CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
hermione0901
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:49 am

CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby hermione0901 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:03 pm

So here's the scoop:

1) I got into Harvard. AWESOME!!!
2) Columbia offered me half-tuition. Ivy league at half-tuition? That's awesome
3) Berkeley accepted me, no news on matching yet.
4) (possibly GULC with merit aid, interview last week but no news yet)

I want to do public interest work on the west coast. SO has gotten into schools in the bay area, no news out east yet for him. Harvard is obviously Harvard, but their LIPP program sucks compared to the other options. I'm paying for law school alone and have no cash on hand, so debt is a bit scary. Columbia's $$ (and possibly GULC) is great for that reason. Berkeley's on the west coast, which would be easiest for SO. If they offered me $$, that would make the decision even harder. I really like Harvard, but all these other factors complicate the decision.

Still waiting to hear from Stanford, which would be an automatic YES if I got accepted, but assuming that I get rejected (more likely), these are my options.

Thoughts??

eaters333
Posts: 75
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:50 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby eaters333 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:09 pm

cls half tuition. nuff said

User avatar
kittenmittons
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby kittenmittons » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:09 pm

Wait to hear back from boalt about matching.

Personally, I'd say

H>B($$)>C($$)>>B>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>G

User avatar
gossipgirl
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:25 am

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby gossipgirl » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:12 pm

Tough decision.

Educational quality will be top-notch wherever you go and job opportunities for PI should be great.

Columbia's LRAP is really good, from what I've read. I don't think Berkeley's is as good from a quick read through of their website. If this is true, I think as long as you have west coast connections, Columbia is the way to go.

User avatar
kittenmittons
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby kittenmittons » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:13 pm

What kind of PI work are you looking for?

User avatar
gossipgirl
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:25 am

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby gossipgirl » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:14 pm

kittenmittons wrote:Wait to hear back from boalt about matching.

Personally, I'd say

H>B($$)>C($$)>>B>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>G


I'm not sure if you'd know, but from this website (http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6190.htm), doesn't it seem like LRAP is just a loan from Berkeley, not a payment from the school?

As for Columbia (http://www.law.columbia.edu/null/LRAP+P ... howthumb=0), it seems like they pay the loan payment for you as long as you're within the income limits.

The Harvard one, as OP stated, just doesn't match up to Columbia.

User avatar
gossipgirl
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:25 am

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby gossipgirl » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:18 pm

Okay, for for Columbia, the LRAP is:

"These LRAP loans are gradually forgiven starting when graduates have remained in public interest employment for more than three years, and will be totally forgiven after five years in an eligible job."

They are loans but are forgiven completely after five years. Sorry for my confusion.

I think it still stands that Columbia's LRAP is really good and with half tuition, a really good choice for you to make.

User avatar
kittenmittons
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby kittenmittons » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:18 pm

gossipgirl wrote:
kittenmittons wrote:Wait to hear back from boalt about matching.

Personally, I'd say

H>B($$)>C($$)>>B>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>G


I'm not sure if you'd know, but from this website (http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6190.htm), doesn't it seem like LRAP is just a loan from Berkeley, not a payment from the school?

As for Columbia (http://www.law.columbia.edu/null/LRAP+P ... howthumb=0), it seems like they pay the loan payment for you as long as you're within the income limits.

The Harvard one, as OP stated, just doesn't match up to Columbia.

My LRAP knowledge is weak because I'm gunning for biglaw, but a cursory glance at CLS' indicates that it still functions as a loan unless you hold the job longer than five years, in which case you no longer have to payoff the awards.

edit: OP, this thread is helpful if you haven't looked at it yet.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=62094
Last edited by kittenmittons on Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MellonCollie
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:19 am

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby MellonCollie » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:18 pm

CLS with half tuition will still cost you 75K tuition + 60 - 70k living expenses = 135 - 145k debt.

I'm guessing HLS will run you somewhere in the 180 - 200k range.

If you're going into PI from a school with a decent LRAP, I view debt as binary - you either have it or you don't. If you're taking advantage of loan forgiveness, I'm guessing that the impact of that additional 70k will be marginal.

User avatar
kittenmittons
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby kittenmittons » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:21 pm

Isn't new IBR (maybe proposed, I really don't follow this) pwn?

MellonCollie
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:19 am

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby MellonCollie » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:23 pm

kittenmittons wrote:Isn't new IBR (maybe proposed, I really don't follow this) pwn?


I think the problem with IBR might be that it requires 10 years of eligible employment for the benefits to "vest" (my knowledge is also shaky, so plz correct me if I'm wrong). Many people aren't even lawyers anymore 10 years out.

WellNow
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 7:22 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby WellNow » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:25 pm

gossipgirl wrote:Tough decision.

Educational quality will be top-notch wherever you go and job opportunities for PI should be great.

Columbia's LRAP is really good, from what I've read. I don't think Berkeley's is as good from a quick read through of their website. If this is true, I think as long as you have west coast connections, Columbia is the way to go.


What makes you say this? Boalt's LRAP has a higher salary cap for full reimbursement 59,000 vs 50,000 (and Boalt is increasing the salary cap, not sure about Columbia) and Boalt immediately forgives loans, where as Columbia requires you stay in qualifying employment for three years. In other words, every 6 months Berkeley pays off a portion of your Loans (on a 10 year plan to pay up to 100,000) where as Columbia makes you a new Loan which if you leave the public interests sector before three years becomes payable to them.

