Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

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Dignan
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Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby Dignan » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:09 pm

This question is a little complicated, but I could really use some feedback. I have a few possible career paths in the law. Because of the economy, and because of uncertainty about how I will actually perform in law school, I want to keep my options open. Here are the options, in reverse order of likelihood:

Career Path #1: Federal clerkship, then academia

Career Path #2: Federal clerkship, then appellate litigation (probably in DC)

Career Path #3: Federal clerkship, then PI in criminal justice (again, probably in DC)

Career Path #4: Mid-law job in IP (preferably on the West coast, but I'm open to other areas of the country) [I have several years of work experience in IT, first as a software engineer and then as a technical manager.]

Let's assume that my options are limited to Berkeley, Columbia, and Georgetown. And let's further assume, for the sake of argument, that all options will cost the same. Which school should I choose? And before someone jumps up and down and screams "CLS!", keep in mind that I have zero interest in pursuing big law in NYC. Columbia might be the best option for me anyway, but be aware that I am not interested in taking advantage of what is arguably its biggest strength.

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Kronk
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby Kronk » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:20 pm

Columbia is probably the most biglaw-oriented school in the T14. Berkeley has a much better IP program than either Georgetown or Columbia and I don't think you'd take too hard of a hit for clerkships. G-Town will undoubtedly be the least expensive.

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crackberry
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby crackberry » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:19 am

Given your career interests, I think its Berkeley in a no-brainer.

As V6 said, you don't take a big hit for clerkships, Berkeley is way better in IP (and is definitely better in West Coast placement) and is probably about equal to CLS in DC for what you want to do.

If you have even a remote desire for BigLaw, the answer is CLS. If you really want what you say you want, it's Berkeley.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby dextermorgan » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:23 am

Berkeley.

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beef wellington
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby beef wellington » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:24 am

Berkeley and GULC have amazing LRAPs if you end up doing PI. I vote Berkeley too (and not just cuz they already dinged me and GULC is now my top choice).

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Kronk
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby Kronk » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:27 am

If the deal isn't closed already, I'll throw this at you: no grades.

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby Dignan » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:53 am

VoidSix wrote:Columbia is probably the most biglaw-oriented school in the T14. Berkeley has a much better IP program than either Georgetown or Columbia and I don't think you'd take too hard of a hit for clerkships. G-Town will undoubtedly be the least expensive.

Why do you say that? GULC is relatively stingy with merit money. CLS, on the other hand, is as generous as any school in the T14. Based on past behavior, it wouldn't surprise me if CLS ends up being the least expensive option for me.

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby Dignan » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:55 am

Thanks for all the feedback. You confirmed what I was thinking about Berkeley versus CLS and GULC. I thought that someone might make the case for one of the other two based on Columbia's slightly better reputation or Georgetown's location in DC. (And if anyone still wants to make either case, please swing away.)

Given my interests, are there other schools that I should be seriously considering? I think that Stanford is clearly the best school for me, but the purpose of this thread is to start to formulate my get-dinged-by-Stanford contingency plan.

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Kronk
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby Kronk » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:59 am

I would seriously consider Harvard. Stanford is pretty amazing for IP, but Harvard is MUCH better for federal clerkships and I would guess you're a sure thing.

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crackberry
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby crackberry » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:04 am

VoidSix wrote:I would seriously consider Harvard. Stanford is pretty amazing for IP, but Harvard is MUCH better for federal clerkships and I would guess you're a sure thing.

When adjusted for class size, I'm pretty sure more Stanford students than Harvard students do federal clerkships. I'm pretty sure it's like 24 percent at Stanford, 20 percent at Harvard. Yale, on the other hand, is over 40 percent.

EDIT to say that my source is that BCG Attorney search PDF that georgiana sent around. I don't have time to search for it now (sorry), and it's definitely a little old, but I'm nearly positive that it was 24 percent at Stanford, 20 percent at Harvard. Yale was way above both numbers.

Also I'm off to Tahoe right now, so I won't be able to stick around to debate this. Sorry! Have a good weekend guys.
Last edited by crackberry on Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kronk
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby Kronk » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:11 am

crackberry wrote:
VoidSix wrote:I would seriously consider Harvard. Stanford is pretty amazing for IP, but Harvard is MUCH better for federal clerkships and I would guess you're a sure thing.

When adjusted for class size, I'm pretty sure more Stanford students than Harvard students do federal clerkships. I'm pretty sure it's like 24 percent at Stanford, 20 percent at Harvard. Yale, on the other hand, is over 40 percent.


