Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

I should go to...

Berkeley
49
68%
Penn
23
32%
 
Total votes: 72

czelede
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Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby czelede » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:38 pm

Yet another poll, because deadlines are approaching!

Relevant information:

- Am paying sticker for either (not terribly debt averse, so this is not an issue)
- My SO is currently in the Midwest, but his field limits him to the West Coast for work (there's very little for him out East). We've been together for about 3 years now, half of that semi-long distance (120 miles apart). I don't know that we'll survive law school (since most relationships seem like they don't?) and I'm inclined to be pessimistic/career oriented. Overall, I don't want to make plans around a boy, but it's hard not to take this into consideration because of all the mushy stuff.
- Hoping for biglaw and would prefer the following cities post-graduation (in this order): DC > SF > NYC > Chicago. I would be happy in either of these four cities, so the preference is fairly marginal.
- Will be bringing a dog to law school, so obviously SF weather is tempting (for what it's worth, weather wise: love flip flops; am okay with snow; not a huge fan of rain; severe hatred of ice). I like Berkeley and I'm not really loving Philadelphia as a city, but I don't hate it/feel that it would detract from my overall happiness.
- However, I do love the gothic-y feel and old Ivy campus of Penn (vs. the new modern construction feel of Berkeley, emphasis on construction). This is a bit of a shallow concern but I was always kind of in love with UPenn as a school.
- Don't love earthquakes
- If I miss the biglaw boat I will probably be looking into IP boutiques as a backup.
- I'm from Chicago originally, so strong family ties there; I have friends in SF/LA and NY/DC, but none in Philadelphia.

Part of my concern is that going to Penn will make it difficult to get SF if I wanted, and that going to Berkeley would make it difficult to get DC/East Coast biglaw overall. Of course this is all moot if I do well enough to mitigate these concerns, and we all know that you can just work your way into the top 10%...:) I suppose the wise choice is to pick the school that gives me the most flexibility geographically, but the consensus seems to be that P and B are about equal in this arena, though it seems people disagree on whether equal means 'weak' or 'strong'.

-

For those who found this tl;dr: am pretty ambivalent towards both these schools (have likes and dislikes towards them both) and I think this will come down to a quality of life decision - but I can't really figure out which one I would prefer. Opinions from those who have chosen between the two, are choosing between the two, or simply have feelings about either would be very much appreciated.

bhan87
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby bhan87 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:40 pm

West Coast Berk, East Coast Penn

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Knock
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby Knock » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:42 pm

Didn't you have to decide on Berkeley by April 15th?

czelede
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby czelede » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:43 pm

Knock wrote:Didn't you have to decide on Berkeley by April 15th?


They let you tentatively confirm. You don't have to withdraw from everywhere else until June 1st.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:54 pm

If weather and significant other > all else, enjoy Boalt.

If you want Biglaw on the east coast and want to be around family > all else, enjoy Penn.

If you want everything, retake and reapply for HYS and maximum mobility.

czelede
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby czelede » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:02 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:If weather and significant other > all else, enjoy Boalt.

If you want Biglaw on the east coast and want to be around family > all else, enjoy Penn.

If you want everything, retake and reapply for HYS and maximum mobility.



Ah, if only I could retake my crappy uGPA :(.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:04 am

A few things:
1. Berkeley has a lot of rain. If you don't like that....might not like it here in the winter. But when it's not raining, the weather is gorgeous.
2. The construction will be done when you get here. Everything should be done by fall semester. Except the stadium, which is across the street and will continue to annoy everyone for the next decade.
3. You mentioned IP. Are you a patent person? If so, the answer is Berkeley all the way.
4. Not to be a pessimist, but a LOT of relationships do not make it through law school. I know a fair amount of people who based law school decisions or OCI bidding on a relationship that later imploded. Actually, it's more like half the people I know. It's nice to consider a significant other, but if you end up breaking up you don't want to be somewhere you regret.

I think either one is a fine choice, and you're right that it should come down to personal preference.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:20 am

bhan87 wrote:West Coast Berk, East Coast Penn

For D.C. it won't matter - top grades are necessary regardless of which school.