Now Berkeley does currently cap LRAP at 100,000 and I'm not sure about caps at Columbia, they might not have any which would be a pretty big advantage depending on your debt situation.

That said, Harvard and Berkeley will both place very well in public interest on west coast, not so sure about Columbia for PI (on west coast or general), if only because they place so few graduates in public interest (according to NALP law school directory).

reverendt
Posts: 499
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:56 am

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby reverendt » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:40 pm

PI....go to whatever school will cost the least.

User avatar
kittenmittons
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby kittenmittons » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:40 pm

reverendt wrote:PI....go to whatever school will cost the least.

Depends on the PI

hermione0901
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:49 am

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby hermione0901 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:48 pm

I didn't know that Berkeley capped their LRAP! Yikes, that complicates things. I'm looking to do PI work in the style of the ACLU, somehow, if that makes a difference for the $$ stuff.

User avatar
Kronk
Posts: 28170
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:18 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby Kronk » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:57 pm

Honestly, the federal IBR completely outclasses anything any school offers except Yale and Stanford. Qualifying employment becomes an issue, so make sure you know what you're getting into.

However, I think that if you were on the IBR program for five years and decided you wanted to go into private practice, you'd be making so much money that your loans wouldn't be an issue. If you say on the IBR for ten years, your loans are paid. Sounds like a win-win to me.

User avatar
Kronk
Posts: 28170
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:18 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby Kronk » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:57 pm

Also, if you're referring to the $100,000 cap, I think Berkeley removed that last year.

WellNow
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 7:22 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby WellNow » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:59 pm

hermione0901 wrote:I didn't know that Berkeley capped their LRAP! Yikes, that complicates things. I'm looking to do PI work in the style of the ACLU, somehow, if that makes a difference for the $$ stuff.


For 2013 (i.e. after the tuition hikes) and beyond Berkeley has an LRAP program that isn't capped, but it involves the Federal Governments LRAP program and I think it looks more like COlumbia than the one I described above (though I think Berkeley's salary cap is still higher). Obviously you should check out everyones website and comb through their LRAP programs for yourself, schools are always updating their LRAP programs and I am speaking more from general knowledge than anything specific.
Last edited by WellNow on Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fortissimo
Posts: 597
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:05 am

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby fortissimo » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:59 pm

hermione0901 wrote:I didn't know that Berkeley capped their LRAP! Yikes, that complicates things. I'm looking to do PI work in the style of the ACLU, somehow, if that makes a difference for the $$ stuff.


The ACLU and other big name PI are incredibly difficult to get right now, probably on par with the DOJ, etc. (Think top 10% at non-HYS schools + PI experience.) I'd probably just go to Harvard since neither of the other schools gave you a full ride and it maximizes your chance of getting prestigious PI.

User avatar
kittenmittons
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby kittenmittons » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:59 pm

fortissimo wrote:
hermione0901 wrote:I didn't know that Berkeley capped their LRAP! Yikes, that complicates things. I'm looking to do PI work in the style of the ACLU, somehow, if that makes a difference for the $$ stuff.


The ACLU and other big name PI are incredibly difficult to get right now, probably on par with the DOJ, etc. (Think top 10% at non-HYS schools + PI experience.) I'd probably just go to Harvard since neither of the other schools gave you a full ride and it maximizes your chance of getting prestigious PI.

TITCR

WellNow
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 7:22 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby WellNow » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:05 pm

fortissimo wrote:
hermione0901 wrote:I didn't know that Berkeley capped their LRAP! Yikes, that complicates things. I'm looking to do PI work in the style of the ACLU, somehow, if that makes a difference for the $$ stuff.


The ACLU and other big name PI are incredibly difficult to get right now, probably on par with the DOJ, etc. (Think top 10% at non-HYS schools + PI experience.) I'd probably just go to Harvard since neither of the other schools gave you a full ride and it maximizes your chance of getting prestigious PI.


Depends on where you want to work. For example ACLU national office or an ACLU affiliate office, some of which are also very selective, and some of which are less so. Still, even though high profile public interest do care more about grades than is often the case in PI, top ten percent at non-HYS strikes me as greatly exaggerated. Relevant background and demonstrated PI committed will still trump grades more often than not (though clerking can often be a very decisive hiring factor, especially at places like the ACLU).

User avatar
Kronk
Posts: 28170
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:18 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby Kronk » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:07 pm

Let's put it this way, do you think you'd get a job at a V5 firm if you weren't in the top 10% of your CCNB class? Because I don't think you would, and that's approximately equivalent to landing a job with the ACLU from what I understand.

hermione0901
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:49 am

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby hermione0901 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:09 pm

Yeah, I want to do a clerkship before I start my other PI work, so placement into clerkships is a relevant factor as well.

User avatar
Kronk
Posts: 28170
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:18 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby Kronk » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:10 pm

hermione0901 wrote:Yeah, I want to do a clerkship before I start my other PI work, so placement into clerkships is a relevant factor as well.


HLS. Don't look back.

User avatar
kittenmittons
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby kittenmittons » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:11 pm

Kronk wrote:
hermione0901 wrote:Yeah, I want to do a clerkship before I start my other PI work, so placement into clerkships is a relevant factor as well.


HLS. Don't look back.

The boalt troll is correct




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest