2008 law grads: UC-Berkeley academia = 0%
UC-Berkeley judicial clerk = 9%
Northwestern academia = 2%
Northwestern judicial clerk = 12%
Where did you get those numbers? Those sound wrong for both schools. Plus "judicial clerk" is rather vague. What exactly are you including there?
Yea, I also doubt the accuracy of those numbers. Leiter (not that we should take all that he says to be true) has Berkeley ahead of NU in both Academia and clerkships...
Anyway, with respect to the OP, I would say go with Berkeley if you are psyched on the Bay Area and hate the Chicago winters. I know a poster above me remarked that Berkeley is not SF, and that is true; but you can easily live in SF while attending Berkeley.
As for the claims about Berkeley going down the tubes with the California economy, just take a look at the expansion of the campus, and the baller group of faculty that Edley just hired. Boalt is surging still.