juliachild-ish wrote:I don't think law school is going to be fun or anything less than backbreaking nonstop work. Obviously not. But do you really think that all top law schools are essentially the same? That's a genuine question, since you're a 2L and I'm a lowly 0L. Because that's not what schools try to sell you on; they try to convince you to go to a school because of whatever unique aspects set it apart from the competition. Is that all just meaningless?
Northwestern and U Chicago are probably the two T14 schools with the most distinct personalities. People self-select into NU for the work experience angle, and people self-select into U Chicago for the academia angle. Even then, as a 2L at NU with lots of friends at U Chicago, I wouldn't say the distinctions are so extreme that they'd outweigh all the other factors that you have to consider.
Between Harvard and Berkeley, the differences are even less extreme. Harvard is a big school with a diverse student body. Unlike Columbia, for example, it attracts a non-trivial number of people bent on public interest or government service rather than corporate law. And Berkeley LS is not Berkeley UG. Based on what my friends at Berkeley tell me, it is fairly intense.
I wouldn't say all top law schools are the same. I think NU is more laid back than average and U Chicago is more intense than average. But realize that as a student you're not going to be associating with some monolithic student body with a uniform culture. You're going to form cliques with like-minded people who share your particular interests, and there are plenty of people at Harvard to choose from.