UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

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UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

University of Washington (COA: $60K)
44
47%
UC Berkeley (COA: $160K)
49
53%
 
Total votes: 93

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Kronk
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby Kronk » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:05 am

SchopenhauerFTW wrote:
Kronk wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:UW. If you end up bottom of the class from Berkeley, you're fucked. At UW, it's manageable.


This. I love Berkeley to death. I'm above median. I have parents who would probably help me if I got didn't get a job. Still, there is a piece of me that feels asphyxiated by the thought of not getting a job despite doing alright in law school.

As far as classmates, instructors, environment, weather, proximity to things, life outside of law school, etc. goes, I don't think you can beat Berkeley, though.

You're a Boalt student and this worries you? :? Well then. Crap.


Not really. Just the idea that I am a big limited in what I do coming out. For instance, I know I could get a job at a small private firm in my home state or something like that, but with 200k in loans it would be hard not to take a 120k+ paying job or a government / non-profit job to take advantage of PSLF, IBR, and LRAP. I am sure I can find some job, it's just that the interesting PI jobs are difficult to land (ACLU and etc. generally require years of experience) the market I'm from and the one I want to go back to is like Seattle in that it only has about 30 firm SA jobs a year, and it's a small market for government jobs as well because it's just a small state. So I guess it's not so much a worry that I won't get a job, but that it won't be a job that I definitely want in a location I want.

150k+ in loans is a lot of money, and to some extent it definitely limits options.

mistermister
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby mistermister » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:25 pm

did you make a decision?

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Rock-N-Roll
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby Rock-N-Roll » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:58 pm

Kronk wrote:
SchopenhauerFTW wrote:
Kronk wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:UW. If you end up bottom of the class from Berkeley, you're fucked. At UW, it's manageable.


This. I love Berkeley to death. I'm above median. I have parents who would probably help me if I got didn't get a job. Still, there is a piece of me that feels asphyxiated by the thought of not getting a job despite doing alright in law school.

As far as classmates, instructors, environment, weather, proximity to things, life outside of law school, etc. goes, I don't think you can beat Berkeley, though.

You're a Boalt student and this worries you? :? Well then. Crap.


Not really. Just the idea that I am a big limited in what I do coming out. For instance, I know I could get a job at a small private firm in my home state or something like that, but with 200k in loans it would be hard not to take a 120k+ paying job or a government / non-profit job to take advantage of PSLF, IBR, and LRAP. I am sure I can find some job, it's just that the interesting PI jobs are difficult to land (ACLU and etc. generally require years of experience) the market I'm from and the one I want to go back to is like Seattle in that it only has about 30 firm SA jobs a year, and it's a small market for government jobs as well because it's just a small state. So I guess it's not so much a worry that I won't get a job, but that it won't be a job that I definitely want in a location I want.

150k+ in loans is a lot of money, and to some extent it definitely limits options.


Kronk: If you were unable to land one of the more competitive PI jobs you mentioned coming straight out of law school, might there still be things you could do to work towards getting one of those jobs down the line?

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chasy_price
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby chasy_price » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:11 pm

Berkley.

1. As you said it is your dream school, so if you settle for UW you will constantly think: what my life would be if I chose Berkley?

2. It is easier to step down than up.

3. People change. It is more likely for you to open your mind during years at Berkley and maybe you won't want to go back to Seattle afterwards.


The first is the most important. You have a strong inclination towards Berkley. Then you should just go with it. Regarding practicality, anyone who wants to go to a law school in this economy is pretty "unpractical" anyway (sad joke).

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Kronk
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby Kronk » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:18 pm

Rock-N-Roll wrote:Kronk: If you were unable to land one of the more competitive PI jobs you mentioned coming straight out of law school, might there still be things you could do to work towards getting one of those jobs down the line?


Yeah, definitely. I am pretty sure I could land a job at the PD office I am working at now, which I would love just as much as one of those PI jobs. I could also look into legal aid, small non-profits, and etc. But when a lot of PI organizations require constitutional litigation experience, it's kind of hard because you don't necessarily want to be doing routine legal aid work.

So I guess I am a bit picky with my "scared I won't have a job," ramble, as I basically meant "scared I won't have a job I am willing to take."

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Rock-N-Roll
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby Rock-N-Roll » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:36 pm

Kronk wrote:So I guess I am a bit picky with my "scared I won't have a job," ramble, as I basically meant "scared I won't have a job I am willing to take."


I'm glad to hear that at least you're not totally shut out of those PI jobs forever. Maybe after a few years as a PD then?

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Kronk
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby Kronk » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:40 pm

Rock-N-Roll wrote:
Kronk wrote:So I guess I am a bit picky with my "scared I won't have a job," ramble, as I basically meant "scared I won't have a job I am willing to take."


