Berkeley vs. UCLA

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

best option?

Berkeley
30
88%
UCLA
4
12%
 
Total votes: 34

williams55
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:19 pm

Berkeley vs. UCLA

Postby williams55 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:15 pm

Just when I thought my cycle was over I got accepted off the waitlist at Berkeley, which means it's decision time. I am a CA resident with ties to the Bay Area, and Berkeley has consistently been my top choice. I've never really liked the LA area and got a somewhat weird vibe from the law school when I visited, but I could deal with living there if I had to. I'm fortunate enough to be able to cover tuition & fees, which means I would only be responsible for taking out loans to cover COL. UCLA's scholarship offer was very generous, 30k a year, so I would be basically guaranteed a free ride so long as my GPA stays above 2.8. Conversely, I would leave with around 60k in debt from UC Berkeley.

No set employment goals, but I do have a background in public interest that I'd like to pursue further (although of course I'd also like to keep my options open). However, leaving with zero debt from a top-20 law school is tempting...

This forum has always been so helpful before in this process, and I'm completely torn. Help please!

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18418
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. UCLA

Postby bk1 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:25 pm

It seems like you want Boalt and would prefer it. Boalt is also still very financially flexible in regards to the job you would eventually get. Normally, the reason given for taking the cheaper school (i.e. if you didn't have money to cover the costs) is that you would be drowning in debt and not be able to reasonably pay it back, but that doesn't really apply to you since you have the money up front.

So I would look at it this way: you would save around $100,000, probably slightly more, by going to UCLA (accounting for interest). Based off your Boatl debt estimate, if you were to go to UCLA that means you'd have about $30,000 upfront and then not have to pay around $70,000 over the beginning of your career. What would you do with this money? If what you get out of the money is worth more than having to live in LA for 3 years and having fewer job options, then go to UCLA. If you would rather have a slight boost in job prospects and not have to be in LA for 3 years, go to Boalt.

What would I pick in your situation? Probably Boalt (mainly because you wanted to keep your options open). But then again I've never had $100,000 in my bank account and since I am about to be an indebted law school peon I won't even be capable of saving/investing my money over the next few years. I really think a case can be made for either school and it hinges on how much you value that extra $100,000.

User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. UCLA

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:41 pm

If I had no preference for where I want to work, I would pick Berkeley. With your SoCal aversion, this is even easier

wdk3618
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. UCLA

Postby wdk3618 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:28 pm

boalt sounds like the choice here

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4854
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. UCLA

Postby Borhas » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:44 am

UCLA for free?

go to UCLA

EDIT: noticed you don't like LA... meh, good options either way

bhan87
Posts: 850
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:08 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. UCLA

Postby bhan87 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:50 am

Tough one here...

I vote Berkeley for a few reasons.

1. It is your top choice consistently and you got a weird vibe while at UCLA. You can't discredit that.

2. Berkeley's PI program just seems much more robust that UCLA's. While exploring at Berkeley's admit day program, it just seemed that Berk's offerings were far superior to most of the T14 (possibly even NYU), much less schools that fall outside the T14. One example would be the clinics that are offered to 1Ls (a rarity among any school, much less a T10 one). Some examples of such clinics include representing kids at expulsion hearings, or assisting asylum applicants.

3. Berkeley's LRAP program would cover your payments, which means you would have no debt. BUT, the caveat here is you run the risk of what happens if you can't land a full-time PI gig. But, I think this risk is mitigated by the fact that Berkeley's reputation on the west coast is top-notch.

4. I just think Berkeley is a much more fun area to be in. It's certainly not for everyone, but I'd be more excited about going out around the Berk area than UCLA.

User avatar
loomstate
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:07 am

Re: Berkeley vs. UCLA

Postby loomstate » Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:11 am

Berkeley FTW

shoeshine
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. UCLA

Postby shoeshine » Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:15 am

If you like NorCal go to B. I find it strange you don't like Westwood but to each their own.

thecynic69
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:33 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. UCLA

Postby thecynic69 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:23 am

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=157037

Before I even begin, my vote is Boalt, and it's an unequivocal vote too. That said, more info is rarely bad, so have a look at the above thread. At the very least, it is disconcerting, and while I'd never take UCLA money over Boalt, I can imagine some people thinking: if we are all screwed, I'd best minimize debt.

BTW, I'm not entirely convinced the above cited thread is not a flame.

shoeshine
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. UCLA

Postby shoeshine » Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:27 am

thecynic69 wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=157037

Before I even begin, my vote is Boalt, and it's an unequivocal vote too. That said, more info is rarely bad, so have a look at the above thread. At the very least, it is disconcerting, and while I'd never take UCLA money over Boalt, I can imagine some people thinking: if we are all screwed, I'd best minimize debt.

BTW, I'm not entirely convinced the above cited thread is not a flame.


Grrr. Don't bring this thread up in here. That guy makes me so upset. He is either a flame or he is the dumbest top 25% student at a T10 ever.

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7665
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: Berkeley vs. UCLA

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:50 am

I'm probably biased, but I say pick Berkeley. Especially since you like norcal better. 3 years is a long time, and if you didn't really like the vibe of the school that probably won't change.
I also visited UCLA and hated it but I love it at Berkeley, so maybe we have the same taste and in that case you should definitely pick Berkeley.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. UCLA

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:09 am

UC-Berkeley is the clear choice based on your preferences.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 3 guests