SF advantage to Berkeley, NYC advantage to Penn. Each can place into the other, but I'd probably prefer to be median at each trying for the indicated market rather than vice-versa. However, Berkeley to NYC might be easier than Penn to SF in terms of required GPA, as SF is such a tough market (and requires ties, unlike NYC).

Chicago will be a toss-up.

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glitched
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby glitched » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:32 am

unrelated to topic... but OP, is your avatar mila kunis?

scammedhard
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby scammedhard » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:35 am

You should dump your boyfriend right away. You don't seem very committed...

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Rotor
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby Rotor » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:35 am

Berkeley to DC and NYC is not as difficult as TLS makes it out to be. (N.b. this isn't to say it's easy. Just from what you hear here, you'd think it next to impossible). Definitely agree with the poster above that said Boalt to NYC/DC>Penn to CA (without connections to the area or IP).

Posted elsewhere, but I'll say it again: Everyone I know who wanted NYC got NYC (including Cravath, Skadden, Cleary, Debevoise, Simpson Thatcher, Cahill Gordon, among many others); and those who wanted DC got DC (including Hogan & Lovells, WilmerHale, Jones Day, Akin Gump, Covington, etc. for firms, loads of govt agencies).

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aesis
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby aesis » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:08 am

czelede wrote: I suppose the wise choice is to pick the school that gives me the most flexibility geographically, but the consensus seems to be that P and B are about equal in this arena, though it seems people disagree on whether equal means 'weak' or 'strong'.


FlightoftheEarls wrote:
bhan87 wrote:West Coast Berk, East Coast Penn

For D.C. it won't matter - top grades are necessary regardless of which school.

SF advantage to Berkeley, NYC advantage to Penn. Each can place into the other, but I'd probably prefer to be median at each trying for the indicated market rather than vice-versa. However, Berkeley to NYC might be easier than Penn to SF in terms of required GPA, as SF is such a tough market (and requires ties, unlike NYC).

Chicago will be a toss-up.


This. I've heard this from many hiring partners regarding the SF/NYC markets.

bdubs
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby bdubs » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:05 am

You will end up wanting to do patent work and Berkeley is the obvious choice for that field.

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Upton Sinclair
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby Upton Sinclair » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:21 am

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
bhan87 wrote:West Coast Berk, East Coast Penn

For D.C. it won't matter - top grades are necessary regardless of which school.

SF advantage to Berkeley, NYC advantage to Penn. Each can place into the other, but I'd probably prefer to be median at each trying for the indicated market rather than vice-versa. However, Berkeley to NYC might be easier than Penn to SF in terms of required GPA, as SF is such a tough market (and requires ties, unlike NYC).

Chicago will be a toss-up.


I think this is pretty credited. Based on your preferences, I think you should go to Berkeley. I think you have a great shot at all of your target markets, assuming you get the grades. From Penn, you would have a really hard time (though not impossible) getting to SF.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:49 am

Rotor wrote:Berkeley to DC and NYC is not as difficult as TLS makes it out to be. (N.b. this isn't to say it's easy. Just from what you hear here, you'd think it next to impossible). Definitely agree with the poster above that said Boalt to NYC/DC>Penn to CA (without connections to the area or IP).

Posted elsewhere, but I'll say it again: Everyone I know who wanted NYC got NYC (including Cravath, Skadden, Cleary, Debevoise, Simpson Thatcher, Cahill Gordon, among many others); and those who wanted DC got DC (including Hogan & Lovells, WilmerHale, Jones Day, Akin Gump, Covington, etc. for firms, loads of govt agencies).

Ok, I was with you up until this. You mentioned this in another thread (specifically, that everyone person you knew who wanted a DC firm job got a DC firm job). This is a very misleading statement without conditions attached, and it is blatantly untrue that every person at Boalt who wanted to work at a firm in D.C. got a firm job. Boalt isn't Yale, and D.C. is still a very selective market. I doubt anybody in the 2L class is running to tell you that they wanted D.C. but didn't have the grades, but I guarantee you there were people who wanted the city and didn't get it from every single non-Yale school. Even then, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some Yalies this year who didn't get D.C.

