U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

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lawyer879
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U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby lawyer879 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:52 pm

I am faced with a tough decision here. I will be visiting both schools (for about 2-3 days each) in the coming months. I wanted to get any insight you may have on which school would best fit my goals... I have done much looking at numbers on both the expanded USNWR data and leiterrankings.com...

Here are my goals

1st and foremost money. That's right. Hitting that 160K max the first year and then seeing a nicely graduated pay increase over the years. (thus getting a job in the first place is huge)

Second I would love to litigate if possible. I am also more than happy to put in an extra year doing a clerkship ....

That's it. Really, I am pretty focused on getting a job and less focused about what kind of law I practice...

I hope to do well, but let's assume I don't fall within the top 25% of the class.

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The Brainalist
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby The Brainalist » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:59 pm

Chicago is known for top clerkship placement and top firm placement, and Berkeley more for public interest, but still does well in clerking and firms. It was easier to do that when the legal market was bloated, though. I suggest you do what I am doing, and see who actually did best when times are tough by waiting until they release employment data. Our deadlines aren't until at least April anyway.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:00 pm

Where do you want to practice? That consideration could make life quite easy.

You mention clerking: Chicago has a reputation for being a step under Harvard and Yale i/r/t clerking, whether deserved or not. I imagine a lot of that comes from how well Chicago does with the L&E judges on the 7th circuit (Easterbrook and Posner, in particular.)

Neither one is going to be superior i/r/t litigation, except that I imagine the clinical programs are probably better at Boalt.

Do you care about weather? Obviously, Boalt wins out there.

Generally, Chicago's reputation is better, but I honestly don't see that translating in to significant employment prospect differences.

Are you in-state or out-of-state with Boalt? If out of state, tuition there might actually end up being more expensive than tuition at Chicago, plus the massive difference in CoL.

Do you care what type of academic environment you're in? Students and staff--Chicago is a more intense environment in general, for good or ill. Chicago is also most assuredly an ivory-tower type school--it doesn't feel like a professional school at all. Again, for good or ill.

i/r/t class rank, doesn't Boalt essentially have HP/P/(non-mandatory LP) for 1st years? Make no mistake, 1L at Chicago is extremely competetive. There is a tight curve, but profs ARE required to give as many Cs as they give As. Essentially, we don't have a bell curve here, it's more of a spike--the vast majority end up 176-178.

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The Brainalist
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby The Brainalist » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:08 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:Where do you want to practice? That consideration could make life quite easy.

You mention clerking: Chicago has a reputation for being a step under Harvard and Yale i/r/t clerking, whether deserved or not. I imagine a lot of that comes from how well Chicago does with the L&E judges on the 7th circuit (Easterbrook and Posner, in particular.)

Neither one is going to be superior i/r/t litigation, except that I imagine the clinical programs are probably better at Boalt.

Do you care about weather? Obviously, Boalt wins out there.

Generally, Chicago's reputation is better, but I honestly don't see that translating in to significant employment prospect differences.

Are you in-state or out-of-state with Boalt? If out of state, tuition there might actually end up being more expensive than tuition at Chicago, plus the massive difference in CoL.

Do you care what type of academic environment you're in? Students and staff--Chicago is a more intense environment in general, for good or ill. Chicago is also most assuredly an ivory-tower type school--it doesn't feel like a professional school at all. Again, for good or ill.

i/r/t class rank, doesn't Boalt essentially have HP/P/(non-mandatory LP) for 1st years? Make no mistake, 1L at Chicago is extremely competetive. There is a tight curve, but profs ARE required to give as many Cs as they give As. Essentially, we don't have a bell curve here, it's more of a spike--the vast majority end up 176-178.


Are you at Chicago? Can you tell us how the OCI went, and how many employers were there? Doomswitch(ed) I think said that Berkeley's OCI had 225 offices interview, which she/he said was down about 30% from last year. LSN has Chicago at like 500 total employers, but that number seems old.

Also, can you explain the 176-178 numbers? I though Chicago didn't really have grades, but you said they give out A's and C's.

