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

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

Postby Dignan » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:08 am

Kronk wrote:
Dignan wrote:
Kronk wrote:
Dignan wrote:It's true, of course, that law schools can't print money, but they can shuffle funds around, and they have ways of raising revenue. (If you don't believe me, check out how much tuition has skyrocketed over the past five years.)

In any event, what you say is interesting. So, in spite of whatever promises a law school makes, it can essentially renege on its LRAP payments if its LRAP "budget" runs out of money? If so, this means that LRAP participants are entirely dependent on the goodwill of the school. Is that really the case?


Yes, this is true. Although a VERY small percentage of people actually end up using the LRAP, so I don't think they generally run out of funds. At CLS I think something like 3-5 percent of graduates actually use the program. At Berkeley I am assuming that number would be higher, but still.

I'm surprised. Does this also apply to scholarships? If a school promises you 90K over three years, and then the school's scholarship budget "runs out of funds" after your first year, can the school get away with not paying you the remaining 60K over your final two years? And if the school can't do that, how is the scholarship situation different than the LRAP situation?



No school is that irresponsible with money, so it wouldn't happen. I'm just saying LRAP programs run on a budget just like the rest of the school. They are smart enough to know what they can handle and they adjust their programs accordingly, but they're on a budget.

This seems off. Every organization--and every individual, for that matter--has a budget. Imagine that I promise to pay you $100 to help me move my furniture. You move my furniture, but then I refuse to pay you because my "moving budget" is out of funds. I'd like to meet the judge who buys that argument.

I suspect that Beef Wellington is right: some LRAPs are guaranteed and other aren't. If an LRAP is guaranteed, then it seems to me that the law school has to pay you unless it goes bankrupt or something. The "our LRAP budget is in the red" excuse would not work.

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

Postby Kronk » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:12 am

Feel free to talk to a financial aid officer about it. But if there isn't any money, there isn't any money. I don't know where you guys are thinking this "guaranteed" money will come from.

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

Postby beef wellington » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:24 am

Kronk wrote:Feel free to talk to a financial aid officer about it. But if there isn't any money, there isn't any money. I don't know where you guys are thinking this "guaranteed" money will come from.

Credit cards?

I don't know, I imagine a guaranteed LRAP fund is healthy enough that it couldn't reasonably be exhausted. If the situation changes, then they amend the policy so as to cover their ass.

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

Postby Dignan » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:25 am

Kronk wrote:Feel free to talk to a financial aid officer about it. But if there isn't any money, there isn't any money. I don't know where you guys are thinking this "guaranteed" money will come from.

Uh...from the school? If the LRAP is guaranteed, then it's a fixed obligation--like faculty salaries, vendor contracts, and insurance costs. Yes, schools have separate budgets for separate types of expenditures. But if a school goes over budget in a non-discretionary area, then it's got to expand that area's budget. As you must know, schools have many ways to do this. They can take money from other areas, they can borrow, and they can raise student fees.

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

Postby Kronk » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:31 am

Dignan wrote:
Kronk wrote:Feel free to talk to a financial aid officer about it. But if there isn't any money, there isn't any money. I don't know where you guys are thinking this "guaranteed" money will come from.

Uh...from the school? If the LRAP is guaranteed, then it's a fixed obligation--like faculty salaries, vendor contracts, and insurance costs. Yes, schools have separate budgets for separate types of expenditures. But if a school goes over budget in a non-discretionary area, then it's got to expand that area's budget. As you must know, schools have many ways to do this. They can take money from other areas, they can borrow, and they can raise student fees.


State budgets also have mandates. But if there isn't any money, it doesn't matter how much shifting they do--there just isn't any money. There are mandates for K-12 education, but after ARRA money runs out states have no idea how they're going to come up with the funds. Same stuff can happen to law schools. It's not a treasury.

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

Postby Kronk » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:33 am

My main point is that EVERY LRAP program has caveats like the one at Boalt. Seriously--contact a financial aid officer, I encourage both of you to do it. Until you start hearing about Boalt students with their LRAPs cut (which doesn't ever happen), I wouldn't worry about it. At all.

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

Postby beef wellington » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:38 am

Kronk wrote:My main point is that EVERY LRAP program has caveats like the one at Boalt. Seriously--contact a financial aid officer, I encourage both of you to do it. Until you start hearing about Boalt students with their LRAPs cut (which doesn't ever happen), I wouldn't worry about it. At all.

How many financial aid officers have you contacted who have confirmed the existence of these caveats? I'm especially interested in any schools whose online documentation does not include such caveats, as I've run across several such schools.

