Berkeley v Michigan

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Berkeley v Michigan for Academia, Gov, PI

Berkeley
50
56%
Michigan
39
44%
 
Total votes: 89

bom
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:33 am

Berkeley v Michigan

Postby bom » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:40 pm

Thanks for your help ahead of time. Here are the things that are going into my decision right now:

Career Prospects: I'm interested in academia, government and public interest (in that order). I could also imagine trying to secure a BigLaw job after law school just to get my finances in order before moving into a lower paying legal profession, but big law prospects are only a minor consideration since BigLaw is not where I ultimately want to be.

Academic Interests: Law and society issues dealing with race, education and immigration (I'm left-leaning)

Location: I'm very familiar with Berkeley and the Bay area, so the idea of going out of state for law school is exciting. At the same time, I also feel like there's something to be said about choosing a school that's more familiar. I genuinely do like the Bay Area a lot.

Weather: I prefer the weather in Berkeley to Michigan, like most people, but since it's only 3 years, I'm willing to suck it up.

Cost: Berkeley and Michigan both offered me generous $$ offers. Michigan would be less expensive by roughly 10-15K total (not per year), but considering I'll be in a lot of debt either way ... I'm not sure how much I should consider that.

bom
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:33 am

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby bom » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:12 pm

any takers?

User avatar
Son of Cicero
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:24 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby Son of Cicero » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:33 pm

After considering your open-ended set of interests and career goals in light of your geographic flexibility, I'd say you have no reason to prefer one over the other. You are like a formless mass, man.

User avatar
DerrickRose
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:08 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby DerrickRose » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:36 pm

If the costs are similar and you're a left-leaning non-Biglaw type its a no-brainer to go to Berkeley.

You'll love it there.

User avatar
holydonkey
Posts: 1184
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:40 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby holydonkey » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:41 pm

165

User avatar
smov_operator
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:45 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby smov_operator » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:43 pm

Considering your factors I say Berkeley. It has a better critical race theory program, and school of education where you could cross enroll.

garrett09
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:31 am

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby garrett09 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:51 pm

Berkeley. It sounds like you like it, it's higher-ranked, and it's in the Bay Area... great for public interest work/internships, etc. The money difference seems negligible in context of your total debt, so I wouldn't consider that too much.

Do you want to practice in California ultimately? Is there anything pulling you towards Michigan?

User avatar
Dignan
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:52 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby Dignan » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:03 pm

Berkeley and Michigan are peer schools. Your interests, however, point towards Berkeley's strengths. When you add in that you like the Bay Area and that you prefer Berkeley's weather, I think this is close to a no-brainer. I'd be interested to hear one of the Michigan voters defend their vote.

In these polls, I think it's often the case that people just mindlessly vote for the school that they are attending or are about to attend without even reading the OP's post. I'd be wary of giving much weight to this poll, no matter how it turns out.

User avatar
Son of Cicero
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:24 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby Son of Cicero » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:14 pm

Your interests, however, point towards Berkeley's strengths.

:?:
Every "TLS" is either left-leaning or has a "critical mass" of left-leaners (UVa is the only possible exception). Boalt's strengths are IP, environmental law, and maybe immigration (I can't remember what the viewbook stresses). Boalt might be a little stronger in immigration, but Michigan is big on International Law. Maybe at some point people become interested in Education Law at Boalt, but when I went there no one expressed any interest at all. Both schools have Race classes and Race journals. The OP seems a little sick of CA, but he's unwilling to admit it to himself. Seems like more of a toss-up to me.

User avatar
Dignan
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:52 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby Dignan » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:19 pm

Son of Cicero wrote:
Your interests, however, point towards Berkeley's strengths.

The OP seems a little sick of CA, but he's unwilling to admit it to himself. Seems like more of a toss-up to me.

Yes, if the OP is fooling himself--he's actually sick of California and he secretly yearns for a life in Ann Arbor--then that changes things. But I'm taking the OP at his word.

User avatar
Son of Cicero
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:24 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby Son of Cicero » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:29 pm

That's why your advice will always be lame. "You said you like it? Then have another helping! Have 1,000 helpings!" Try taking a closer look at his post:
Location: I'm very familiar with Berkeley and the Bay area, so the idea of going out of state for law school is exciting.

That does sound fun. I mean, it's like the icing on 3 years of ****cake, but it's definitely the icing.
At the same time, I also feel like there's something to be said about choosing a school that's more familiar.

Are any of those things positive, though? Do you really want to fall back in with those desperate addicts on Shattuck as soon as you get off the BART?
I genuinely do like the Bay Area a lot.

The OP doth protest too much, methinks, etc., etc.

nooknak355
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:21 am

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby nooknak355 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:35 pm

I'm considering the same two schools and have somewhat similar interests, so I understand how OP is feeling. As OP said that he will be in debt regardless, another thing to think about is which school offers a better LRAP option in the case that he pursues government/PI.

bom
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:33 am

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby bom » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:24 pm

Thanks for all of the responses. I really appreciate your insights.

