Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

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rbarcelo9
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Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby rbarcelo9 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:02 pm

It's early in my cycle still, but already I am stressing about choosing the right school. Originally I told myself before applying that I wanted to get the best legal education possible, and while typically that means going to the highest ranked school, I am beginning to question my commitment to a top 10 school. I really like Berkeley and I know if I go there I will be very happy, but the thought of being in the hole $200k before having a steady job terrifies me. In my particular situation, I don't know if it makes sense to take the plunge of sticker at Berkeley. I'm certain I want to practice in Florida, and have already been accepted into UF and UT. While I am not Big Law or bust, I certainly want a job that is going to pay well. With that being said would I be in a better position securing a solid job in the Miami law market with a UF JD or a Berkeley JD. I know that the Berkeley name opens a ton of doors and will allow me to move if I ever decide to and this makes me consider taking on the $200k debt. But for now, I am certain that Miami is where I want to live. It's a complex decision for me, and I know I will get conflicting advice, but any insight or opinions are welcome and appreciated.

-Confused 0L

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Grizz
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby Grizz » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:08 pm

Go to Tex with $. Open up another market that is actually doing comparatively well. UF should not even be on the radar. FL market is shit right now. I'm from there; I know. Absolute shit.

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rbarcelo9
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby rbarcelo9 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:14 pm

hopefully Berk gives me some need-based aid. How easy is it to become a TX resident? I've heard its pretty easy in CA and the tuition for out of state TX is about the same for in state CA. It's just so hard for me to say no to the #7 school. So hard (no homo).

2011Law
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby 2011Law » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:18 pm

rad law wrote:Go to Tex with $. Open up another market that is actually doing comparatively well. UF should not even be on the radar. FL market is shit right now. I'm from there; I know. Absolute shit.


Agreed that the Florida market is trash. But if OP is committed to Miami, then I say go to UF and be able to graduate with very little debt. If OP thinks right now that there is even a slight chance he/she will ever want to work in another state, go into academia, or like to clerk, I'd go to Berk. From a 0L.

2011Law
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby 2011Law » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:20 pm

rbarcelo9 wrote:hopefully Berk gives me some need-based aid. How easy is it to become a TX resident? I've heard its pretty easy in CA and the tuition for out of state TX is about the same for in state CA. It's just so hard for me to say no to the #7 school. So hard (no homo).


texas is not a state you can get in state residency easily. actually, i'm not sure of any state in which you can get in state tuition easily except CA

edit; oh yeah, are you from FL?

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rbarcelo9
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby rbarcelo9 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:30 pm

2011Law wrote:
rbarcelo9 wrote:hopefully Berk gives me some need-based aid. How easy is it to become a TX resident? I've heard its pretty easy in CA and the tuition for out of state TX is about the same for in state CA. It's just so hard for me to say no to the #7 school. So hard (no homo).


texas is not a state you can get in state residency easily. actually, i'm not sure of any state in which you can get in state tuition easily except CA

edit; oh yeah, are you from FL?

Yup, born and raised in Miami. Went to UG at FSU. Looking forward to leaving FL 3 years for law school. But I know that ultimately I want to be back in Miami to be near my mom, dad, Lebron, Wade, Bosh, and Hanley Ramirez.

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Grizz
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby Grizz » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:51 pm

2011Law wrote:
rad law wrote:Go to Tex with $. Open up another market that is actually doing comparatively well. UF should not even be on the radar. FL market is shit right now. I'm from there; I know. Absolute shit.


Agreed that the Florida market is trash. But if OP is committed to Miami, then I say go to UF and be able to graduate with very little debt. If OP thinks right now that there is even a slight chance he/she will ever want to work in another state, go into academia, or like to clerk, I'd go to Berk. From a 0L.