TYIA

lawyer879
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby lawyer879 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:20 pm

Thanks for the quick responses...

A few answers to questions...

Boalt has offered me in-state tuition. I also don't care where I work. I have lived all over the place so weather is not really an issue anywhere.

I eventually want to get back to the Wyoming/Idaho area some day (maybe in 7-15 years). (when no one is looking I plan to make a bunch of money and then move to the area and eventually work my way into a judgeship)

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:22 pm

I'm not too good of an indicator i/r/t OCI, because I'm a transfer student. I just don't know enough of the "real" 2L class to have a good sense. There are certainly no "graded on to LR and still got nothing"-type horror stories here, though. My general impression is that you were pretty much fine until you started to fall below the 176 range (176 being slightly under median.)

The way grades work here (and I've only just mastered this oddball system):

180-186 is an "A", but no one ever really gets a 185 or 186. 182 = summa cum laude; very, very few people graduate with summa.
174-179 is a "B", 177 is the median.
168-173 is a "C". Number of Cs must = # As in any class with more than 50 people, and seminars are encouraged to follow the curve as well. 168 average is required to remain in good academic standing.

I don't think there are any required Ds or Fs, though I imagine a few are given out.

The 500 employers number for Chicago is certainly old. I only paid attention to Chicago this time around--there were only something like 49 Chicago firms this year. That IS going to go back up--a lot of firms that generally hire here didn't do OCI at all this year. If I remember correctly, it was something like 250 employers, but I honestly don't remember exactly how that was broken down, and the 250 could be completely wrong.

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kurama20
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby kurama20 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:24 pm

lawyer879 wrote:I am faced with a tough decision here. I will be visiting both schools (for about 2-3 days each) in the coming months. I wanted to get any insight you may have on which school would best fit my goals... I have done much looking at numbers on both the expanded USNWR data and leiterrankings.com...

Here are my goals

1st and foremost [b]money. That's right. Hitting that 160K max the first year and then seeing a nicely graduated pay increase over the years.[/b] (thus getting a job in the first place is huge)

Second I would love to litigate if possible. I am also more than happy to put in an extra year doing a clerkship ....

That's it. Really, I am pretty focused on getting a job and less focused about what kind of law I practice...

I hope to do well, but let's assume I don't fall within the top 25% of the class.



lol man, I love your honesty. There is nothing wrong with that--more people need to just come out and say this. :lol:

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im_blue
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby im_blue » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:24 pm

If your major criterion is money and jobs, then the choice is clear: Chicago.

lawyer879
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby lawyer879 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:27 pm

I'm Sorry. What does "i/r/t OCI" stand for?

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kurama20
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby kurama20 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:28 pm

im_blue wrote:If your major criterion is money and jobs, then the choice is clear: Chicago.


Cmon really? I love Chicago and all, and I"m always taking shots at Boalt for having a somewhat inflated rep on this website, but the choice isn't clear cut. I don't think Ken had any problems pulling in the dollar dollar bills from Boalt.

02082010
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby 02082010 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:29 pm

Go to Boalt :twisted:

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kittenmittons
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby kittenmittons » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:31 pm

--LinkRemoved--

hth

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:32 pm

"In regards to OCI," sorry.

If you don't have any geographic preference, and simply want to give yourself the most options, Chicago is probably your better bet. You're going to have more portability to DC, in particular, and I imagine Chicago does a bit better in NYC than Boalt does. Boalt is going to do much better in California, Chicago is going to do much better in... Chicago, and that's about it.

That said, the difference in cost between in-state at Boalt and Chicago may be significant. I honestly don't know the numbers. When you do that calculation, make sure you account for CoL differences--Chicago is a much, much cheaper place to live.

That goes for eventual practice area, too. If you don't have any particular preference for the CA weather, Chicago is pretty much the best "deal" as far as primary legal markets go, if you're talking about sheer purchasing power.

lawyer879
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby lawyer879 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:39 pm

kittenmittons wrote:http://bit.ly/7RWh9i

hth



Great thread. Thank you.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:40 pm

lawyer879 wrote:
kittenmittons wrote:http://bit.ly/7RWh9i

hth



Great thread. Thank you.