Yeah. But the biggest factor in clerking is where the judge went to school. And at the federal level, Harvard has more judges than any other school. Although you're correct in saying the percentage is higher at Stanford. I think in this particular case, though, the percentage might be misleading.

Bankhead
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby Bankhead » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:14 am

Columbia. Not sure why everyone is saying Berkeley.

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby Dignan » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:14 am

VoidSix wrote:I would seriously consider Harvard. Stanford is pretty amazing for IP, but Harvard is MUCH better for federal clerkships and I would guess you're a sure thing.

I would be happy with Harvard. I do not agree, however, that Harvard is much better for federal clerkships. If you compare the percentage (as opposed to the absolute number) of students who secure clerkships, then Stanford and Harvard are very similar.

And I am not, unfortunately, a sure thing at Harvard. I've been under review there for over a month, and I've yet to hear anything. That LSAT you see in my profile is from a retake; my first score was 13 points lower. Based on anecdotal evidence, Harvard does seem to hold a lower first score against an applicant.

Furthermore, I have a friend who used to work in admissions at a top law school (not HYS). I'll paraphrase what he said about my chances at the beginning of this cycle: "Harvard is going to hate you. You have a better chance of getting into Yale than Harvard." (Without making it fairly obvious who I am, I can't reveal the "soft" factor that my friend thought HLS wouldn't like.)

I'm sure I still have a shot at Harvard, but I'm not counting on it.

sfdreaming09
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby sfdreaming09 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:16 am

Dignan wrote:
VoidSix wrote:I would seriously consider Harvard. Stanford is pretty amazing for IP, but Harvard is MUCH better for federal clerkships and I would guess you're a sure thing.

I would be happy with Harvard. I do not agree, however, that Harvard is much better for federal clerkships. If you compare the percentage (as opposed to the absolute number) of students who secure clerkships, then Stanford and Harvard are very similar.

And I am not, unfortunately, a sure thing at Harvard. I've been under review there for over a month, and I've yet to hear anything. That LSAT you see in my profile is from a retake; my first score was 13 points lower. Based on anecdotal evidence, Harvard does seem to hold a lower first score against an applicant.

Furthermore, I have a friend who used to work in admissions at a top law school (not HYS). I'll paraphrase what he said about my chances at the beginning of this cycle: "Harvard is going to hate you. You have a better chance of getting into Yale than Harvard." (Without making it fairly obvious who I am, I can't reveal the "soft" factor that my friend thought HLS wouldn't like.)

I'm sure I still have a shot at Harvard, but I'm not counting on it.


Why would it be only Harvard that wouldn't like that particular soft? Were you like the Yale Bulldog mascot or something?

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Kronk
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby Kronk » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:19 am

Dignan wrote:
VoidSix wrote:I would seriously consider Harvard. Stanford is pretty amazing for IP, but Harvard is MUCH better for federal clerkships and I would guess you're a sure thing.

I would be happy with Harvard. I do not agree, however, that Harvard is much better for federal clerkships. If you compare the percentage (as opposed to the absolute number) of students who secure clerkships, then Stanford and Harvard are very similar.

And I am not, unfortunately, a sure thing at Harvard. I've been under review there for over a month, and I've yet to hear anything. That LSAT you see in my profile is from a retake; my first score was 13 points lower. Based on anecdotal evidence, Harvard does seem to hold a lower first score against an applicant.

Furthermore, I have a friend who used to work in admissions at a top law school (not HYS). I'll paraphrase what he said about my chances at the beginning of this cycle: "Harvard is going to hate you. You have a better chance of getting into Yale than Harvard." (Without making it fairly obvious who I am, I can't reveal the "soft" factor that my friend thought HLS wouldn't like.)

I'm sure I still have a shot at Harvard, but I'm not counting on it.



I commented on this above, but I think the percentage thing is misleading. The biggest factor in a judge hiring a clerk is where they went to school. The majority of federal judges went to Harvard. I realize the percentage argument, but in this case I think that even if Stanford had a 550 person class like Harvard, they wouldn't place that many more clerks than they do with their 170 person class. Harvard would probably still place just as many if they had a 200 person class ala Yale. That's how I evaluate the situation.

And what type of person does Harvard not like? Just curious.

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby Dignan » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:24 am

sfdreaming09 wrote:
Dignan wrote:
VoidSix wrote:I would seriously consider Harvard. Stanford is pretty amazing for IP, but Harvard is MUCH better for federal clerkships and I would guess you're a sure thing.

