Berkeley versus NYU for PI/Gov

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vicuna
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Berkeley versus NYU for PI/Gov

Postby vicuna » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:22 pm

I have been accepted to Berkeley (as well as MPDG) and am currently awaiting word from NYU, where I applied ED. Since I was accepted at Berkeley, I have really fallen in love with the several aspects of the school: the political activism, the noncompetitive culture, the social justice focus, and yes, the weather.

As a result, I think that Boalt may be a better fit than NYU. That said, I have lived in and loved NYC, whereas I have never even visited the Bay Area (originally from the South).

I am interested primarily in public interest (and have zero desire for BigLaw) and often hear on this board that 1) prestige matters a lot for PI and 2) NYU is an absolute PI powerhouse. The LRAPs are comparable.

So my question is this: is the superior prestige and PI placement of NYU worth missing the potentially positive quality of life aspects of Berkeley? If not, then I am going to withdraw my ED contract tomorrow.

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glewz
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Re: Berkeley versus NYU for PI/Gov

Postby glewz » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:26 pm

vicuna wrote:I have been accepted to Berkeley (as well as MPDG) and am currently awaiting word from NYU, where I applied ED. Since I was accepted at Berkeley, I have really fallen in love with the several aspects of the school: the political activism, the noncompetitive culture, the social justice focus, and yes, the weather.

As a result, I think that Boalt may be a better fit than NYU. That said, I have lived in and loved NYC, whereas I have never even visited the Bay Area (originally from the South).

I am interested primarily in public interest (and have zero desire for BigLaw) and often hear on this board that 1) prestige matters a lot for PI and 2) NYU is an absolute PI powerhouse. The LRAPs are comparable.

So my question is this: is the superior prestige and PI placement of NYU worth missing the potentially positive quality of life aspects of Berkeley? If not, then I am going to withdraw my ED contract tomorrow.


Word on the street is that NYU is The Place for PI - you won't have a better crack at that almost everywhere else (exception is of course Yale). Berk's quality of life isn't as amazing as everyone claims it is.

HamDel
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Re: Berkeley versus NYU for PI/Gov

Postby HamDel » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:43 pm

glewz wrote:
vicuna wrote:I have been accepted to Berkeley (as well as MPDG) and am currently awaiting word from NYU, where I applied ED. Since I was accepted at Berkeley, I have really fallen in love with the several aspects of the school: the political activism, the noncompetitive culture, the social justice focus, and yes, the weather.

As a result, I think that Boalt may be a better fit than NYU. That said, I have lived in and loved NYC, whereas I have never even visited the Bay Area (originally from the South).

I am interested primarily in public interest (and have zero desire for BigLaw) and often hear on this board that 1) prestige matters a lot for PI and 2) NYU is an absolute PI powerhouse. The LRAPs are comparable.

So my question is this: is the superior prestige and PI placement of NYU worth missing the potentially positive quality of life aspects of Berkeley? If not, then I am going to withdraw my ED contract tomorrow.


Word on the street is that NYU is The Place for PI - you won't have a better crack at that almost everywhere else (exception is of course Yale). Berk's quality of life isn't as amazing as everyone claims it is.


NYU has outrageously good resources for public interest. I remember thinking this didn't matter going into school, but it really does. At my school most public interest is on your own, but NYU has a gigantic employment fair that approaches the size of most schools' OCI process. They take PI seriously, which is a huge plus that you only understand once you're actually in law school. I wouldn't abandon it for Berkeley just yet. If you want to move to California, do it after you get your NYU degree.

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clintonius
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Re: Berkeley versus NYU for PI/Gov

Postby clintonius » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:53 pm

I can't vouch for the NYU PILC (Public Interest Law Center, the office that hooks you up with jobs) 100% just yet, but that's only because I haven't landed a job and it's only December. But I don't know of anyone at the school who would say that the opportunities PILC provides, and the resources the school pours into its public interest efforts, are anything short of amazing.

Edit: the structure of those sentences is awkward. Basically, the NYU public interest office is amazing.

