Berkeley Law or Columbia

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Berkeley Law or Columbia

Berkeley Law
78
43%
CLS
94
51%
Flip Coin
11
6%
 
Total votes: 183

CalorColumbiaGuy
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Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby CalorColumbiaGuy » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:53 am

Cal or Columbia

Hi, TLS! I plan on entering the class of 2013, um… somewhere.
After much thought, and based on the acceptances received thus far, I’ve narrowed down my choices to Columbia and Berkeley.

A friend said that this is the place to go for all the answers to any and everything law school related (how did I manage to miss this during application time?), so here I am…

Based on my preferences, it’s practically a coin-toss, but before literally pull a Harvey Dent, I would like to hear your opinions…

Thank you.

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kittenmittons
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby kittenmittons » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:57 am

Career goals? Post-graduation location preferences?

DanInALionsDen
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby DanInALionsDen » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:58 am

I voted for Berkeley because I'm trying to get into Columbia. If it's a toss up for you anyway, why not be different and go with Berk? I'd say just about anyone in your shoes would go with Columbia, because most people here want biglaw, and historically there is no better school for that than CLS.

Before voting, people are going to ask you:

-What do you want to do when you graduate?

-Any scholarships at either?

-Where do you want to practice?
Last edited by DanInALionsDen on Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

DanInALionsDen
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby DanInALionsDen » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:59 am

Told you so. Guy above me beat me to it.

CalorColumbiaGuy
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby CalorColumbiaGuy » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:24 am

Additional info:
Current Undergrad Senior at Cal (Bias? Maybe)
Focus yet to be determined, but open to Corporate (+ for CLS)
California native, never been to NY (planning on visiting) (Comfort v. Growth)
Would like to practice in Ca (based on 21 years of nothing else)

Thanks for the speedy feedback!

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badfish
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby badfish » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:39 am

Columbia Law School.

1) Places extremely well in California.
2) Personal growth factor.
3) Diversity on your resume.
4) Ivy Factor (for lay prestige).
5) Option for PI is open and their LRAP is better than cal's.

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kittenmittons
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby kittenmittons » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:12 am

badfish wrote:Columbia Law School.

1) Places extremely well in California.
2) Personal growth factor.
3) Diversity on your resume.
4) Ivy Factor (for lay prestige).
5) Option for PI is open and their LRAP is better than cal's.

This is absolutely correct.

lakerfanimal
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby lakerfanimal » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:17 pm

If you want to stay in Cali, Columbia might be a little better (might..) but I feel like it's splitting hairs. Nationally Columbia will open more doors.. I'd advise you to just visit both and figure out where you see yourself thriving.

CalorColumbiaGuy
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby CalorColumbiaGuy » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:18 pm

Thank you, Lakerfanimal (GO LAKERS!)
I certainly plan on visiting both within the coming weeks (one more easily than the other.)

Honestly though, I’m a bit surprised by the strength of your (TLS’s) clear preference for CLS. I’ve taken many of the factors that Badfish mentioned into account, but at which point does “California love” break down into self-sabotage?

Hmm… and is anyone out there currently attending Columbia Law? Columbia undergrad? Do you live in New York?

Is it a happy place?

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OneKnight
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby OneKnight » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:36 pm

CalorColumbiaGuy wrote:
Hmm… and is anyone out there currently attending Columbia Law? Columbia undergrad? Do you live in New York?

Is it a happy place?


Haha, that is such a Californian question! Are you sure you're ready for the East Coast?
Living in NYC is every bit as fast-paced and exciting as you can imagine, but it can also be very cold (temperature-wise and people-wise). New Yorkers aren't as rude as we're made out to be, but it's definitely not as friendly as a small, midwestern town (not like the bay area is smalltown, USA though, right?).
Columbia, on the other hand, (and I speak as a non-CLS Columbia student) is a pretty happy place. I think we have a weird resonance with Cal (though most Columbia students would never admit it) because of our left-leaning, somewhat radical politics (we had a student uprising in '68!). If you can get past our somewhat archaic bureaucracy, the opportunities here are amazing.
If you're up for a BIG change, CLS is for you. I don't think the career opportunities will be any better than Cal in California, but CLS would allow you to work in the Northeast after law school if you find you want to stay and enjoy the snow.

holborn
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby holborn » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:55 pm

The thing about going to CLS is that if you really decide you miss Cali and want to move back, the degree is portable enough to let you do that.

