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Author Topic: Berkeley 1L on Fall Break taking questions  (Read 2344 times)

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Re: Berkeley 1L on Fall Break taking questions
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2009, 03:07:00 AM »
Just finished my first semester. Anyone?

adriana

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Re: Berkeley 1L on Fall Break taking questions
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2009, 02:56:44 PM »
I have questions!!

I know I want to practice law in SF. I am in at Berkeley, but also some other great T10s. Do you think in terms of career placement Berkeley offers a big advantage if I want to stay in the Bay Area? Or would I have similar options if I went to say, NYU?

Also, best/worst thing about Boalt?

thanks!!

goaliechica

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Re: Berkeley 1L on Fall Break taking questions
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2009, 05:19:56 PM »
I have questions!!

I know I want to practice law in SF. I am in at Berkeley, but also some other great T10s. Do you think in terms of career placement Berkeley offers a big advantage if I want to stay in the Bay Area? Or would I have similar options if I went to say, NYU?

Also, best/worst thing about Boalt?

thanks!!

Congrats! It sounds like you have a lot of great options  :)

Boalt's location can cut both ways if you want to work in the Bay Area. Because the majority of Boalt students tend to want to stay in the Bay Area, you face more direct competition from your classmates, while if you go to a school like NYU fewer people are likely to be trying for a job in California, so you may have an easier time. However, there is something to be said for building contacts in the area where you eventually want to work, particularly by doing externships or volunteer work with government or public interest organizations, which many people at Boalt do.

I am confident that you can get a job working in SF from both schools, with maybe a slight advantage to NYU for firm jobs (because of the diminished competition from classmates) and a slight advantage to Boalt for public interest work (because of the ability to build connections). Oh, but if you don't have any other personal connections to SF, you may be better off at Boalt, as some firms like to see ties to an area so they know you're committed to it (and anecdotally, attending Boalt seems to be enough evidence to convince firms that you're interested in sticking around here). From your confidence in saying you know you want to work in SF, I am assuming you do have some connection to the Bay Area. If I were you it would depend on whether or not you'd like to live in New York or somewhere else for a few years before you come back here (there's a lot to be said for that!) or if you want to get started putting down roots in the area where you eventually want to live.

Best thing about Boalt: I know it's cheesy and generic, but the students and the professors. I'm sure everyone says that about their school, but I really love my classmates and pretty much all of the professors I've had so far.

Worst thing about Boalt: The building (and now the construction)! By a mile. It's unfortunate but true.
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adriana

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Re: Berkeley 1L on Fall Break taking questions
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2009, 06:11:36 PM »
I have questions!!

I know I want to practice law in SF. I am in at Berkeley, but also some other great T10s. Do you think in terms of career placement Berkeley offers a big advantage if I want to stay in the Bay Area? Or would I have similar options if I went to say, NYU?

Also, best/worst thing about Boalt?

thanks!!

Congrats! It sounds like you have a lot of great options  :)

Boalt's location can cut both ways if you want to work in the Bay Area. Because the majority of Boalt students tend to want to stay in the Bay Area, you face more direct competition from your classmates, while if you go to a school like NYU fewer people are likely to be trying for a job in California, so you may have an easier time. However, there is something to be said for building contacts in the area where you eventually want to work, particularly by doing externships or volunteer work with government or public interest organizations, which many people at Boalt do.

I am confident that you can get a job working in SF from both schools, with maybe a slight advantage to NYU for firm jobs (because of the diminished competition from classmates) and a slight advantage to Boalt for public interest work (because of the ability to build connections). Oh, but if you don't have any other personal connections to SF, you may be better off at Boalt, as some firms like to see ties to an area so they know you're committed to it (and anecdotally, attending Boalt seems to be enough evidence to convince firms that you're interested in sticking around here). From your confidence in saying you know you want to work in SF, I am assuming you do have some connection to the Bay Area. If I were you it would depend on whether or not you'd like to live in New York or somewhere else for a few years before you come back here (there's a lot to be said for that!) or if you want to get started putting down roots in the area where you eventually want to live.

Best thing about Boalt: I know it's cheesy and generic, but the students and the professors. I'm sure everyone says that about their school, but I really love my classmates and pretty much all of the professors I've had so far.

Worst thing about Boalt: The building (and now the construction)! By a mile. It's unfortunate but true.


thanks! that's really helpful. I hadn't really thought about the competition factor. I do have connections to SF already (went undergrad there plus family in the area)so that shouldn't be a huge issue. But like you suggested, I don't know if it's best to live somewhere else for a few years or just get to business and get back to the Bay!

Are you referring to construction on the law building or on campus in general? Also, do most law students live on/near campus or are there any who live in SF?

Thanks again!

goaliechica

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Re: Berkeley 1L on Fall Break taking questions
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2009, 08:09:11 PM »

Are you referring to construction on the law building or on campus in general? Also, do most law students live on/near campus or are there any who live in SF?