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jonas
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Re: Berkeley versus NYU for PI/Gov

Postby jonas » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:58 pm

I'll put in a plug for Berkeley. I went there, I have friends who went to NYU, and the truth is that the PI and government opportunities, resources, and prestige of both schools are equal. You might find that Berkeley's LRAP is a little more generous. (I say might because the intricacies of these programs make my head spin.)

The choice probably ought to come down to where you want to live for three years and where you want to practice.

It sounds like you're interested in trying out life in the Bay Area. I'd say follow your impulse. It's a wonderful place. I lived in Oakland and San Francisco during law school and loved both cities. Yes, the weather is amazing. But it's more than that. It's the gorgeous and varied landscapes, phenomenal food, vibrant culture, and the chance to get away from everything now and then and head to the Pacific or the mountains or the woods. You can't underestimate the value of being able to escape school once in a while for Point Reyes National Seashore, the Marin Headlands, Big Sur, etc.

As for where you want to practice after graduation, I don't think any doors would be closed to you coming from either school. I live in New York now, and I know plenty of Berkeley grads who practice here. Lots of Berkeley folks are in DC, too. Every Berkeley classmate I know of who wanted to be in NYC or DC was able to go there. For overseas NGO/UN-type work, I think NYU has a slight edge.

I'd be happy to discuss Berkeley if you have questions. Just PM me.

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Shaggier1
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Re: Berkeley versus NYU for PI/Gov

Postby Shaggier1 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:05 pm

Berk's quality of life isn't as amazing as everyone claims it is.


Any basis for this statement?

I have only a semester at Boalt under my belt, but I seriously cannot think of a better quality of life at law school. If anything, I honestly wish it was less fun/enjoyable. There are just too many moments when I have to decide between "X super fun event" and studying. In my case, the former won out more times than it should have (or at least I fear my grades will reflect as much)

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chris0805
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Re: Berkeley versus NYU for PI/Gov

Postby chris0805 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:08 pm

HamDel wrote:
glewz wrote:
vicuna wrote:I have been accepted to Berkeley (as well as MPDG) and am currently awaiting word from NYU, where I applied ED. Since I was accepted at Berkeley, I have really fallen in love with the several aspects of the school: the political activism, the noncompetitive culture, the social justice focus, and yes, the weather.

As a result, I think that Boalt may be a better fit than NYU. That said, I have lived in and loved NYC, whereas I have never even visited the Bay Area (originally from the South).

I am interested primarily in public interest (and have zero desire for BigLaw) and often hear on this board that 1) prestige matters a lot for PI and 2) NYU is an absolute PI powerhouse. The LRAPs are comparable.

So my question is this: is the superior prestige and PI placement of NYU worth missing the potentially positive quality of life aspects of Berkeley? If not, then I am going to withdraw my ED contract tomorrow.


Word on the street is that NYU is The Place for PI - you won't have a better crack at that almost everywhere else (exception is of course Yale). Berk's quality of life isn't as amazing as everyone claims it is.


NYU has outrageously good resources for public interest. I remember thinking this didn't matter going into school, but it really does. At my school most public interest is on your own, but NYU has a gigantic employment fair that approaches the size of most schools' OCI process. They take PI seriously, which is a huge plus that you only understand once you're actually in law school. I wouldn't abandon it for Berkeley just yet. If you want to move to California, do it after you get your NYU degree.



Personally, I think PI is a lot more individual driven than school driven. You need opportunities to get pro bono/internship/clinical experience so if you're school can't offer that, that's one thing. After that, though, it's the resume you put together and the connections you make. In that sense NYU will be much better for New York (and likely DC) PI, but Boalt will be much better if you want to work in SF or LA.

As a recent graduate, I would disagree that resources are so important, but I dunno, maybe I'm more of a self-starter than I realize. I did, however, get a job through NYU's job fair, which is great, but I didn't go to NYU, so take that FWIW.

Renzo
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Re: Berkeley versus NYU for PI/Gov

Postby Renzo » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:11 pm

The two cities really couldn't be much more different. I'd pick on the basis of which I liked better.




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