I'm glad to hear that at least you're not totally shut out of those PI jobs forever. Maybe after a few years as a PD then?


That was my thought, yeah. I really like PD work, so maybe 5-10 at the PDs office while searching for the type of PI job I want.

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bilbobaggins
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby bilbobaggins » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:47 pm

Boalt for a few reasons:

1. You'll be just as competitive in Seattle and you can have worse grades.
2. You'll be way more competitive in other markets and, therefore, will have a better chance at landing a Biglaw job with worse grades.
3. You'll be more competitive in other legal sectors as well.
4. It's your dream school.

cornellbeez
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby cornellbeez » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:49 pm

Rock-N-Roll wrote:
cornellbeez wrote:
PNW Noob wrote:
Do you mean a scholarship at Berkeley or a grant for the first year?


It's the latter, a need-based grant. I've been assuming that this will carry on for the other two years. Is this not the case? How do these work?


No. It won't carry over. You won't get anything 2L/3L years, especially if you get in-state.

Not sure how to answer this question. Seattle biglaw is tough to crack from any school.


Cornellbeez: Are you speaking from experience as a Berkeley student (yes I noticed Cornell is in your user name) or are you speculating on this point?

If you are speaking from personal experience, does it not matter if your finances haven't changed from year to year (i.e. on your FAFSA)?


I don't go to either. (I am a 3L at MVP.) However, I know a fair number of people at Boalt and UCLA who were turned down for need-based aid 2L year even though their finances did not change. Ask any current upper level student if you don't believe me.

Debt may seem like nothing to you right now, but when you are working and paying off your loans, 200k+ loans will seem like major baggage. So to me, this is a tough choice. I'd argue Boalt simply because there are basically no jobs in Seattle, but at the same time, I would never pay 200K+ for law school (which is what it's going to end up being). I also don't have parents who are capable of bailing me out on loans. If you do, then maybe crushing debt doesn't matter as much to you.

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jcl2
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby jcl2 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:49 pm

The advice on this thread is pretty good for the most part, but I do need to point out that the idea that there are no jobs in Seattle is totally incorrect. Compared to NY, SF, LA, DC, and CHI, yes Seattle is a relatively small legal market, but there are still a lot of law firms here. There are probably 30 people in the 2L class here at UW that have "biglaw" SA jobs in Seattle this summer, so there must be significantly more than 30 biglaw SA jobs in Seattle, and I literally do not know any 2L's that don't have a paying job this summer, though I'm sure there are a few.

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Rock-N-Roll
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby Rock-N-Roll » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:02 am

cornellbeez wrote:
I don't go to either. (I am a 3L at MVP.) However, I know a fair number of people at Boalt and UCLA who were turned down for need-based aid 2L year even though their finances did not change. Ask any current upper level student if you don't believe me.

Debt may seem like nothing to you right now, but when you are working and paying off your loans, 200k+ loans will seem like major baggage. So to me, this is a tough choice. I'd argue Boalt simply because there are basically no jobs in Seattle, but at the same time, I would never pay 200K+ for law school (which is what it's going to end up being). I also don't have parents who are capable of bailing me out on loans. If you do, then maybe crushing debt doesn't matter as much to you.


Thank you for your response. That's bad news though.

aPosseAdEsse
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby aPosseAdEsse » Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:48 am

jcl2 wrote:The advice on this thread is pretty good for the most part, but I do need to point out that the idea that there are no jobs in Seattle is totally incorrect. Compared to NY, SF, LA, DC, and CHI, yes Seattle is a relatively small legal market, but there are still a lot of law firms here. There are probably 30 people in the 2L class here at UW that have "biglaw" SA jobs in Seattle this summer, so there must be significantly more than 30 biglaw SA jobs in Seattle, and I literally do not know any 2L's that don't have a paying job this summer, though I'm sure there are a few.


Hey JCL, how sure are you about this? I've spoken with (now) rising 3Ls who seem to think that roughly 5 UW students have biglaw jobs in Seattle (e.g. jobs with firms that pay 115+). Were they just fear mongering? Do you personally know that many rising 3Ls working at firms like DWT?

That said, your comment about midlaw existing in Seattle seems to be credited. I voted UW for OP.

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jcl2
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby jcl2 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:53 pm

aPosseAdEsse wrote:
jcl2 wrote:The advice on this thread is pretty good for the most part, but I do need to point out that the idea that there are no jobs in Seattle is totally incorrect. Compared to NY, SF, LA, DC, and CHI, yes Seattle is a relatively small legal market, but there are still a lot of law firms here. There are probably 30 people in the 2L class here at UW that have "biglaw" SA jobs in Seattle this summer, so there must be significantly more than 30 biglaw SA jobs in Seattle, and I literally do not know any 2L's that don't have a paying job this summer, though I'm sure there are a few.


