Berkeley or NYU

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bob77
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:31 pm

Berkeley or NYU

Postby bob77 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:59 pm

Hi, bob here. Hoping you can help me out with a tough decision...

I realize that I will have to do very well at either of these schools to achieve the career path I'm hoping for, but what is most important to me is going to the school that will give me the best shot at making this happen:

Prestigious CoA clerkship----------whatever in between----------> Prestigious PI (eg, ACLU) or Gov (eg, DOJ) job

I guess it boils to down to whether NYU will actually give me any better of a shot at this than Berkeley will, since, for quality of life reasons, I would prefer to go to Berkeley...

Thanks so much for your help!

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kwais
Posts: 1683
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: Berkeley or NYU

Postby kwais » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:12 pm

This is certainly a tough (and great) decision, and Berkeley's QOL is very high, but if you want prestigious PI, I vote NYU. Learn to love the Village

vicuna
Posts: 208
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:54 pm

Re: Berkeley or NYU

Postby vicuna » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:29 pm

I faced a very similar dilemma and ended up opting with NYU. I also posted a thread about it:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=141586

bob77
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:31 pm

Re: Berkeley or NYU

Postby bob77 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:49 pm

vicuna wrote:I faced a very similar dilemma and ended up opting with NYU. I also posted a thread about it:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=141586


Ya it's a toughie right? Mind saying a little more about why you went with NYU?

Sounds like I'm more averse to NYC than you. Also, I'm from CA and would kind of like to return, so I may have more incentive to head West, although I'm recently out of undergrad on the East Coast so I have a life here and returning is really not a priority for me. My career is definitely the top priority.

vicuna
Posts: 208
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:54 pm

Re: Berkeley or NYU

Postby vicuna » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:43 am

bob77 wrote:
vicuna wrote:I faced a very similar dilemma and ended up opting with NYU. I also posted a thread about it:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=141586


Ya it's a toughie right? Mind saying a little more about why you went with NYU?

Sounds like I'm more averse to NYC than you. Also, I'm from CA and would kind of like to return, so I may have more incentive to head West, although I'm recently out of undergrad on the East Coast so I have a life here and returning is really not a priority for me. My career is definitely the top priority.


Unlike you, I have very little CA experience and quite a bit of NYC experience. I enjoy NYC but thought that the weather and the general leftist political climate at Berkeley was appealing. Ultimately, I opted for NYU because of the school's strong institutional commitment to PI and outstanding LRAP. Berkeley is strong in that area as well, but I felt that NYU's proximity to dozens of PI organizations was a distinct advantage. NYU also hosts the NYC Public Interest Law Career fair every year and the employers have to reserve around 80% of their interview slots for NYU students.

One significant difference between the schools is the grading system and general level of competitiveness. Even though NYU certainly markets itself as the more laid-back top NYC law school, I think Berkeley probably has the most relaxed atmosphere in the T13. Different people may thrive in different environments so that's another factor to consider.

A suggestion: do some research on some public interest organizations that you may want to work for and see where their staffers went to school. I did this and was surprised as the amount of NYU grads. Those alumni connections can't hurt.

Ultimately, though, I don't think there is enough difference between the two schools to justify being unhappy for three years. If you think that you will feel more comfortable at Berkeley and that you would be more excited about returning to the West Coast, then enjoy Boalt.

bob77
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:31 pm

Re: Berkeley or NYU

Postby bob77 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:25 pm

vicuna wrote:
bob77 wrote:
vicuna wrote:I faced a very similar dilemma and ended up opting with NYU. I also posted a thread about it:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=141586


Ya it's a toughie right? Mind saying a little more about why you went with NYU?

Sounds like I'm more averse to NYC than you. Also, I'm from CA and would kind of like to return, so I may have more incentive to head West, although I'm recently out of undergrad on the East Coast so I have a life here and returning is really not a priority for me. My career is definitely the top priority.


Unlike you, I have very little CA experience and quite a bit of NYC experience. I enjoy NYC but thought that the weather and the general leftist political climate at Berkeley was appealing. Ultimately, I opted for NYU because of the school's strong institutional commitment to PI and outstanding LRAP. Berkeley is strong in that area as well, but I felt that NYU's proximity to dozens of PI organizations was a distinct advantage. NYU also hosts the NYC Public Interest Law Career fair every year and the employers have to reserve around 80% of their interview slots for NYU students.

One significant difference between the schools is the grading system and general level of competitiveness. Even though NYU certainly markets itself as the more laid-back top NYC law school, I think Berkeley probably has the most relaxed atmosphere in the T13. Different people may thrive in different environments so that's another factor to consider.

A suggestion: do some research on some public interest organizations that you may want to work for and see where their staffers went to school. I did this and was surprised as the amount of NYU grads. Those alumni connections can't hurt.

Ultimately, though, I don't think there is enough difference between the two schools to justify being unhappy for three years. If you think that you will feel more comfortable at Berkeley and that you would be more excited about returning to the West Coast, then enjoy Boalt.


Thank you, those are some helpful thoughts. I think you're right that the network and the location of NYU would give a slighter edge for PI in the East, just as Berkeley probably would in the West (Ultimately, of course, there are significantly more such positions in the East). Problem is I'm not sure where I'd want to go afterwards.

For some reason I have gotten the impression that NYU would give me somewhat better of a shot at plum clerkships and gov jobs. Anyone have thoughts on this? Or is it probably the same in that NYU would put me in a better position for the East and Berkeley for the West, there being more such opportunities East than West?

bob77
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:31 pm

Re: Berkeley or NYU

Postby bob77 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:28 pm

promise i'll only do this once: bump.




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