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

Postby Dignan » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:40 am

Kronk wrote:
Dignan wrote:
Kronk wrote:Feel free to talk to a financial aid officer about it. But if there isn't any money, there isn't any money. I don't know where you guys are thinking this "guaranteed" money will come from.

Uh...from the school? If the LRAP is guaranteed, then it's a fixed obligation--like faculty salaries, vendor contracts, and insurance costs. Yes, schools have separate budgets for separate types of expenditures. But if a school goes over budget in a non-discretionary area, then it's got to expand that area's budget. As you must know, schools have many ways to do this. They can take money from other areas, they can borrow, and they can raise student fees.


State budgets also have mandates. But if there isn't any money, it doesn't matter how much shifting they do--there just isn't any money. There are mandates for K-12 education, but after ARRA money runs out states have no idea how they're going to come up with the funds. Same stuff can happen to law schools. It's not a treasury.

If a state runs out of money, then it can try, for a period of time, to issue IOUs in lieu of money in order to satisfy its existing obligations. But it can't simply refuse to pay out what it has promised to individuals and companies. If a state (or a law school) cannot meet its obligations, then I suppose it could declare bankruptcy. But this has nothing to do with the particular level of funding for an individual budget item (like a school's LRAP program).

irishman86
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Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby irishman86 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:40 am

Dignan wrote:
Kronk wrote:Feel free to talk to a financial aid officer about it. But if there isn't any money, there isn't any money. I don't know where you guys are thinking this "guaranteed" money will come from.

Uh...from the school? If the LRAP is guaranteed, then it's a fixed obligation--like faculty salaries, vendor contracts, and insurance costs. Yes, schools have separate budgets for separate types of expenditures. But if a school goes over budget in a non-discretionary area, then it's got to expand that area's budget. As you must know, schools have many ways to do this. They can take money from other areas, they can borrow, and they can raise student fees.


Agree with this. Also, schools can take out loans to provide funding for certain programs if they have to. I think that if a school does not reserve a right to renege LRAP or select applicants for LRAP, then there is an implicit promise that if you meet the requirements you are guaranteed LRAP. If a school that does not reserve the right denies qualified applicants, then I suspect that you would be able to file a viable claim and sue the school to provide funds.

Boalt, unlike Columbia, openly reserves the right to deny applicants and/or change the amount of funding it provides. So if you were denied Boalt's LRAP via its application process, you would not have a claim.

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

Postby Kronk » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:42 am

You guys realize Columbia has the same application process as Boalt, right?

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

Postby beef wellington » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:48 am

Kronk wrote:You guys realize Columbia has the same application process as Boalt, right?

Yes. But they don't have a reservation for insufficient funds like Boalt. Or have you heard different from their financial aid office? I'd really like to know which schools you've heard this from as it could affect my decision of where to attend.

irishman86
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Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby irishman86 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:49 am

Kronk wrote:You guys realize Columbia has the same application process as Boalt, right?

Columbia's application process asks for information to prove that you meet the requirements and from what I have read, it does not reserve the right to deny those who meet the requirements. Boalt reserves the right to deny applicants who satisfy the requirements.

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

Postby Dignan » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:49 am

Kronk wrote:You guys realize Columbia has the same application process as Boalt, right?

As I wrote several posts back, I think that all schools must require you to verify that you are working in qualifying employment. The only exception I am aware of is Yale, which I believe looks only at income. I don't think Yale cares what you're actually doing.

Anyway, the question of whether a school has an LRAP application is separate from the question of whether the school guarantees its LRAP benefits.

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

Postby Kronk » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:49 am

From CLS' website:

Columbia Law School always attempts to ensure that, to the extent possible, changes in the coverage and policies of the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) do not prejudice the interests of graduates who made fundamental decisions in reliance on the basic features of the Program at the time they entered the Law School. Applicants should be aware that other factors, including fiscal constraints and the changing needs of the legal community, also will be considered in determining the design and administration of the Program over the years. Eligibility and the extent of support available under the Program will be determined at the time a graduate applies to the Program, in accordance with the rules and policies then applicable



Believe me when I say LRAP programs don't fail. But they DO have the right to fail if they have to. It's a courtesy program, not a "You have to give us money!" program. A lot of schools don't even have the luxury of an LRAP program, let along the ability guarantee it ALWAYS ALL THE TIME.

Do not write of Boalt because of some diction on the website. Boalt supports their LRAP applicants. They don't and won't hang them out to dry. They are important to Boalt--tuition has been raised, etc. The LRAP is there to stay.

