SF, another United Hub. 

Is the competitiveness of the students at all important too you?  These schools are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in that regard. 

Re: chicago or boalt? help!
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2005, 10:28:30 PM »
thanks for all the responses guys.  just to clear some stuff up, tuition for boalt is over 20k a year right now and expected to increase.  that said, the 8k a year would be very helpful.  also, i would very much like to go into academia; prior to law school i was looking into top 10 phd programs. however, it seems the attrition rate for actually becoming a professor is so bad that i'm trying to be realistic about my options.  one of the latter poster brought up a good point about the environment. i never visited chicago. would i be an idiot to go without visiting first?

I wouldn't go to Chicago without visiting.  It is in a bad neighborhood on the south side and not on the 'L' (elevated train).  The city is great but you will have a commute on your hands if you want to live somewhere fun or just somewhere with a reasonable crime rate. 

Chicago is a United Hub so you can probably get cheap flights between there and SF, another United Hub. 

Is the competitiveness of the students at all important too you?  These schools are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in that regard. 

Wrong (about the crime).

Correct.

Wrong.

SleepyGuyYawn

Re: chicago or boalt? help!
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2005, 11:44:11 PM »
I think you'll find that any top 20 school is going to be fairly competitive.  But Chicago Law is pretty small and I think that could help.  Who knows -- like I said, you get that man high-achieving people in the same school and you're bound to have some tension.

United is going though such a transition that I don't think anybody knows where the hubs will be even in a year.  That said, O'Hare has more air traffic than any airport in America.  So you should be able to get a good flight.

Yes people go to Yale without visiting.  But Yale is Yale; neither Chicago nor Boalt is Yale.  And it would be understandable if you were deciding between, for instance, Iowa and Chicago and you accepted at Chicago without visiting.  It would be a no-brainer.

But Boalt vs. Chicago isn't a no-brainer.  If I were you, I'd visit.  Remember that it's freezing in the winter.  The area around the U of Chicago is a little sketchy -- that's true -- but the school is also quite beautiful. 

And to all those who say that three years doesn't matter, I think they're nuts.  It's still three years of your life; three years in your twenties no less.  Don't waste it while you're young.  Besides, even though both schools are national, perhaps there is some truth to the fact that Boalt does place better on the west coast and Chicago in the midwest -- especially mattering if you don't graduate in the top of your class (which does happen -- there was a survey of Harvard 1Ls a couple years ago and they found that 90% of first year law students expected to finish in the top 10% of their class -- can you say high achievers?).


Re: chicago or boalt? help!
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2005, 08:21:14 AM »
thanks for all the responses guys.  just to clear some stuff up, tuition for boalt is over 20k a year right now and expected to increase.  that said, the 8k a year would be very helpful.  also, i would very much like to go into academia; prior to law school i was looking into top 10 phd programs. however, it seems the attrition rate for actually becoming a professor is so bad that i'm trying to be realistic about my options.  one of the latter poster brought up a good point about the environment. i never visited chicago. would i be an idiot to go without visiting first?

I wouldn't go to Chicago without visiting.  It is in a bad neighborhood on the south side and not on the 'L' (elevated train).  The city is great but you will have a commute on your hands if you want to live somewhere fun or just somewhere with a reasonable crime rate. 

Chicago is a United Hub so you can probably get cheap flights between there and SF, another United Hub. 

Is the competitiveness of the students at all important too you?  These schools are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in that regard. 

Hyde Park isn't that bad. True, you don't have to stray too far from the school to find some sketchy neighborhoods, but the immediate area around the school isn't so terrible. It's pretty easy to get cheap flights on multiple airlines -- Southwest to Midway is usually a great deal if that's available where you're from -- and the same applies to SFO or Oakland.

Re: chicago or boalt? help!
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2005, 08:28:09 AM »
That said, O'Hare has more air traffic than any airport in America. 


Actually Atlanta has surpassed O'Hare the past few years -- it's now the busiest airport in America in terms of passenger counts. You're technically right though -- O'Hare has the most air traffic operations.

I came across the other day and thought I'd share because I thought it was really interesting...And I had no idea Atlanta was that busy.

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: chicago or boalt? help!
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2005, 08:29:06 AM »
which would you choose and why?  no aid at chicago, in state + 8000 in grants at boalt.  probably want to work in california after LS but want to keep the option of academia open.  thoughts?

This is almost a full ride at Boalt right?  I'm sure you can get a summer associate position 2L summer and maybe both, so you could graduate just about debt free.  The grading system is sweet too.

No loans + No grades = go to Boalt!

Wanting to work in CA really seals the deal. 


The 8000 grants is actually need-based, so he would lose it if he got a firm job.

The Regents are voting on another 2500 dollar increase in the professional degree fee.

This year's graduating class has seen a 100% tuition increase over the course of their academic careers at Boalt.

Basically, there's no telling how much we will be paying two years from now, thus if you're gonna pick Boalt over Chicago, you should have a little more than 8k making that decision for you.