Berkeley v. Penn

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nooknak355
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Berkeley v. Penn

Postby nooknak355 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:06 pm

I'm trying to decide between Berkeley and Penn, and both are at sticker. I'm interested in doing public interest and social justice, but I'm quite torn between the two. Any insights?

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violinst
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby violinst » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:13 pm

Berkeley, without any doubt!

nooknak355
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby nooknak355 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:18 pm

Berkeley is awesome overall, but I don't know if it provides that much more of a return than Penn for the extra cost that it would be (tuition and COL, not to mention the crazy UC system).

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emilybeth
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby emilybeth » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:23 pm

Public interest and social justice? Go to Berkeley, 100%. If you're paying sticker for both, and you're set on PI work, then it's irrelevant cost-wise which you choose: you'll be relying on either school's LRAP and/or federal legislation like the IBR to pay back your loans, and you'll ultimately end up paying back the same amount. Provided, of course, you can find a qualifying PI job. And provided, of course, the school has a supportive LRAP. Berkeley is the better school for both of these considerations.

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Arrow
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Arrow » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:24 pm

Between the two, I choose Berkeley over Penn, despite my undying love for Penn. I think the difference comes down mostly to where you want to practice. Penn for east, Berkeley for west. Berkeley also does have an amazing public interest program with awesome loan forgiveness. Barring a desire for the east, I would recommend you come join me at Boalt. =P

nooknak355
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby nooknak355 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:49 pm

Wait, but doesn't Boalt have a minimum of 100K in debt in order to be eligible for LRAP funding? I probably wouldn't borrow that much, but enough for it to be a problem for PI.

Also, I'm open to practicing in different areas, but I see myself more likely to end up on the East Coast or the Midwest. To make things more complicated, I'm also in at Michigan at sticker with residency but am less enthused about going there.

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emilybeth
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby emilybeth » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:58 pm

Yes, good point. I would look up the list of participating employers at each school's OCI last year. I don't have a list in front of me but I'd wager that the PI employers at Berkeley outnumber the Penn employers. While OCI certainly isn't the only (or best) way to get a PI job, it is a decent barometer for each school.

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im_blue
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby im_blue » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:15 am

nooknak355 wrote:Wait, but doesn't Boalt have a minimum of 100K in debt in order to be eligible for LRAP funding? I probably wouldn't borrow that much, but enough for it to be a problem for PI.

Unless you have $100k sitting in the bank right now, you're easily going to exceed that minimum.

nooknak355
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby nooknak355 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:18 am

im_blue wrote:
nooknak355 wrote:Wait, but doesn't Boalt have a minimum of 100K in debt in order to be eligible for LRAP funding? I probably wouldn't borrow that much, but enough for it to be a problem for PI.

Unless you have $100k sitting in the bank right now, you're easily going to exceed that minimum.


Without going into too much detail, that's essentially the situation.

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kalvano
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby kalvano » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:19 am

I'm going to be different and suggest Penn because California will self-destruct before your 3 years are up. Besides, Berkley is nucking futs.

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AngryAvocado
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby AngryAvocado » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:23 am

im_blue wrote:
nooknak355 wrote:Wait, but doesn't Boalt have a minimum of 100K in debt in order to be eligible for LRAP funding? I probably wouldn't borrow that much, but enough for it to be a problem for PI.

Unless you have $100k sitting in the bank right now, wealthy parents, or special "clients", you're easily going to exceed that minimum.


FTFY

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Dignan » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:45 am

im_blue wrote:
nooknak355 wrote:Wait, but doesn't Boalt have a minimum of 100K in debt in order to be eligible for LRAP funding? I probably wouldn't borrow that much, but enough for it to be a problem for PI.

Unless you have $100k sitting in the bank right now, you're easily going to exceed that minimum.

Berkeley removed the $100k debt ceiling last year.

fortissimo
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby fortissimo » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:49 am

Dignan wrote:
im_blue wrote:
nooknak355 wrote:Wait, but doesn't Boalt have a minimum of 100K in debt in order to be eligible for LRAP funding? I probably wouldn't borrow that much, but enough for it to be a problem for PI.

Unless you have $100k sitting in the bank right now, you're easily going to exceed that minimum.

Berkeley removed the $100k debt ceiling last year.


I think you're confusing a floor with a ceiling...They "removed the ceiling" because IBR pays off loans beyond 100k, but you still need at least 100k loans to qualify for LRAP. Something like that.

LRAP will grant up to 10 years of support to graduates with more than $100,000 in student loan debt provided that their annual income is no greater than $100,000.

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/194.htm
Last edited by fortissimo on Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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im_blue
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby im_blue » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:51 am

nooknak355 wrote:
im_blue wrote:
nooknak355 wrote:Wait, but doesn't Boalt have a minimum of 100K in debt in order to be eligible for LRAP funding? I probably wouldn't borrow that much, but enough for it to be a problem for PI.

Unless you have $100k sitting in the bank right now, you're easily going to exceed that minimum.


Without going into too much detail, that's essentially the situation.

