Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Berkeley vs. Columbia  (Read 1440 times)

mike4488

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 146
    • View Profile
    • Email
Berkeley vs. Columbia
« on: July 01, 2008, 02:40:33 PM »
Hey guys last week I was accepted to Berkeley and am going to need to make a decision on that very soon.  I have also already been accepted to Georgetown, however, I think I would prefer to go to Berkeley.  I applied to various other schools but the only ones that I am considering over Berkeley are Harvard, Stanford, or Columbia.  Don't really think I have much of a chance at HS but do think have a pretty good chance at Columbia. 

My main question is does anybody think that in the long term there are really any distinct advantages to attending Columbia over Berkeley.  I am not really worried about short term job opportunities as I already have my dream job lined up in New York and Texas for next summer.

I've discussed this with several attoneys and they seem to say that it doesn't really matter what school you go to when you attend such a top school.  They pretty much said just go to whereever you will enjoy yourself the most.  Wondering if anybody else out there has had to make this decision and discussed it with somebody knowledgeable on the subject.

And if it makes any difference my interest is in corporate transactional work.

Thanks for the replies and any insight you could provide.
Boalt Hall '10

goaliechica

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6287
  • It's only forever - not long at all.
    • View Profile
Re: Berkeley vs. Columbia
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2008, 03:06:30 PM »
Wondering if anybody else out there has had to make this decision and discussed it with somebody knowledgeable on the subject.

I made this decision, and I chose Berkeley. I don't know about the "knowledgeable" part, but I did try to talk to a lot of people about the decision.

I would say there are probably some marginal placement differences at the fringes (tippy top people at CLS get more and better clerkships), but especially if you are already set up with a job you want in the short-term, I think the difference in opportunities is pretty marginal compared with the difference in terms of the experience you'll have at each school. They're on opposite ends of the country, they're in totally different cities, some self-selection going on in terms of personality of the student bodies, etc.

I know you said that you want to do international transactional work, and I can't tell you if Columbia might have a better program for that. It is in New York, and my vague sense is that more "international" stuff goes on in New York. However, I know that Berkeley kids (and kids from other West Coast schools) do very well applying to firms on the East Coast, because they're a relatively rarity. I have heard that the same is true of CLS students (and students from other East Coast schools) applying to the West Coast. At my old law firm, the partners and recruiters I talked to told me that of the schools I was considering, I should pick the one that I liked the most, because they considered them essentially equivalent in terms of hiring decisions. That was just one law firm, of course, but they didn't seem to think I should be agonizing about it.

Mostly I think if you know what you want, and particularly if what you want is a firm job, both schools will get you there. If I were you I would try to figure out where I would rather live and potentially start putting down roots and making connections for the next two years.

Good luck! I know you've been on the hot seat with this decision (and are probably hoping that someone besides me will turn up with some advice, since I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record).

::waits for Stan to offer polite counterpoint::
Quote from: Earthbound SNES
Get a sense of humor, Susan B. Anthony!
Quote from: dashrashi
I'm going to cut a female dog. With a knife with a brown handle, natch.
Quote from: Elephant Lee
Don't judge me. You've not had my life.

cwhelan

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
Re: Berkeley vs. Columbia
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2008, 03:25:58 PM »
Let me say that although you might be stressed with the choice, take an immense load of comfort in being accepted in these places and congratulate yourself. You are well-blessed and obviously have worked hard.
Also I don't know enough to be considered a reliable source, but my gut instinct is that Berkeley may be a better of choice regarding quality of life. It's warmer and not surrounded by other insanely good law schools in a law capital. But it's such a good school that you are not at all separated from opportunities.

Haeldaur

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Re: Berkeley vs. Columbia
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2008, 06:29:02 PM »
There are advantages to Colombia.  It's just a more elite school, better shot at clerkships, easier roads everywhere you go in the future.

dirty dee

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: Berkeley vs. Columbia
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2008, 06:31:07 PM »
The problem with berkeley is that it's surrounded by STANFORD, as opposed to Columbia, which has merely NYU with which to compete.
sls '11

goaliechica

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6287
  • It's only forever - not long at all.
    • View Profile
Re: Berkeley vs. Columbia
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2008, 06:45:49 PM »
There are advantages to Colombia.  It's just a more elite school, better shot at clerkships, easier roads everywhere you go in the future.

Yeah, but don't you worry about all the kidnapping?

I think you overstate the idea of easier roads everywhere you go in the future. As I said, the difference exists, but both schools do well and will continue to do well for you throughout your career.
Quote from: Earthbound SNES
Get a sense of humor, Susan B. Anthony!
Quote from: dashrashi
I'm going to cut a female dog. With a knife with a brown handle, natch.
Quote from: Elephant Lee
Don't judge me. You've not had my life.

dirty dee

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: Berkeley vs. Columbia
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2008, 06:59:17 PM »
Whenever you compare two schools, especially two schools of this caliber, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.  The differences between the two academically likely comes down to the individual student.  Going to either school won't guarantee you anything. As someone living in the bay area right now, I can assure you that you won't regret choosing Cal.  As someone heading off to Columbia... well, I'll say no more.
sls '11

mike4488

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 146
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Berkeley vs. Columbia
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2008, 02:44:57 PM »
Thinks for the input guys.  I think that I have decided to attend Berkeley come the fall.
Boalt Hall '10

StephanyDS

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 39
  • Renegades of Funk
    • AOL Instant Messenger - StephanyDS
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Berkeley vs. Columbia
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2008, 09:29:46 PM »
Whenever you compare two schools, especially two schools of this caliber, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.  The differences between the two academically likely comes down to the individual student.  Going to either school won't guarantee you anything. As someone living in the bay area right now, I can assure you that you won't regret choosing Cal.  As someone heading off to Columbia... well, I'll say no more.

Ladies of Columbia, you are about to get the hottest man meat...Mr. Dirty Dee himself is beeeyoootiful.  ;)

Man, there are some creepers out there...