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

Postby Kronk » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:52 am

irishman86 wrote:
Kronk wrote:You guys realize Columbia has the same application process as Boalt, right?

Columbia's application process asks for information to prove that you meet the requirements and from what I have read, it does not reserve the right to deny those who meet the requirements. Boalt reserves the right to deny applicants who satisfy the requirements.


Yeah, only if they don't have any money left for them--same as Columbia.

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

Postby Dignan » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:52 am

Kronk wrote:From CLS' website:

Columbia Law School always attempts to ensure that, to the extent possible, changes in the coverage and policies of the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) do not prejudice the interests of graduates who made fundamental decisions in reliance on the basic features of the Program at the time they entered the Law School. Applicants should be aware that other factors, including fiscal constraints and the changing needs of the legal community, also will be considered in determining the design and administration of the Program over the years. Eligibility and the extent of support available under the Program will be determined at the time a graduate applies to the Program, in accordance with the rules and policies then applicable



Believe me when I say LRAP programs don't fail. But they DO have the right to fail if they have to. It's a courtesy program, not a "You have to give us money!" program.

But it doesn't have to be a courtesy program. The terms can vary from school to school. Arguing otherwise requires more than using your caps lock.

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

Postby beef wellington » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:54 am

Kronk wrote:From CLS' website:

Columbia Law School always attempts to ensure that, to the extent possible, changes in the coverage and policies of the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) do not prejudice the interests of graduates who made fundamental decisions in reliance on the basic features of the Program at the time they entered the Law School. Applicants should be aware that other factors, including fiscal constraints and the changing needs of the legal community, also will be considered in determining the design and administration of the Program over the years. Eligibility and the extent of support available under the Program will be determined at the time a graduate applies to the Program, in accordance with the rules and policies then applicable



Believe me when I say LRAP programs don't fail. But they DO have the right to fail if they have to. It's a courtesy program, not a "You have to give us money!" program. A lot of schools don't even have the luxury of an LRAP program, let along the ability guarantee it ALWAYS ALL THE TIME.

Do not write of Boalt because of some diction on the website. Boalt supports their LRAP applicants. They don't and won't hang them out to dry. They are important to Boalt--tuition has been raised, etc. The LRAP is there to stay.

Good catch with the CLS language, that's kinda squirrely. Nobody's writing off Boalt. I imagine the LRAP's pretty safe. But I still say some LRAPs are guaranteed.

irishman86
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Re: CLS with $$$ v. Berkeley v. HLS for west coast PI

Postby irishman86 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:55 am

Dignan wrote:
Kronk wrote:From CLS' website:

Columbia Law School always attempts to ensure that, to the extent possible, changes in the coverage and policies of the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) do not prejudice the interests of graduates who made fundamental decisions in reliance on the basic features of the Program at the time they entered the Law School. Applicants should be aware that other factors, including fiscal constraints and the changing needs of the legal community, also will be considered in determining the design and administration of the Program over the years. Eligibility and the extent of support available under the Program will be determined at the time a graduate applies to the Program, in accordance with the rules and policies then applicable



Believe me when I say LRAP programs don't fail. But they DO have the right to fail if they have to. It's a courtesy program, not a "You have to give us money!" program.

But it doesn't have to be a courtesy program. The terms can vary from school to school. Arguing otherwise requires more than using your caps lock.


Agreed, again. Boalt's LRAP is far more discretionary. It sounds like if you meet the most recent requirements for Columbia, you will still be able to use LRAP. LRAP policies at any school can change over time, but it seems that Boalt's LRAP is much more discretionary and that even if you meet the most recent requirements, the school can still deny aid.

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

Postby Kronk » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:58 am

Honestly guys, I don't even have to argue this. You can true down whatever schools you want based on however discretionary you think they are. I can tell you now that Berkeley's LRAP is just as guaranteed as Columbia's. I don't care if you guys don't want to do the research into the programs to figure that out. The amount of pointless arguing on this site is absurd. Columbia stating that "at the time of application, the amount of aid we can give you may vary" is the same as Boalt saying "if we don't have enough money, the amount we can give you may vary."

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

Postby Kronk » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:00 am

irishman86 wrote:
Dignan wrote:
Kronk wrote:From CLS' website:

Columbia Law School always attempts to ensure that, to the extent possible, changes in the coverage and policies of the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) do not prejudice the interests of graduates who made fundamental decisions in reliance on the basic features of the Program at the time they entered the Law School. Applicants should be aware that other factors, including fiscal constraints and the changing needs of the legal community, also will be considered in determining the design and administration of the Program over the years. Eligibility and the extent of support available under the Program will be determined at the time a graduate applies to the Program, in accordance with the rules and policies then applicable



Believe me when I say LRAP programs don't fail. But they DO have the right to fail if they have to. It's a courtesy program, not a "You have to give us money!" program.