In that case, why not borrow the full COA and let LRAP take care of it?

fortissimo
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby fortissimo » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:52 am

im_blue wrote:
nooknak355 wrote:
im_blue wrote:
nooknak355 wrote:Wait, but doesn't Boalt have a minimum of 100K in debt in order to be eligible for LRAP funding? I probably wouldn't borrow that much, but enough for it to be a problem for PI.

Unless you have $100k sitting in the bank right now, you're easily going to exceed that minimum.


Without going into too much detail, that's essentially the situation.

In that case, why not borrow the full COA and let LRAP take care of it?


Because with IBR your remaining loans still collect interest...someone can figure out the math, but taking 130k more on loans with 8% interest or whatever if you don't need to sounds questionable. Not sure LRAP benefits > interest accrued, depending on your salary. (Maybe you can try to game the system by taking out 100,001 on loans LOL...although I bet that looks suspicious. And it depends on how much you have saved up. I'd rather not loan if you can b/c the interest rate is so high.)
Last edited by fortissimo on Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Dignan » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:59 am

fortissimo wrote:
Dignan wrote:
im_blue wrote:
nooknak355 wrote:Wait, but doesn't Boalt have a minimum of 100K in debt in order to be eligible for LRAP funding? I probably wouldn't borrow that much, but enough for it to be a problem for PI.

Unless you have $100k sitting in the bank right now, you're easily going to exceed that minimum.

Berkeley removed the $100k debt ceiling last year.


I think you're confusing a floor with a ceiling...They "removed the ceiling" because IBR pays off loans beyond 100k, but you still need at least 100k loans to qualify for LRAP. Something like that.

My mistake. You're right.

Wooster33
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Wooster33 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:02 am

Penn.

I suggest you visit both places, Berkeley really isn't that nice of a city. A lot of people really dislike the place.

While Berkeley is a great school, it has traditionally placed a very large portion of its class in Cali, so alumni connections are going to be concentrated in a state that I would personally be reluctant to settle in at the moment. On the other hand, the weather is great and if you like San Francisco it's right across the Bay. Also, Penn has a smaller class and that is a bonus for me. Congratulations on both, though! Visit both before you make a decision if you haven't already

As others have said with the new IBR makes the debt in PI not a huge concern, but Berkeley covers whatever little payments you have to make under IBR (when I was looking at their program) as long as you make less than something like $60,000. However, if you are making that little your IBR payment isn't going to be huge in any case (and perhaps Penn has updated their program, I can't speak to theirs at all). I would imagine course offerings for PI at Berkeley are stronger as well.

Wooster33
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Wooster33 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:04 am

Because with IBR your remaining loans still collect interest...someone can figure out the math, but taking 130k more on loans with 8% interest or whatever if you don't need to sounds questionable. Not sure LRAP benefits > interest accrued, depending on your salary. (Maybe you can try to game the system by taking out 100,001 on loans LOL...although I bet that looks suspicious. And it depends on how much you have saved up. I'd rather not loan if you can b/c the interest rate is so high.)


If you plan on doing the 10 years in public service, however, all outstanding debt is forgiven. If somebody is certain they want to do this, then there is essentially no incentive for living frugally. Just one of many problems with the IBR program.

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Dignan » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:23 am

Wooster33 wrote:Penn.

I suggest you visit both places, Berkeley really isn't that nice of a city. A lot of people really dislike the place.

A lot of people really dislike Philly as well. I'd much rather go to law school in Berkeley than Philly, but this is a personal matter. As Wooster suggests, you should visit both cities.

While Berkeley is a great school, it has traditionally placed a very large portion of its class in Cali, so alumni connections are going to be concentrated in a state that I would personally be reluctant to settle in at the moment.

I've seen this argument a lot, and I'm a little puzzled by it. The California budget crisis is getting a lot of attention, but the state of New York--which is Penn's primary market--isn't faring much better. New York is also facing its worst state budget since the Great Depression. And NYC is in all kinds of financial trouble.

Don't get me wrong: California is in bad shape. But so are lots of states in this country, particularly in the East. And, long-term, I have a little more confidence in the West Coast tech sector than I do in the East Coast financial sector. It's a risk to tie yourself to any region right now, but I don't think that Penn is any more "national" than Berkeley, and I don't think that the East Coast is necessarily a better long-term bet than the West Coast.

fortissimo
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby fortissimo » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:28 am

Wooster33 wrote:
Because with IBR your remaining loans still collect interest...someone can figure out the math, but taking 130k more on loans with 8% interest or whatever if you don't need to sounds questionable. Not sure LRAP benefits > interest accrued, depending on your salary. (Maybe you can try to game the system by taking out 100,001 on loans LOL...although I bet that looks suspicious. And it depends on how much you have saved up. I'd rather not loan if you can b/c the interest rate is so high.)


If you plan on doing the 10 years in public service, however, all outstanding debt is forgiven. If somebody is certain they want to do this, then there is essentially no incentive for living frugally. Just one of many problems with the IBR program.


Uh you'd still have to pay loans off (while collecting interest) during the 10 years........versus not having loans to pay off during the 10 years if you don't take on as much debt.

