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Author Topic: Boalt student taking questions about Boalt, law school in general, work, etc.  (Read 95073 times)

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Hey Ruskie - Are there many Russians in the Berkeley/San Fran area?  Where do you hang out (if there is sufficient time to unwind)?  Do you think there is ANY possibility for a USF student to transfer into Boalt?  Either way, are legal job openings in the norcal area bountiful enough so that USF or Santa Clara grads will have little trouble finding work?  (The employment stats of the two schools seem artificially high for T3s).     


I don't think there are many Russians in the East Bay, but there are plenty in SF.  I go at least twice a month down to Geary Ave, where there are tons of Russian stores, bakeries, cafes, etc.  It's the most Russian stuff I have ever seen in one place in the US.

I try to hang out with friends outside of law school, but I think that's an approach that works for me and may not work for other people.  I do it because I have a tendency to stress law school even when I am in a purely social setting with law students, and I prefer to unwind with people who do other things and have other topics of conversation.  I attend Bar Reviews and the formals occasionally, but for me it's necessary to get out of my Boalt circle occasionally.  

SF is a VERY tough market right now.  In fact, this year's OCI results seem to indicate the people had an easier time getting jobs in NYC, DC, Chicago and LA than they did in SF.  If you want to work in SF I would advise you NOT to attend USF, Golden Gate, Hastings, etc.  These people line up behind Stanford and Boalt grads for jobs in the Bay Area, and these jobs are not easy to land.  I have a buddy at Hastings who is top of his class and on Law Review and he was *lucky* to get a job in a small firm in Sacramento...as a 2L!!!  His case is not unusual.  From what I understand, most Hastings grads actually get jobs after graduation rather than through their second summer offers.  I am not sure what, besides the ranking of the school and the relatively tough job market in the Bay Area accounts for this, but do a search for Hastings on the resume section of craigslist.com and you will see what I am talking about.  Yes, tehre are brand new layers who are Hastings grads trying to find jobs through craiglist!

Transferring is an option.  I can't tell you about specific numbers or probabilities, but I know we accepted about 30 transfer students this year and more than one of them was from USF.  It's possible, but I think it's dangerous to attend a school with the belief that you will definitely be at the top of the class.  Hastings and USF kids may have a hard time getting jobs, but they work at least twice as hard as we do and no matter what your LSAT score is, don't expect those top grades to come easily.  Those kids know more law than we do.

Did you intentionally leave Santa Clara out of the schools NOT to attend or was this an accidental ommission?

Accidental.  I am new to the area so I always have a hard time remembering all the area schools. 
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LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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WOW!  Thanks for the advice, USF and Santa Clara have just been relegated WAYYYYYYY down my list.    

I think it's important not to trust anyone's anecdotal evidence (including my own).  I think that these schools are great options for certain students, but you do have to be aware of the realities of the market.  Before you relegate those schools waaaaaaaaaaaaay down your list, you should request their employment stats and compare them.  Just be sure to ask the right questions.  Ask WHERE students are getting hired rather than whether they are being hired.  This is especially important if you are interested in BIGLAW. 
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LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Can you comment at all on the student role/weight on the admission committee?

I cannot. I know there are students on the committee, but I don't know if their votes are of equal weight with the faculty. 
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SFnative

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I know lots of folks are applying to Boalt and there seem to be a few people here who are spreading a lot of misinformation. I am here to answer what questions I can, as honestly as I can.  They don't have to be about Boalt either.  Work, school, journals, Bay Area, social life, etc. are all fair game.

Thanks for answering questions!!! My questions are: 1. how difficult is it for Boalt grads to get clerkships? and 2. how hard is it actually to find housing around Berkeley? Right now, I am leaning heavily towards Boalt though it will be weird to be back home (as you can guess from my handle that I am from the city) for three years after being away for so long.

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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I know lots of folks are applying to Boalt and there seem to be a few people here who are spreading a lot of misinformation. I am here to answer what questions I can, as honestly as I can.  They don't have to be about Boalt either.  Work, school, journals, Bay Area, social life, etc. are all fair game.