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glowhard
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby glowhard » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:08 pm

Those are two fairly dramatically different schools… you really aren’t leaning one way or the other? Berkeley has a very different grading system (no grades first year? Or something like that), Berkeley has about 300 kids per class while Columbia has about 400, Berkeley’s in a small-feeling city while Columbia’s in New York, etc. You should definitely visit and see which one feels like a better fit, but I’d also just do some research (online, reading the materials they send, etc) about the two schools and some reflection about what you want. For practicing in Cali, you’ll be fine either way… so you’ve got a choice about how to spend the next three years of your life. Do you want a scene change? An Ivy degree on your resume? To solidify your Cali roots? These boards are great, but this strikes me primarily as a personal decision.

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im_blue
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby im_blue » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:22 pm

badfish wrote:Columbia Law School.

1) Places extremely well in California.
2) Personal growth factor.
3) Diversity on your resume.
4) Ivy Factor (for lay prestige).
5) Option for PI is open and their LRAP is better than cal's.

Correct. Also, Columbia matches or exceeds Berkeley's reputation everywhere, even in California. This would be especially valuable if you decide to work outside California.
Last edited by im_blue on Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

irishman86
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby irishman86 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:11 pm

glowhard wrote:Those are two fairly dramatically different schools… you really aren’t leaning one way or the other? Berkeley has a very different grading system (no grades first year? Or something like that), Berkeley has about 300 kids per class while Columbia has about 400, Berkeley’s in a small-feeling city while Columbia’s in New York, etc. You should definitely visit and see which one feels like a better fit, but I’d also just do some research (online, reading the materials they send, etc) about the two schools and some reflection about what you want. For practicing in Cali, you’ll be fine either way… so you’ve got a choice about how to spend the next three years of your life. Do you want a scene change? An Ivy degree on your resume? To solidify your Cali roots? These boards are great, but this strikes me primarily as a personal decision.


Berkeley has grades all 3 years and they are curved. bottom 60% gets P (with sub Ps for people who do really poorly) and the next 30% with H and the top 10% HH. The first semester you can't get sub-Ps, but you still get grades that are curved.

I would choose Columbia, hands down. Unless Boalt offers you $ go to the Columbia which is the better school with the better LRAP and job prospects.

CalorColumbiaGuy
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby CalorColumbiaGuy » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:45 pm

Hmm... So let's complicate things. I've considered entertainment law, and I understand that Cal has a killer IP program.

Thoughts?

lakerfanimal
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby lakerfanimal » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:58 am

CalorColumbiaGuy wrote:Hmm... So let's complicate things. I've considered entertainment law, and I understand that Cal has a killer IP program.

Thoughts?


I'm not sure entertainment law will be big at either, but looking at some stuff from Berkeley it seems like they're trying to get things started? If you're not that committed to any specific fields, I think you shouldn't weigh it too heavily (but again that's up to you). But if you have even somewhat of a technical background and are leaning towards IP I think that Berkeley's expertise in that area is a very big factor.

I'm from California too and I would pick Berkeley because one of the biggest things for me would be distance from my family.. Not sure how big a factor that is to you, but if it is pretty big then that's something to think about also if you haven't already.

I think Berkeley overall isn't AS laid back as some people say (I think it might be more laid back than Columbia but law school is not an easy journey from what I can tell haha) and I don't think Columbia is cold and competitive as people would tell you.

Overall the schools seem fairly different in many ways, location of course probably being the most tangible and easy to see. Both do well in California, I've heard that 25% or so of Columbia Law's student body is usually from California which is crazy (and possibly false?) so I don't think it'll be hard for you to come back. Overall I think it comes down to a) are you set on staying in Cali after school and b) are you more interested in staying in Cali for 3 more years or going to NY for 3 years.

I'm somewhat pulling for Berkeley, but there's a lot of Columbia supporters in here so I don't feel as bad. Overall, OP you can't really go wrong I don't think :)

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby Dignan » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:10 am

CalorColumbiaGuy wrote:Hmm... So let's complicate things. I've considered entertainment law, and I understand that Cal has a killer IP program.

Thoughts?

I am struggling with the same choice you are: CLS and Berkeley are probably my top two options at this point. And I also have an interest in IP law. Anyway, I began my research assuming that Berkeley's IP program was stronger than CLS's. After doing some reading, talking to some students, and attending CLS's ASW, I no longer believe that to be true.

Both schools have outstanding IP programs. I don't think that one is clearly stronger than the other.

CalorColumbiaGuy
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby CalorColumbiaGuy » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:03 am

...and if neither is stronger, then the choice for me is clear. California sunshine.
What are some of the factors you're considering in your decision, Dignan?

BetterCallSaul
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby BetterCallSaul » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:14 am

I'm not part of either, but the California Society and Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Society (EASLS) are huge at Columbia. EASLS members get great seats at the US Open for free, go to the MTV Music Video Awards and generally schmooze up a storm.