As for the CA v. NYC market argument. Unless you're going to pursue IP I don't see how the tech sector has any relevance for law. Also, NYC is still going to be the legal and financial capital of America for pretty much forever. Its legal market is faring better right now than CA markets and is easier to break into.

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Dignan » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:34 am

fortissimo wrote:
Wooster33 wrote:
Because with IBR your remaining loans still collect interest...someone can figure out the math, but taking 130k more on loans with 8% interest or whatever if you don't need to sounds questionable. Not sure LRAP benefits > interest accrued, depending on your salary. (Maybe you can try to game the system by taking out 100,001 on loans LOL...although I bet that looks suspicious. And it depends on how much you have saved up. I'd rather not loan if you can b/c the interest rate is so high.)


If you plan on doing the 10 years in public service, however, all outstanding debt is forgiven. If somebody is certain they want to do this, then there is essentially no incentive for living frugally. Just one of many problems with the IBR program.


Uh you'd still have to pay loans off (while collecting interest) during the 10 years........versus not having loans to pay off during the 10 years if you don't take on as much debt.

As for the CA v. NYC market argument. Unless you're going to pursue IP I don't see how the tech sector has any relevance for law. Also, NYC is still going to be the legal and financial capital of America for pretty much forever. Its legal market is faring better right now than CA markets and is easier to break into.

OTOH, ten T14 law schools target NYC as their primary market while only two T14s target California. I don't think that the CA market is hard to break into for a Berkeley Law graduate.

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Dr. Strangelove
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:39 am

I hate Berkeley because it's such a GPA-snob school.
However, I'd say go for Berkeley anyway.. I'm just jealous because I won't get in even if I get a 180...

fortissimo
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby fortissimo » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:39 am

Dignan wrote:
fortissimo wrote:
Wooster33 wrote:
Because with IBR your remaining loans still collect interest...someone can figure out the math, but taking 130k more on loans with 8% interest or whatever if you don't need to sounds questionable. Not sure LRAP benefits > interest accrued, depending on your salary. (Maybe you can try to game the system by taking out 100,001 on loans LOL...although I bet that looks suspicious. And it depends on how much you have saved up. I'd rather not loan if you can b/c the interest rate is so high.)


If you plan on doing the 10 years in public service, however, all outstanding debt is forgiven. If somebody is certain they want to do this, then there is essentially no incentive for living frugally. Just one of many problems with the IBR program.


Uh you'd still have to pay loans off (while collecting interest) during the 10 years........versus not having loans to pay off during the 10 years if you don't take on as much debt.

As for the CA v. NYC market argument. Unless you're going to pursue IP I don't see how the tech sector has any relevance for law. Also, NYC is still going to be the legal and financial capital of America for pretty much forever. Its legal market is faring better right now than CA markets and is easier to break into.

OTOH, ten T14 law schools target NYC as their primary market while only two T14s target California. I don't think that the CA market is hard to break into for a Berkeley Law graduate.


I think it's the plurality for many of the t14, but not the majority for many of them. These schools split their grads among Chicago, DC, and NYC and believe it or not, quite a few head out West. And fwiw, the NYC market is still at least 5 times bigger than SF and something like at least 3 times bigger than LA's. Ask any current 2L though. NYC is in better shape.

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Dignan
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby Dignan » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:48 am

fortissimo wrote:
Dignan wrote:
fortissimo wrote:As for the CA v. NYC market argument. Unless you're going to pursue IP I don't see how the tech sector has any relevance for law. Also, NYC is still going to be the legal and financial capital of America for pretty much forever. Its legal market is faring better right now than CA markets and is easier to break into.

OTOH, ten T14 law schools target NYC as their primary market while only two T14s target California. I don't think that the CA market is hard to break into for a Berkeley Law graduate.


I think it's the plurality for many of the t14, but not the majority for many of them. These schools split their grads among Chicago, DC, and NYC and believe it or not, quite a few head out West.

So, why are so many East Coasters headed out into the crappy West Coast legal market? :D

fortissimo
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Re: Berkeley v. Penn

Postby fortissimo » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:50 am

Dignan wrote:
fortissimo wrote:
Dignan wrote:
fortissimo wrote:As for the CA v. NYC market argument. Unless you're going to pursue IP I don't see how the tech sector has any relevance for law. Also, NYC is still going to be the legal and financial capital of America for pretty much forever. Its legal market is faring better right now than CA markets and is easier to break into.

OTOH, ten T14 law schools target NYC as their primary market while only two T14s target California. I don't think that the CA market is hard to break into for a Berkeley Law graduate.


I think it's the plurality for many of the t14, but not the majority for many of them. These schools split their grads among Chicago, DC, and NYC and believe it or not, quite a few head out West./quote]
So, why are so many East Coasters headed out into the crappy West Coast legal market? :D


We're talking about grads right, not necessarily where people are from. Maybe they are West Coasters who decided to choose Columbia or Chicago, etc. ? I don't really know that many, tbh I don't know any, East Coasters who plan on migrating to the West Coast for the first time after law school. Regardless, their grades still probably have to be better for SF biglaw than NYC biglaw since it is a much tinier market. OP wants PI though...so whatever, but she does want PI on the East Coast.




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