Hey JCL, how sure are you about this? I've spoken with (now) rising 3Ls who seem to think that roughly 5 UW students have biglaw jobs in Seattle (e.g. jobs with firms that pay 115+). Were they just fear mongering? Do you personally know that many rising 3Ls working at firms like DWT?

That said, your comment about midlaw existing in Seattle seems to be credited. I voted UW for OP.


They are certainly exaggerating a bit, as I personally know more than 5. Could be a little bit of a dispute over what people consider biglaw, if we are just considering Perkins Coie, Davis Wright, Stoel Rives, K&L and the few giant firms with tiny regional offices here, then I would think the number is pretty small, probably more like 10-15 than 5 though. When I threw 30 out there I was definitely including firms not quite at that level, but that still pay about 100k, and maybe that is an overestimate if you are just talking about biglaw in Seattle. Though do keep in mind that we have a very small class and quite a few people not pursuing biglaw at all. It also appears that the class that just graduated and to a lesser extent the current rising 3Ls were uniquely screwed by the economy (as they were at many other places). It does look like things may be heading back towards some semblance of normal this year.

Regardless, I guess the point is that Seattle biglaw is tough and I don't know if it does much good to go to a t14 school other than the very very top schools in terms of getting a biglaw job in Seattle. You are going to need to be at the top of your class either way.

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IzziesGal
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby IzziesGal » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:38 pm

cornellbeez wrote:
I don't go to either. (I am a 3L at MVP.) However, I know a fair number of people at Boalt and UCLA who were turned down for need-based aid 2L year even though their finances did not change. Ask any current upper level student if you don't believe me.

Debt may seem like nothing to you right now, but when you are working and paying off your loans, 200k+ loans will seem like major baggage. So to me, this is a tough choice. I'd argue Boalt simply because there are basically no jobs in Seattle, but at the same time, I would never pay 200K+ for law school (which is what it's going to end up being). I also don't have parents who are capable of bailing me out on loans. If you do, then maybe crushing debt doesn't matter as much to you.


This is not true AT ALL. I am a rising 3L, and I have kept my significant need based aid (20k+) for both 2L and 3L years. So have my friends who were getting need based aid. Sure, it went down a little as a 2L....but that's because we were granted residency, meaning our overall tuition and fees ALL WENT DOWN simultaneously. Our grants, in proportion to reduced fees and tuition, remained the same.

I am generally tired of people who don't go to Boalt speaking authoritatively on topics as if they do. You really shouldn't be advising new admits on any other school's situation other than your own.

OP - feel free to PM me about anything Boalt related. I am happy to help.

Also: reasons for getting turned down for need based aid include not filing your paperwork on time, filing incomplete paperwork, etc. If you show up late to the party, there are no funds left. I don't know a single person who did everything the right way who didn't get to keep his grant.

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bilbobaggins
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Re: UW vs. Berkeley for Seattle biglaw

Postby bilbobaggins » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:19 pm

IzziesGal wrote:
cornellbeez wrote:
I don't go to either. (I am a 3L at MVP.) However, I know a fair number of people at Boalt and UCLA who were turned down for need-based aid 2L year even though their finances did not change. Ask any current upper level student if you don't believe me.

Debt may seem like nothing to you right now, but when you are working and paying off your loans, 200k+ loans will seem like major baggage. So to me, this is a tough choice. I'd argue Boalt simply because there are basically no jobs in Seattle, but at the same time, I would never pay 200K+ for law school (which is what it's going to end up being). I also don't have parents who are capable of bailing me out on loans. If you do, then maybe crushing debt doesn't matter as much to you.


This is not true AT ALL. I am a rising 3L, and I have kept my significant need based aid (20k+) for both 2L and 3L years. So have my friends who were getting need based aid. Sure, it went down a little as a 2L....but that's because we were granted residency, meaning our overall tuition and fees ALL WENT DOWN simultaneously. Our grants, in proportion to reduced fees and tuition, remained the same.

I am generally tired of people who don't go to Boalt speaking authoritatively on topics as if they do. You really shouldn't be advising new admits on any other school's situation other than your own.

OP - feel free to PM me about anything Boalt related. I am happy to help.

Also: reasons for getting turned down for need based aid include not filing your paperwork on time, filing incomplete paperwork, etc. If you show up late to the party, there are no funds left. I don't know a single person who did everything the right way who didn't get to keep his grant.


Yeah, that dude loves to troll Boalt.




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