The one entertainment lawyer I know is a Columbia alum and now writes contracts for Oprah. The advice he gave was to have fun and to cross register for a few classes at the Columbia Business School. He said his Columbia network has helped him get every job after his first one--from NYC to LA to Chicago.

I do know one student at CLS who may regret choosing Columbia. This person is in a long distance relationship with someone in Cali and kind of regrets going to law school at all. But most Californians seem super happy at CLS--they're a friendly bunch and have great job options.

memaha
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby memaha » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:43 pm

In my opinion, if you visit both schools and decide/find out the two IP programs are equal, I would go with Berk for you. Yes, CLS places extremely well, but Berk is by no means that much worse (esp if you want to stay in Cali).

But mainly I would say Berk for you only because of your "are people happy" question about NYC. If environment is big for you and you are used to West Coast life, I would stick with that. I went to NYU undergrad, and although I loveddd every minute of it, NYC isn't for everyone. Granted, Greenwich Village isn't Morningside Heights, but the city is the city. New York City is definitely not for everyone, and I known plenty of people who transferred from NYU purely because they realized they didn't enjoy that type of a lifestyle/environment.

With that said, if I had this choice, I would pick CLS, but again it is because I love the city.

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im_blue
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby im_blue » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:02 pm

CalorColumbiaGuy wrote:...and if neither is stronger, then the choice for me is clear. California sunshine.
What are some of the factors you're considering in your decision, Dignan?

It sounds like you really want to stay in Berkeley, and want to know if you'd be giving anything up by turning down Columbia.

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby Dignan » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:27 pm

CalorColumbiaGuy wrote:...and if neither is stronger, then the choice for me is clear. California sunshine.
What are some of the factors you're considering in your decision, Dignan?

I'll tell you why I'm leaning towards Columbia:

1. National mobility. I am persuaded that a CLS degree gives a graduate more options, in more job markets, than does a Berkeley degree. I am not sure where I will end up after graduation: I might want to move back to California; I might want to stay on the East Coast; I might want to move to Chicago or some other non-coastal city.

2. Resume diversity. I grew up, went to school, and worked in Northern California. I think it would be beneficial to go to law school somewhere else.

3. Personal growth. See above. I think it would be good for me to live somewhere else, even if just for three years.

Having said all that, I love the Bay Area, and I like Berkeley's law school. Also, I am probably not interested in securing a big law job in NYC, which is CLS's primary strength. Nevertheless, I will probably pick CLS over Berkeley if it comes down to a choice between both schools at sticker.

CalorColumbiaGuy
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby CalorColumbiaGuy » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:48 am

I do know one student at CLS who may regret choosing Columbia. This person is in a long distance relationship with someone in Cali.

Um, I'm not gonna lie. There's a girl and a life that may partially account for my Cal bias...

It sounds like you really want to stay in Berkeley, and want to know if you'd be giving anything up by turning down Columbia.

And I'm just trying to make sure that I'm not limiting my potential for future success by trying to maintain a current satisfaction, not just with the girl (that'd be crazy, right?), but with the environment of which she's a part: Cal.

So it's like this...
Career>Relationship
Career (CLS)>Career (Cal)→CLS
Career (CLS)<Career (Cal)→Never would have posted...
Career (CLS), Career (Cal) too close to call→TLS post, research of programs, etc in order to see if something (external to my career considerations, quality of life, location, "happy people", etc) sways me one way or the other

Ultimately, I think I'd need to see evidence of Columbia's "better than your girlfriend" quality of life, and/or evidence of Berkeley's grossly substandard program in order to be persuaded to leave. The length of this thread suffices to show that the clash question (should I stay or should I go) is, in the eyes of some of America's most brilliant future attorneys, at the very least, up for debate...

Perhaps there's nothing wrong with staying... :D
OR MAYBE THERE IS!!! :shock:

...but I doubt it. 8)

Tofu
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby Tofu » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:02 am

for me, if the relationship was serious, i would go berkeley (in this particular situation, the relationship would be the decisive factor for me)

but that's just me.

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iamthewalrus
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Re: Berkeley Law or Columbia

Postby iamthewalrus » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:53 am

How is Columbia's LRAP better?

At Columbia you start making a pro-rated payment if you earn more than 50k, whereas at Berkeley that happens when you earn more than 65k. At Columbia you have to return all the monetary help you received if you leave the program before the first three years are up. I don't think this happens at Berkeley.

Am I missing something?
Last edited by iamthewalrus on Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:44 am, edited 2 times in total.




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