Best way to get a jerb in Miami (if you have family ties) is to go to a more prestigious school than UF. That's how bad it is down there. For example, the Carlton Fields SA hires went to UVA, Duke, ND, Northwestern, and I think one other non-FL school. I'll try to dig up the link. CF is doing pretty well in this economy, and it's not a stretch to think that results would be fairly similar across the board. There are enough people who have FL ties who go to prestigious out of state schools that whatever networking advantage you get from going to UF is negated.

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ArchRoark
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby ArchRoark » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:57 pm

2011Law wrote:
texas is not a state you can get in state residency easily. actually, i'm not sure of any state in which you can get in state tuition easily except CA


IIRC, Colorado allows you to gain residency after your 1L year.

For Texas... to obtain residency, you need to reside in Texas for 12 months, prior to the start of the academic year you intend to enroll in, for reasons other then education.

I work for a Community College here in Texas, so if anyone has any particular questions about securing Texas residency, feel free to ask.

duckmoney
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby duckmoney » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:10 pm

Also, UF scholly is completely overrated. Their best scholarship is $12k / yr for in state residents (I assume you got this one, along with all other UF applicants who had the numbers for Boalt). Tuition will be about $19k next year and will go up 15% every year. Plus there's a 3.2 (median) grade stip.

Texas all the way. Yee-haw.

littlebit
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby littlebit » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:33 pm

I am pretty sure that if you get a scholarship from UT you also get in state tuition.

jdhonest
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby jdhonest » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:37 pm

How much is "$" for UT? Without figures, it's hard to compare it to Berk. For example 10K a yr for Texas with out of state < Berk (IMO). In the eyes of some even Texas at 100K < Berk @ 200k.

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rbarcelo9
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby rbarcelo9 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:34 pm

jdhonest wrote:How much is "$" for UT? Without figures, it's hard to compare it to Berk. For example 10K a yr for Texas with out of state < Berk (IMO). In the eyes of some even Texas at 100K < Berk @ 200k.

Haven't gotten a scholly package yet. I will update when I receive the numbers. I really like Berkeley and keep leaning towards them. Hopefully I can get some need based money.

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buckilaw
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby buckilaw » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:38 pm

Berk is a great school. However, so is UT. If you go to UT and keep your debt down it may be a better choice than Berk at sticker.

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esq
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby esq » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:44 pm

UT, Austin is a great city. Make sure to look up the Salt Lick when you get out there, Rudy's is pretty awesome too.

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NoleinNY
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby NoleinNY » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:47 pm

If you can get into Cal, why not apply to Vandy or Emory and try to get schollies?

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brose
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby brose » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:49 pm

are you sure you're getting scholly at UT? I thought the cutoff was 168.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:09 pm

I'm happy to answer any questions you have about Berkeley. However, in your situation, I'm not sure it's the best choice. As far as I know, for OCI here we don't get many firms from Miami, if at all. There are students from Florida but I don't know of anybody really seeking to go back there. I think it's just not a geographic area that interests many people here. Sure, you could do it, but I think in your situation it doesn't seem like it's worth the money.
One thing you should know about need based aid is that unless you get a written guarantee of an amount you'll get every year, it's probably a one-time only thing at Berkeley. It's not something you should count on.

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rbarcelo9
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby rbarcelo9 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:45 pm

brose wrote:are you sure you're getting scholly at UT? I thought the cutoff was 168.

something about a scholarship letter was mentioned during my call...but in short no im not sure

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rbarcelo9
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby rbarcelo9 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:49 pm

NoleinNY wrote:If you can get into Cal, why not apply to Vandy or Emory and try to get schollies?

I did, still awaiting decisions.

r6_philly
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby r6_philly » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:15 am

worldtraveler wrote:One thing you should know about need based aid is that unless you get a written guarantee of an amount you'll get every year, it's probably a one-time only thing at Berkeley. It's not something you should count on.


Do you know this from experience? Even if your financial situation doesn't change they won't renew your need aid? That would be a serious problem if they raise OOS tuition while you are in school. Do you know how hard is it to secure the guarantee? Thanks.