But it doesn't have to be a courtesy program. The terms can vary from school to school. Arguing otherwise requires more than using your caps lock.


Agreed, again. Boalt's LRAP is far more discretionary. It sounds like if you meet the most recent requirements for Columbia, you will still be able to use LRAP. LRAP policies at any school can change over time, but it seems that Boalt's LRAP is much more discretionary and that even if you meet the most recent requirements, the school can still deny aid.



BOTH schools can deny aid even if you meet the requirements. That's why Columbia mentions that the "extent of support may vary" just as Berkeley mentions that depending on the state of the program, they may have to shuffle around funds, disperse them pro rata, etc. It's the same thing.

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

Postby beef wellington » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:03 am

See, before you were arguing not just that CLS wasn't guaranteed, but that no LRAPs were guaranteed. That's where we took issue and I find it odd you won't concede the point. Also, you keep telling us to do research but you won't share the copious research you've presumably already done. If I say please would you reconsider?

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

Postby Dignan » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:05 am

Kronk wrote:Honestly guys, I don't even have to argue this. You can true down whatever schools you want based on however discretionary you think they are. I can tell you now that Berkeley's LRAP is just as guaranteed as Columbia's. I don't care if you guys don't want to do the research into the programs to figure that out. The amount of pointless arguing on this site is absurd.

With all respect, you are the one making strange, categorical arguments. Berkeley reserves the right to restrict its LRAP benefits. For some reason, it is important for you to insist that all schools do this.

I just wandered over to SLS's site. In the terms of its LRAP, Stanford explicitly guarantees that "once participation in the Program has begun, benefits will not be cut back in any way."

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

Postby Kronk » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:08 am

Dignan wrote:
Kronk wrote:Honestly guys, I don't even have to argue this. You can true down whatever schools you want based on however discretionary you think they are. I can tell you now that Berkeley's LRAP is just as guaranteed as Columbia's. I don't care if you guys don't want to do the research into the programs to figure that out. The amount of pointless arguing on this site is absurd.

With all respect, you are the one making strange, categorical arguments. Berkeley reserves the right to restrict its LRAP benefits. For some reason, it is important to you to insist that all schools do this.

I just wandered over to SLS's site. In the terms of its LRAP, Stanford explicitly guarantees that "once participation in the Program has begun, benefits will not be cut back in any way."


Right, and once you apply and are accepted to Boalt's LRAP program, your benefits won't be cut back in any way, either. Same with Columbia. It's at the time of application.

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

Postby Kronk » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:10 am

beef wellington wrote:See, before you were arguing not just that CLS wasn't guaranteed, but that no LRAPs were guaranteed. That's where we took issue and I find it odd you won't concede the point. Also, you keep telling us to do research but you won't share the copious research you've presumably already done. If I say please would you reconsider?


I've talked to financial aid officers as Boalt, NYU, and Chicago about LRAPs and Chicago's HPIP. I haven't called Columbia because I'm not considering it, but it's pretty obvious they share the same caveat as Boalt. None of the programs have ever not given funds to a student that I'm aware of. It's just a safety thing for the schools in case something disastrous occurs and they aren't able to accommodate all requests.

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

Postby beef wellington » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:13 am

Kronk wrote:
Dignan wrote:
Kronk wrote:Honestly guys, I don't even have to argue this. You can true down whatever schools you want based on however discretionary you think they are. I can tell you now that Berkeley's LRAP is just as guaranteed as Columbia's. I don't care if you guys don't want to do the research into the programs to figure that out. The amount of pointless arguing on this site is absurd.

With all respect, you are the one making strange, categorical arguments. Berkeley reserves the right to restrict its LRAP benefits. For some reason, it is important to you to insist that all schools do this.

I just wandered over to SLS's site. In the terms of its LRAP, Stanford explicitly guarantees that "once participation in the Program has begun, benefits will not be cut back in any way."


Right, and once you apply and are accepted to Boalt's LRAP program, your benefits won't be cut back in any way, either. Same with Columbia. It's at the time of application.

This is wrong. None of them are guaranteed from an 0L's perspective, since CLS and SLS could change their programs in the next couple years and current 0Ls would be stuck with the new programs. But Boalt's isn't guaranteed even once you've started participating. They can modify it at any time.




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