Alas, I am referring to construction on the law building. It's for the greater good, and it means the building will be nicer for future generations of students, but at the moment there is a gigantic hole in the ground where our nice grassy courtyard used to be. So it's kind of a bummer. I hope it doesn't scare off all the admits! You get used to it and even start to have some perverse affection for the awful building after a while (at least I do), but it's definitely been annoying. The rest of campus is quite beautiful (although also marred by a few unfortunate architectural choices), but the law school is up in one corner of campus, so you don't have much reason to walk through main campus unless you live in the North Side of Berkeley.

No one actually lives on campus, as far as I can tell, but some people live quite nearby in some of the designated grad housing (which I don't particularly recommend, as I've heard it's overpriced for what it is, but it's certainly convenient). I don't think there's any one neighborhood where most students live - some live near downtown Berkeley, some live in North Berkeley, some live in different parts of Oakland, like Rockridge, and a good number of students live in San Francisco, especially by the time 2L and 3L roll around. I would definitely recommend living near the Bart if you are in SF, but some people drive (and then struggle with parking once they get over here). There is a nice variety of options, but people are still close enough to one another to be pretty sociable.
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legallyblonde?

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Re: Berkeley 1L on Fall Break taking questions
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2009, 05:44:07 PM »
i have a question! I got a full scholarship to UCLA, and I'm hoping to get accepted to Berkeley with my numbers. I want to work in public interest, so the $$ is a really good benefit. But, of course, Berkeley is an amazing school and more highly ranked than UCLA. I'm from nor-cal and went to a UC for undergrad, so I'd love either school.

Do you have any advice about Boalt vs. UCLA w/ $$? Do you think for public interest work the ratings really make a huge difference? Do you think Berkeley is a way better school overall?

Thanks so much!

goaliechica

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Re: Berkeley 1L on Fall Break taking questions
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2009, 06:14:18 PM »
i have a question! I got a full scholarship to UCLA, and I'm hoping to get accepted to Berkeley with my numbers. I want to work in public interest, so the $$ is a really good benefit. But, of course, Berkeley is an amazing school and more highly ranked than UCLA. I'm from nor-cal and went to a UC for undergrad, so I'd love either school.

Do you have any advice about Boalt vs. UCLA w/ $$? Do you think for public interest work the ratings really make a huge difference? Do you think Berkeley is a way better school overall?

Thanks so much!

Congrats! That's a fantastic scholarship, and a nice decision to have to make. My first comment would be that if you got a full ride from UCLA you're quite likely to get a decent amount of money other places, so I would definitely try to work that angle if you're interested. However, if you're hell-bent on staying in California for law school, I know Berkeley can be pretty stingy with the merit aid (I thought UCLA was, too, so double congrats on the big scholly), so it's possible you'll be looking at a full ride to UCLA v. no money at Berkeley. Try to get them to match, but know that they often do not match scholarships even from more highly-ranked schools.

I don't know all that much about UCLA's placement except for the fact that they are extremely well respected in California and I would suspect nationally as well. Berkeley will have a bit more national reach than UCLA, but, honestly, I doubt the difference is worth a full tuition scholarship, depending on how much of an issue debt is for you. My brief spiel about public interest (from what I've heard thus far, anyway - I'm still a 2L) is that rankings matter for certain types of public interest jobs, like places that do high-level impact litigation, or that generally take Skadden or Equal Justice Works fellows, while if you want to do more direct services work your clinical skills, a demonstrated interest, and connections to the work will count for more. However, I don't think the difference between UCLA and Boalt is all that significant in those areas - there are definitely Skadden fellows from UCLA every year. You can create great public interest opportunities for yourself at either school. I will note that Berkeley has a really excellent LRAP program for those going into public interest, so the debt might not be as bad as you think. I know a bird in the hand is hard to pass up, though (and I don't know anything about how UCLA's LRAP stacks up).

If you'd love either school, I suppose that makes your decision harder, but they are very different places to live and go to school. It's a close enough call that you might just want to visit both and see where there's a better fit. Good luck! You can't really make a bad decision here  :)
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legallyblonde?

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Re: Berkeley 1L on Fall Break taking questions
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2009, 06:30:15 PM »
thank you so much for your really helpful reply! yeah i assumed no scholarship from boalt. my friend with similar numbers is picking berkeley over the same ucla full tuition offer.

you're right that money up-front sounds a lot better. I'm a little worried about LRAPs because i've heard they sometimes trap people in lower paying jobs to continue to qualify for the program. i'm really not sure, but good to hear berkeley has a great one. and there are so many public interest opportunities in the bay area too, that it is really a great choice. and probably a better place to live than LA (for me).

oh, and how can you turn down no official grades?  ;)

thanks again