As I mentioned in the other thread as well and alluded to above, this isn't unique to Boalt. Without a doubt, it's the same at Penn and every other school out there, and I know it's the same at mine. Just please be careful with these broad statements, because it's TLS - people will read that and before you know it people on here will be adamant that going to Boalt means a guaranteed NYC or DC firm job.

czelede
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby czelede » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:10 am

Thanks for all the input, guys :) It looks like Berkeley is really my best bet for having a shot at SF biglaw. I guess I had my heart set on Penn for so long that giving that up is...painful.

scammedhard: it's not that I don't love this guy enough to work things out, I just know that just because you want something to work out doesn't mean that it always does, and after watching more than a handful of strong relationships dissolve during 1L/2L, I'm trying to be realistic and make this decision independent of who I would like to be with 3 years down the line. worldtraveler kind of summed this one up for me.

Re: patent, I would really prefer not to do patent law (I'd like to just do non patent biglaw) but it's my 'fallback' if I miss the biglaw boat - in other words, depending on how my grades shape up 1L I may target myself towards IP boutiques so as to not be unemployed and in six figures of debt. If you think this is a delusional backup plan, let me know.

And yes, the avatar is Mila Kunis :)

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Rotor
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby Rotor » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:26 am

FlightoftheEarls wrote: Ok, I was with you up until this. You mentioned this in another thread (specifically, that everyone person you knew who wanted a DC firm job got a DC firm job). This is a very misleading statement without conditions attached, and it is blatantly untrue that every person at Boalt who wanted to work at a firm in D.C. got a firm job. Boalt isn't Yale, and D.C. is still a very selective market. I doubt anybody in the 2L class is running to tell you that they wanted D.C. but didn't have the grades, but I guarantee you there were people who wanted the city and didn't get it from every single non-Yale school. Even then, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some Yalies this year who didn't get D.C.

As I mentioned in the other thread as well and alluded to above, this isn't unique to Boalt. Without a doubt, it's the same at Penn and every other school out there, and I know it's the same at mine. Just please be careful with these broad statements, because it's TLS - people will read that and before you know it people on here will be adamant that going to Boalt means a guaranteed NYC or DC firm job.


I have never said it was a guarantee. In fact my parenthetical note in the first para says explicitly it's not easy and the statement in the second para is pretty clearly anecdotal. I've never claimed to know everyone in the class nor the true desires of those who I do know. My "broad statement" is not as broad as you make it out to be and is certainly more true than the "OMG to get DC you have to go [insert east coast school here]" mentality of TLS.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:13 pm

Rotor wrote:
FlightoftheEarls wrote: Ok, I was with you up until this. You mentioned this in another thread (specifically, that everyone person you knew who wanted a DC firm job got a DC firm job). This is a very misleading statement without conditions attached, and it is blatantly untrue that every person at Boalt who wanted to work at a firm in D.C. got a firm job. Boalt isn't Yale, and D.C. is still a very selective market. I doubt anybody in the 2L class is running to tell you that they wanted D.C. but didn't have the grades, but I guarantee you there were people who wanted the city and didn't get it from every single non-Yale school. Even then, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some Yalies this year who didn't get D.C.

As I mentioned in the other thread as well and alluded to above, this isn't unique to Boalt. Without a doubt, it's the same at Penn and every other school out there, and I know it's the same at mine. Just please be careful with these broad statements, because it's TLS - people will read that and before you know it people on here will be adamant that going to Boalt means a guaranteed NYC or DC firm job.


I have never said it was a guarantee. In fact my parenthetical note in the first para says explicitly it's not easy and the statement in the second para is pretty clearly anecdotal. I've never claimed to know everyone in the class nor the true desires of those who I do know. My "broad statement" is not as broad as you make it out to be and is certainly more true than the "OMG to get DC you have to go [insert east coast school here]" mentality of TLS.

I completely agree that the bolded is a stupid TLS-ism, but these statements (including the one from the other thread to show you're actually referring to D.C. firms, not just any ol' job in D.C.):
Rotor wrote:Everyone I know who wanted NYC got NYC (including Cravath, Skadden, Cleary, Debevoise, Simpson Thatcher, Cahill Gordon, among many others); and those who wanted DC got DC (including Hogan & Lovells, WilmerHale, Jones Day, Akin Gump, Covington, etc. for firms, loads of govt agencies).