For what it's worth, take the Chicago bashing with a grain of salt. There is some truth to be had, but, as with everything on that godawful site, it is way over the top. I'm not sure many people would actually argue that Chicago >/= Harvard, but Chicago v Boalt is obviously a very different question

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kittenmittons
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby kittenmittons » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:42 pm

lawyer879 wrote:
kittenmittons wrote:http://bit.ly/7RWh9i

hth



Great thread. Thank you.


Chicago is still TCR. Unless you want West Coast

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los blancos
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby los blancos » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:48 pm

I think this largely comes down to personal preference, and Chicago would literally have to give me a half scholarship for me to even consider it over Berkeley. (Not a knock on UChicago, I just love Berkeley)

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los blancos
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby los blancos » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:50 pm

kittenmittons wrote:
lawyer879 wrote:
kittenmittons wrote:http://bit.ly/7RWh9i

hth



Great thread. Thank you.


Chicago is still TCR. Unless you want West Coast


Or a more relaxed environment. Or a different culture. Or you don't want to go to school in Hyde Park. Or you want PI. Or...

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kittenmittons
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby kittenmittons » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:52 pm

boilercat wrote:
kittenmittons wrote:
lawyer879 wrote:
kittenmittons wrote:http://bit.ly/7RWh9i

hth



Great thread. Thank you.


Chicago is still TCR. Unless you want West Coast


Or a more relaxed environment. Or a different culture. Or you don't want to go to school in Hyde Park. Or you want PI. Or...


boilercat wrote:I just love Berkeley

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The Brainalist
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby The Brainalist » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:53 pm

hopefulundergrad wrote:Go to Boalt :twisted:


I see what you did there.

Break a leg at your, um, "appointment."

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The Brainalist
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby The Brainalist » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:59 pm

boilercat wrote:
Or a more relaxed environment. Or a different culture. Or you don't want to go to school in Hyde Park. Or you want PI. Or...


In this post, we see how many ways Boilercat can avoid saying Berkeley is better for hippies.

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kittenmittons
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby kittenmittons » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:59 pm

The Brainalist wrote:
boilercat wrote:
Or a more relaxed environment. Or a different culture. Or you don't want to go to school in Hyde Park. Or you want PI. Or...


In this post, we see how many ways Boilercat can avoid saying Berkeley is better for hippies.


Except real hippies don't go to law school

hth

lawyer879
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby lawyer879 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:00 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
lawyer879 wrote:
kittenmittons wrote:http://bit.ly/7RWh9i

hth



Great thread. Thank you.


For what it's worth, take the Chicago bashing with a grain of salt. There is some truth to be had, but, as with everything on that godawful site, it is way over the top. I'm not sure many people would actually argue that Chicago >/= Harvard, but Chicago v Boalt is obviously a very different question



I think that any hugely polarized opinions are a little without merit... Really all of the top 10 schools are awesome when compared to the other 180 or so law schools out there... I do think it's great to get everyone's opinion. (and very entertaining in some cases)

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:05 pm

kittenmittons wrote:
The Brainalist wrote:
boilercat wrote:
Or a more relaxed environment. Or a different culture. Or you don't want to go to school in Hyde Park. Or you want PI. Or...


In this post, we see how many ways Boilercat can avoid saying Berkeley is better for hippies.


Except real hippies don't go to law school

hth


Not true. I knew some real freaking hippies at Wisconsin. :lol:

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The Brainalist
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Re: U of Chicago Vs. Berkeley

Postby The Brainalist » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:12 pm

kittenmittons wrote:
Except real hippies don't go to law school

hth


Are posers better? I might agree. Berkeley is often a lot of the pot and the laid back attitude without any real dogma, but one would argue that a lot of real hippies did become lawyers. It was called the eighties.

I didn't literally mean "flower children." But if you haven't heard of at least one draft-dodging pot-smoker going to law school, then you've been living in a cave.




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