So I go to HLS. I love it here, but I know I want to go back to California to work. I've been looking around for more info on the exchange program- third year HLS students can spend their third year at Boalt and vice versa. It would be great to get back to California a year early, but I was wondering if anyone on here has done the program and/or what the benefits are (other than the better weather). Thoughts? Thanks!
Hi. I'm a Boalt 3L and have a couple of friends who are at HLS doing the exchange this year. I think it's really pretty straightforward. The benefits are that you get to live in a different place, be around different students, take different classes from different professors, and generally just mix things up a bit. You can also take advantage of networking opportunities by (1) getting to know more law students from another school and another part of the country (future potentially useful connections - seriously, you'd be surprised); (2) getting to know any professors or practitioners in the area that you think you might want to work with (note that if this isn't something you were good about taking advantage of at your home school, you probably won't be at your new school, either, but I know some people who are really good about it). If you have no other connection to the West Coast it can also be something to point to to demonstrate that you have an interest in living out here, but it sounds like you already do have a connection. It is true that I believe they want you to offer some reason for doing it other than "Cambridge/Berkeley sounds kinda cool," but that can be as broad as wanting a diversity of educational experience or as specific as wanting to take that one class with that one professor. Or getting to meet Tom Cruise in Entertainment Law (or so I hear). The HLS kids here this year seem like they're having a good time, anyway.
It also doesn't seem like it's been a big deal for my friends to finish up their graduation requirements at another school. 3L is 3L.