Rotor wrote:sorry I was not clear. And admittedly this is anectotal since I don't know the job search history of every classmate. However, those I know who wanted DC firms got DC firms. Those I know who wanted Govt in DC got Govt in DC, etc.

just aren't true. Maybe everyone who you know who said they wanted NYC/DC got it, but I guarantee you that you know plenty of 2Ls who would have liked to work in D.C. (or NYC) but didn't/couldn't get jobs there, whether you realize it or not.

To clarify, there's an important distinction between these two statements: (1) "Out of all the people I know, the subset of people whom I know wanted NYC or D.C. jobs all got them," and (2) "Of all the people I know, all who wanted NYC or D.C. jobs got them." You're typing option (2), but I think you mean option (1). In the second quote there, you probably should be saying "those who I know wanted DC firms got DC firms." Even though it may sound like stupid semantics, there is a sizable distinction between them the two statements.

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Rotor
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby Rotor » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:58 pm

FlightoftheEarls wrote: [omitted for length] . . . these statements (including the one from the other thread to show you're actually referring to D.C. firms, not just any ol' job in D.C.):
Rotor wrote:Everyone I know who wanted NYC got NYC (including Cravath, Skadden, Cleary, Debevoise, Simpson Thatcher, Cahill Gordon, among many others); and those who wanted DC got DC (including Hogan & Lovells, WilmerHale, Jones Day, Akin Gump, Covington, etc. for firms, loads of govt agencies).

Rotor wrote:sorry I was not clear. And admittedly this is anectotal since I don't know the job search history of every classmate. However, those I know who wanted DC firms got DC firms. Those I know who wanted Govt in DC got Govt in DC, etc.

just aren't true. Maybe everyone who you know who said they wanted NYC/DC got it, but I guarantee you that you know plenty of 2Ls who would have liked to work in D.C. (or NYC) but didn't/couldn't get jobs there, whether you realize it or not.
To clarify, there's an important distinction between these two statements: (1) "Out of all the people I know, the subset of people whom I know wanted NYC or D.C. jobs all got them," and (2) "Of all the people I know, all who wanted NYC or D.C. jobs got them." You're typing option (2), but I think you mean option (1). In the second quote there, you probably should be saying "those who I know wanted DC firms got DC firms." Even though it may sound like stupid semantics, there is a sizable distinction between them the two statements.


I can see the distinction you are making--- but I don't see it as significant as you do. Grammatically both are possible, but #2 is so speculative that anyone posting that shouldn't be taken seriously. I think the more logical modification of the subject in the sentences is to include only those whose intentions I do know.

However, I will keep your observations in mind if it comes up again. Making it "those who I know wanted" would resolve the ambiguity.

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Law Sauce
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby Law Sauce » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:12 pm

If you really love penn go to penn. Like people have indicated, the differences that people are debating are minimal.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Poll: Penn Vs. Berkeley

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:25 pm

Rotor wrote:I can see the distinction you are making--- but I don't see it as significant as you do. Grammatically both are possible, but #2 is so speculative that anyone posting that shouldn't be taken seriously. I think the more logical modification of the subject in the sentences is to include only those whose intentions I do know.

However, I will keep your observations in mind if it comes up again. Making it "those who I know wanted" would resolve the ambiguity.

No worries, and sorry for being a stickler about it. I know it's a super lame distinction, but I think it really makes a big difference for those people really who aren't as familiar with TLS/school placements/different markets and otherwise wouldn't know the difference. Using me for example, I only know of one person who has actually told me he/she wanted D.C. but didn't get it here at Michigan. Yet it'd probably be somewhat misleading for me to say that I only know one person who wanted D.C. but didn't get it since I only know of one who got shut out - I would say about 2/3 the class is more or less ineligible, and I'm sure there are people in that mix who wanted a D.C. firm job coming in.

Anyhow, sorry again for the lame semantics discussion. And I do completely agree that Berkeley is unfairly pegged as a purely "west coast" school on here.




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