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brose
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby brose » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:42 am

rbarcelo9 wrote:
brose wrote:are you sure you're getting scholly at UT? I thought the cutoff was 168.

something about a scholarship letter was mentioned during my call...but in short no im not sure


Oh just saw you're URM... there's some with similar stats to you that got around 30k from TX.

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rbarcelo9
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby rbarcelo9 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:35 am

brose wrote:
rbarcelo9 wrote:
brose wrote:are you sure you're getting scholly at UT? I thought the cutoff was 168.

something about a scholarship letter was mentioned during my call...but in short no im not sure


Oh just saw you're URM... there's some with similar stats to you that got around 30k from TX.

$30k at TX would be HUGE! I don't think I would be able to turn that down. Does TX have grade stipulations on their scholarships?

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worldtraveler
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:15 am

r6_philly wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:One thing you should know about need based aid is that unless you get a written guarantee of an amount you'll get every year, it's probably a one-time only thing at Berkeley. It's not something you should count on.


Do you know this from experience? Even if your financial situation doesn't change they won't renew your need aid? That would be a serious problem if they raise OOS tuition while you are in school. Do you know how hard is it to secure the guarantee? Thanks.


This is true for any law school. Need based aid is an incentive to get you to come. They make no promises of what you will get for 2L and 3L year.

mst
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby mst » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:48 am

The immediate problem with this thread is that you say you want to work in FL AND make a good deal of money. You go to UF and you're going to need to do pretty well & not be socially awkward & be lucky to both get a job and get a job that has solid income remotely comparable to what you could potentially reach out of Berkeley if you get lucky there (Berkeley in this market is not doing well). So UF is kind of an "eh" choice. But really, combined with the LOW COL and low instate tuition, the investment is pretty good in terms of cost. Even if you get screwed or get a low-paying job. So in the end, even if you come out with a job making 50-60k, you have so little in loans comparatively that that's OK.

On the other hand, Berkeley market sucks right now. And that's a shit-ton of debt to take on, especially if you don't plan on doing big-law out west once you graduate (assuming you would get lucky enough to even get it out there had you chosen instead to stay in CA). I personally would have a very hard time going to Boalt right now at sticker, and I would kill to live there, so that says something... especially if I was limiting myself to the FL/Miami market to pay back my loans.

On the third hand, you have Texas, which is cheaper than boalt. But a lot of the higher paying jobs out of this school are in & around texas or other BIGLAW areas, not really FL. I have my doubts that a degree from Texas would mean substantially more to Florida employers than a UF one, at least not like the east coast t14's would.

All I'm getting at I guess is that there is a reason that UF, the flagship law school of one of the largest states in the country, has such low #'s relatively speaking... the legal employment market sucks. And you just can't make money coming out of UF like you can coming out of a t14 or even Texas. In your situation though, the fact that you don't want to work in CA/NY + the fact that CA sucks right now anyways rules out Berkeley. I would choose Texas with money because it really doesn't limit you from coming back to FL, is a better school than UF and isn't much more expensive with money, let's you get out of the state for 3 years, and presents you with other options should you change your mind and decide you can live with living in another state or really want a chance to pursue a good salary elsewhere. UF really can't offer you any of that.

With any of these options though, I hope you are comfortable knowing there is a good chance that you graduate and there are no 80k+ jobs available for you in FL. If you're not OK with this, put off law school a year and retake the LSAT or pursue another career.

Also: Guy who suggested going for Vandy was correct. On the other hand, I could make a strong case against Emory being worth anything but a massive scholarship.

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rbarcelo9
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Re: Berk v. UT ($), UF ($)

Postby rbarcelo9 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:22 am

Thanks for the replies! However, they have not made it any easier to make a decision. If Berkeley is struggling, I'm even more scared now, because that is the best school I have gotten into.




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