I guess my problem is that, to me, Berkeley and Michigan seem so similar. Both are left-leaning, peer public schools w/ similar school cultures, except that Michigan students seem to be younger and seem to have more of a community and Berkeley students seem to be more laid back.

And the differences between them (cost, weather and ranking) are differences that don't really matter that much to me.

I think the big reason why I'm attracted to Michigan is because it is out of state and at times, I feel like it would be cool to go somewhere different for law school. When I said that I genuinely liked the Bay Area, I just wanted to make it very clear that I would probably also be happy living there during law school and that if I felt Berkeley had a clear edge, I would have no problem going there.

The other thing I like about Michigan is that they generally have stronger law clinics.

As others have pointed out, my problem with Michigan is that the school doesn't seem to have a lot of faculty members who share my intellectual interests. There are a ton of faculty members who generally share the same political views that I do, but that doesn't seem especially helpful when I'd like to research a field they don't specialize in. I perceive this as one of the bigger problem. I'm going to have to be publishing in law school if I want to go into academia.

My other problem is that I'm not sure how I would fit in at Michigan. I didn't go to their ASW and really have no idea how the students are, personality wise.
Last edited by bom on Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

showNprove
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:52 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby showNprove » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:28 pm

Michigan. Time to leave the nest.

User avatar
Dignan
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:52 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby Dignan » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:28 pm

bom wrote:My problem with Michigan is that the school doesn't seem to have a lot of faculty members who share my intellectual interests. There are a ton of faculty members who generally share the same political views that I do, but that doesn't seem especially helpful when I'd like to research a field they don't specialize in.

Cicero's compelling psychoanalysis notwithstanding, I don't think the question is that close when one school has faculty that specialize in your area of interest while the other school does not, especially when the two schools are similar in overall reputation and quality.

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

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby fortissimo » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:37 pm

Dignan wrote:
bom wrote:My problem with Michigan is that the school doesn't seem to have a lot of faculty members who share my intellectual interests. There are a ton of faculty members who generally share the same political views that I do, but that doesn't seem especially helpful when I'd like to research a field they don't specialize in.

Cicero's compelling psychoanalysis notwithstanding, I don't think the question is that close when one school has faculty that specialize in your area of interest while the other school does not, especially when the two schools are similar in overall reputation and quality.


LOL at 0Ls thinking they will do research for top profs in law school. You can, if you get top 10% in the class...Profs don't want idiots doing research for them. I think it's pretty pointless picking schools based on profs' specialty since odds are you won't be top 10% in the class. As for taking into consideration clinics, you can actually get some hands on experience in clinics, regardless of grades.
Last edited by fortissimo on Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Dignan
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:52 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby Dignan » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:42 pm

fortissimo wrote:
Dignan wrote:
bom wrote:My problem with Michigan is that the school doesn't seem to have a lot of faculty members who share my intellectual interests. There are a ton of faculty members who generally share the same political views that I do, but that doesn't seem especially helpful when I'd like to research a field they don't specialize in.

Cicero's compelling psychoanalysis notwithstanding, I don't think the question is that close when one school has faculty that specialize in your area of interest while the other school does not, especially when the two schools are similar in overall reputation and quality.


LOL at 0Ls thinking they will do research for top profs in law school. You can, if you get top 10% in the class...Profs don't want idiots doing research for them.

That's definitely true. A lot of the stuff people focus on--federal clerkship opportunities, law review, academia--require you to be in the top 10% of your class. But one of the reasons people choose to go to a T10 law school is to try to take advantages of those things. I don't see what's wrong with taking such factors into account when choosing between peer schools that you're otherwise ambivalent about.

bom
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:33 am

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby bom » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:43 pm

fortissimo wrote:
Dignan wrote:
bom wrote:My problem with Michigan is that the school doesn't seem to have a lot of faculty members who share my intellectual interests. There are a ton of faculty members who generally share the same political views that I do, but that doesn't seem especially helpful when I'd like to research a field they don't specialize in.

Cicero's compelling psychoanalysis notwithstanding, I don't think the question is that close when one school has faculty that specialize in your area of interest while the other school does not, especially when the two schools are similar in overall reputation and quality.


LOL at 0Ls thinking they will do research for top profs in law school. You can, if you get top 10% in the class...Profs don't want idiots doing research for them.


Not research for them, but my research under their advisement. And I wouldn't mind not working with the huge names. I'd just prefer for a school to have professors who have some background in what I'm interested in.
Last edited by bom on Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby fortissimo » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:45 pm

Dignan wrote:
fortissimo wrote:
Dignan wrote:
bom wrote:My problem with Michigan is that the school doesn't seem to have a lot of faculty members who share my intellectual interests. There are a ton of faculty members who generally share the same political views that I do, but that doesn't seem especially helpful when I'd like to research a field they don't specialize in.