I would be happy with Harvard. I do not agree, however, that Harvard is much better for federal clerkships. If you compare the percentage (as opposed to the absolute number) of students who secure clerkships, then Stanford and Harvard are very similar.

And I am not, unfortunately, a sure thing at Harvard. I've been under review there for over a month, and I've yet to hear anything. That LSAT you see in my profile is from a retake; my first score was 13 points lower. Based on anecdotal evidence, Harvard does seem to hold a lower first score against an applicant.

Furthermore, I have a friend who used to work in admissions at a top law school (not HYS). I'll paraphrase what he said about my chances at the beginning of this cycle: "Harvard is going to hate you. You have a better chance of getting into Yale than Harvard." (Without making it fairly obvious who I am, I can't reveal the "soft" factor that my friend thought HLS wouldn't like.)

I'm sure I still have a shot at Harvard, but I'm not counting on it.


Why would it be only Harvard that wouldn't like that particular soft? Were you like the Yale Bulldog mascot or something?

haha. No, no...nothing like that. It has to do with a bias that my friend claims that Harvard has in its process. In fact, my friend went so far to say that this factor would be a plus at Yale, a minus at Harvard, and probably a wash everywhere else. Once my cycle is over and I know where I'm attending, I'll say more. It's nothing earth shattering.

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby Dignan » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:26 am

Bankhead wrote:Columbia. Not sure why everyone is saying Berkeley.

Would you mind elaborating? I am open to arguments for Columbia over Berkeley.

lawduder
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby lawduder » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:39 am

Isn't Columbia's LRAP 5 years?

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beef wellington
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby beef wellington » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:57 am

lawduder wrote:Isn't Columbia's LRAP 5 years?


You can stay in it for ten. If you mean you have to be in for five to get 100% forgiveness, then you're right.

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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby postitnotes » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:56 am

Bankhead wrote:Columbia. Not sure why everyone is saying Berkeley.



Ditto. First off, contrary to what some think, Columbia's LRAP is pretty good. Plus there is a possible cap on Berkeley's LRAP and LRAP is not guaranteed as it states on its website. I'd be concerned about tuition increases too, as I know people who have been rejected for residency/denied grant renewal in their 2L year, presumably because the school cannot afford to grant residency.

It is easier working in DC from an East Coast school. It is also easier obtaining clerkships from a school that does give out traditional letter grades, as opposed to "P, H, HH" grades because judges will be more able to differentiate applicants.

I'd go to Columbia unless the others offer $$.

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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby PDaddy » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:07 am

Dignan wrote:
VoidSix wrote:Columbia is probably the most biglaw-oriented school in the T14. Berkeley has a much better IP program than either Georgetown or Columbia and I don't think you'd take too hard of a hit for clerkships. G-Town will undoubtedly be the least expensive.

Why do you say that? GULC is relatively stingy with merit money. CLS, on the other hand, is as generous as any school in the T14. Based on past behavior, it wouldn't surprise me if CLS ends up being the least expensive option for me.


I love CLS no matter what. I say just go to the best school you can get into. If you decide to transfer, you undoubtedly can do that best from CLS. Then there are 3rd year visiting programs, let's not forget. Go to CLS for two years, then GULC for your third and study what you want there. Network with government officials, etc. You want that degree to say "Columbia University Law School", especially if you are looking at academia. CLS just gives you a more flexibility.

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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby im_blue » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:05 am

PDaddy wrote:
Dignan wrote:
VoidSix wrote:Columbia is probably the most biglaw-oriented school in the T14. Berkeley has a much better IP program than either Georgetown or Columbia and I don't think you'd take too hard of a hit for clerkships. G-Town will undoubtedly be the least expensive.

Why do you say that? GULC is relatively stingy with merit money. CLS, on the other hand, is as generous as any school in the T14. Based on past behavior, it wouldn't surprise me if CLS ends up being the least expensive option for me.


I love CLS no matter what. I say just go to the best school you can get into. If you decide to transfer, you undoubtedly can do that best from CLS. Then there are 3rd year visiting programs, let's not forget. Go to CLS for two years, then GULC for your third and study what you want there. Network with government officials, etc. You want that degree to say "Columbia University Law School", especially if you are looking at academia. CLS just gives you a more flexibility.


+1

fortissimo
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby fortissimo » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:03 pm

-
Last edited by fortissimo on Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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nealric
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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby nealric » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:12 pm

As a GULC student, I can confidently tell you I would choose Columbia hands down in your situation.

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Re: Berkeley v. Columbia v. Georgetown

Postby doopwooper » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:30 pm

I would also choose Columbia if I were in your situation.




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