Thanks for answering questions!!! My questions are: 1. how difficult is it for Boalt grads to get clerkships? and 2. how hard is it actually to find housing around Berkeley? Right now, I am leaning heavily towards Boalt though it will be weird to be back home (as you can guess from my handle that I am from the city) for three years after being away for so long.

I really can't say much about the first question.  I know people get them, but I don't know with whom and how often.  I am not interested in clerking after graduation, so it's not something I've looked into at all.  Sorry that I couldn't help.

Regarding your second question, I think that finding adequate housing *is* possible, but you should start looking early.  I found my place in June before I started 1L and people are always commenting on how good of a deal I got.  The people that came late are paying more than I am for places that are much shadier and much smaller.  I would probably caution you against staying in the city because the commute will be long and miserable, but if you absolutely hate Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, Emeryville and Oakland have some nice places.  Of course, if you're really lucky you might something reasonable in the Hills.  Register with Cal Rentals and scan Craigslist and you should be fine.
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Hansel

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When you were choosing a school, which other schools were you considering besides Boalt?  What were they key points that made you choose Boalt?

Also, do you think state budget cuts have/will hurt the school in any significant way?

pinkybella

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One more question: Do you mean it is hard for Santa Clara, USF, GG, McGeorge, Hastings grads to get jobs in north CA in BIG LAW?

I'm 0% interested in big law so I'm wondering if your advice would apply to me at all.

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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When you were choosing a school, which other schools were you considering besides Boalt?  What were they key points that made you choose Boalt?

Also, do you think state budget cuts have/will hurt the school in any significant way?

It came down to Boalt and Stetson. I had a full ride at Stetson and I thought it was very likely that I would want to return home to Florida to practice, but I was not certain.  The uncertainty and the prestige made me lean towards Boalt.  Now that I know that I want to go back, I don't know what would have been better: a decent regional school with a solid reputation and no debt or 100+ thousand in debt and a school that opens doors anywhere in the country.  I don't regret my decision to come to Boalt, and I have certainly seen the benefits of the Boalt name first-had in my OCI interviews and callbacks, but you know, people always tend to wonder about what could have been.  ;)

One cannot ignore the budget cuts.  They undoubtedly affect the school's ability to recruit professors, to maintain an impressive physical plant and to offer student funding to the same extent that the school has for years.  But it's a transitional period and the new dean is doing everything to restructure the way the school finances these things to rely more on private funds and incremental tuition raises to the market value (or just below) of the other T14 schools.  It's not a problem to ignore, but it's a problem that I am used to.  My undergrad had much more extensive financial problems (the entire U. of Tennessee system was shut down for 2 weeks because they didn't have the money to keep the lights on), so tuition increases and less than impressive classrooms are something I am used to.  I don't think that it has a significant impact on the quality of the education that I am getting (and it won't in the future unless we start losing our best professors), so I just do what I have to do to get by and hope that Dean Edley's plan can help keep Boalt's head above the water.
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LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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One more question: Do you mean it is hard for Santa Clara, USF, GG, McGeorge, Hastings grads to get jobs in north CA in BIG LAW?

I'm 0% interested in big law so I'm wondering if your advice would apply to me at all.

Yes, I meant  BIGLAW.  However, I am pretty sure that the Hastings grads with resumes on craigslist are beyond the point of pickiness about where they work.  I don't know the exact stats for the public sector or small law firms.  You should probably check directly with the schools. 
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IvanTrbl

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Hello again.

I have some general LS questions, if you don't mind.  What is the main difference between your study strategies and habits now as opposed to what they were in UG?  How would you prepare differently for a typical law school exam as opposed to say, a history final in Tennessee?  How much different are the exams and is there anything you can use as an indicator to gauge how successful you will be in LS down the road?  Also, what can I do now to prepare for LS and get a step ahead? 

Thanks in advance... your responses have been extremely helpful!     
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