Cicero's compelling psychoanalysis notwithstanding, I don't think the question is that close when one school has faculty that specialize in your area of interest while the other school does not, especially when the two schools are similar in overall reputation and quality.


LOL at 0Ls thinking they will do research for top profs in law school. You can, if you get top 10% in the class...Profs don't want idiots doing research for them.

That's definitely true. A lot of the stuff people focus on--federal clerkship opportunities, law review, academia--require you to be in the top 10% of your class. But one of the reasons people choose to go to a T10 law school is to try to take advantages of those things. I don't see what's wrong with taking such factors into account when choosing between peer schools that you're otherwise ambivalent about.


Because I am pretty confident when I say that you are not going to be top 10% in your class. You should take into consideration things that are actually available to you, clinics, practicums, etc.
Last edited by fortissimo on Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

garrett09
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:31 am

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby garrett09 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:45 pm

fortissimo wrote:LOL at 0Ls thinking they will do research for top profs in law school. You can, if you get top 10% in the class...Profs don't want idiots doing research for them.


Okay, but if someone's interested in academia, isn't it generally good to go to a place where professors are doing work/research you like? OP wasn't saying he was definitely going to be a top prof's RA, but if that's what he's shooting for, it definitely makes sense to follow the faculty he admires.

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

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby fortissimo » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:47 pm

garrett09 wrote:
fortissimo wrote:LOL at 0Ls thinking they will do research for top profs in law school. You can, if you get top 10% in the class...Profs don't want idiots doing research for them.


Okay, but if someone's interested in academia, isn't it generally good to go to a place where professors are doing work/research you like? OP wasn't saying he was definitely going to be a top prof's RA, but if that's what he's shooting for, it definitely makes sense to follow the faculty he admires.


If someone's interested in academia, you get top 10% in every class, get on law review, and land a COA clerkship. That's pretty much it. I don't know what dream world you guys live in, but unless you never plan on sleeping you'll probably only have time for 1) getting top 10% and 2) law review than doing "research" for a professor. And how many of you are actually in law school? (Ok, I just checked, apparently nobody responding to me is in law school.) Getting top 10% in a single class, let alone all your classes, is not easy. (There are people who do it...but they are insane.)
Last edited by fortissimo on Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Son of Cicero
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:24 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby Son of Cicero » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:50 pm

It's pretty obvious that the OP's ready to get out of the Bay Area but wouldn't hate being stuck there. This is more or less what he said in his last post.

I don't think the question is that close when one school has faculty that specialize in your area of interest while the other school does not

Unless he's already got an M.A. in one of those fields, I wouldn't take the attachment to be that strong. Other than dual degree students and IP nerds, I haven't met anyone in 2 years of law school who cared so much about a particular field that they could have definitively said beforehand that they knew what they would end up doing (no one really knows now, either). Everyone ends up going in a different direction after working on journals, participating in clinics, taking a few classes in a field to get to the generously-graded upper divs, etc. Neither school is the clear gold standard in any of the fields the OP listed anyway. If he had reason to think he wanted to go into IP law or environmental law, it might be a different story.

User avatar
Dignan
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:52 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby Dignan » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:50 pm

fortissimo wrote:
garrett09 wrote:
fortissimo wrote:LOL at 0Ls thinking they will do research for top profs in law school. You can, if you get top 10% in the class...Profs don't want idiots doing research for them.


Okay, but if someone's interested in academia, isn't it generally good to go to a place where professors are doing work/research you like? OP wasn't saying he was definitely going to be a top prof's RA, but if that's what he's shooting for, it definitely makes sense to follow the faculty he admires.


If someone's interested in academia, you get top 10% in every class, get on law review, and land a COA clerkship. That's pretty much it. I don't know what dream world you guys live in, but unless you never plan on sleeping you'll probably only have time for 1) getting top 10% and 2) law review than doing "research" for a professor. And how many of you are actually in law school? Getting top 10% is not easy. I shouldn't even bother arguing with 0Ls.

I think fortissimo might just be trolling for fun. But, OP, just in case you're taking him seriously, you do not have to "get top 10% in every class" in order to get a job in academia. You have to do well, but you can still end up in academia while getting the occasional B.

User avatar
Tangerine Gleam
Posts: 1349
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:50 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:54 pm

OP's top priority goal is academia, yes? Michigan does better in that regard, I think.

Tough call, broseph. These are my final two as well.

tamlyric
Posts: 656
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:21 pm

Re: Berkeley v Michigan

Postby tamlyric » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:56 pm

Seems like a toss up to me. My advice would be to choose the school/experience that most excites you. 8)




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Aside, carlos_danger and 6 guests