Berkeley vs. Michigan

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

Boalt or UMich?

Boalt
48
52%
UMich
44
48%
 
Total votes: 92

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AreJay711
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:13 pm

Maybe Boalt came out with a better LRAP but UMich's was better when I was applying.

Check this out. It is from someone that was making a similar decision.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=153905

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ConfidenceMan2
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby ConfidenceMan2 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:17 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Coin flip ? If you don't like the result, then you know where you should go.


I once made a decision on where to attend UG in this fashion. It worked in that I realized which school I was leaning towards but didn't work in the sense that I realized I hated that very school after a semester and transferred.

I say go with Michigan because I prefer Michigan weather (I realize this is not a popular perspective) and Ann Arbor kicks ass. It seems that you should either 1) carefully compare numbers and go with the cheaper place (Michigan) or 2) imagine yourself spending a year in either place. Carry on with that train of thought for as long as possible, staying realistic (I've never been to the Bay Area but I can still imagine what life's like there). Then decide. If the Bay Area excites you and the prospect of a smaller town with Michigan weather terrifies you, I think you're being quite reasonable choosing Berk. I would venture to guess that being miserable in a location is not beneficial to studying and performing well on exams/OCI.

If there were substantive differences in employment prospects, that'd be one thing, but it seems very difficult to demonstrate something like that without wild conjecture/unsubstantiated opinion.

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Gecko of Doom
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby Gecko of Doom » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:03 pm

I'd pick Boalt, but only because of West Coast preference. Choose whichever school you think you'd enjoy more. Your prospects should be similar from each.

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rftdd888
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby rftdd888 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:16 pm

I would go to Michigan. The market in California...the only California school I'd go to right now is Stanford. Otherwise, I'd go with Michigan in this instance. It's a flexible degree, Michigan is a great school, they're offering you money, and I'm personally wary of California.

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sundance95
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby sundance95 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:22 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:Even if Berkeley matches the scholarship, there may be stipulations to it that Michigan does not have.

I get that you are trolling for your school, but come on; T14 schools don't stip schollies.

OP, you really can't find any way to distinguish the Bay Area from Ann Arbor? If market placement and CoL are not dispositive for you, surely the completely different environments would provide a basis for distinction. BTW, I'm somewhat suspicious of claims that B can only place in Cali; I suspect a fair bit of self-selection influences that. Would you rather be in a college town or an urban area?

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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:16 pm

sundance95 wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:Even if Berkeley matches the scholarship, there may be stipulations to it that Michigan does not have.

I get that you are trolling for your school, but come on; T14 schools don't stip schollies.

OP, you really can't find any way to distinguish the Bay Area from Ann Arbor? If market placement and CoL are not dispositive for you, surely the completely different environments would provide a basis for distinction. BTW, I'm somewhat suspicious of claims that B can only place in Cali; I suspect a fair bit of self-selection influences that. Would you rather be in a college town or an urban area?


I honestly didn't know this. But, given the current state of the economy in CA, it wouldn't surprise me if Berkeley started to enforce stips.

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sundance95
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby sundance95 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:23 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
sundance95 wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:Even if Berkeley matches the scholarship, there may be stipulations to it that Michigan does not have.

I get that you are trolling for your school, but come on; T14 schools don't stip schollies.

OP, you really can't find any way to distinguish the Bay Area from Ann Arbor? If market placement and CoL are not dispositive for you, surely the completely different environments would provide a basis for distinction. BTW, I'm somewhat suspicious of claims that B can only place in Cali; I suspect a fair bit of self-selection influences that. Would you rather be in a college town or an urban area?


I honestly didn't know this. But, given the current state of the economy in CA, it wouldn't surprise me if Berkeley started to enforce stips.

lolicopters-because the economy in Michigan is SHATTERING THE MARKET! I'd love to hear your theory on how the economy could affect Boalt such that they would need to stip scholarships.

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AreJay711
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:34 pm

sundance95 wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:
sundance95 wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:Even if Berkeley matches the scholarship, there may be stipulations to it that Michigan does not have.

I get that you are trolling for your school, but come on; T14 schools don't stip schollies.

OP, you really can't find any way to distinguish the Bay Area from Ann Arbor? If market placement and CoL are not dispositive for you, surely the completely different environments would provide a basis for distinction. BTW, I'm somewhat suspicious of claims that B can only place in Cali; I suspect a fair bit of self-selection influences that. Would you rather be in a college town or an urban area?


I honestly didn't know this. But, given the current state of the economy in CA, it wouldn't surprise me if Berkeley started to enforce stips.

lolicopters-because the economy in Michigan is SHATTERING THE MARKET! I'd love to hear your theory on how the economy could affect Boalt such that they would need to stip scholarships.


Well Boalt is significantly more expensive to attend because of Cali funding issues and Michigan the state is at rock bottom but pretty solvent on the whole (other than the city of Detroit). Not knowing how much of Boalt's placement is due to self selection, I think it is safe to say it is at least equal and probably better to attend Michigan. But obviously I'm biased.

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sundance95
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby sundance95 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:36 pm

^ Don't disagree with you, but baseless speculation that a top school is suddenly going to impose TTT scholarship stipulations is egregious trolling.

TheVassarBro
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby TheVassarBro » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:16 pm

Is Berkeley really going to hinder you trying to work in CO, AZ, WA, OR, TX, UT vs. Michigan? It seems like that would only really matter if you were trying for NY or DC.

Having lived in Austin, LA, and NYC over the past decade, I think the Bay is the coolest and most exciting place to be right now.
The money doesn't seem like a big deal to you, so it is personal taste. I would pick Berkeley.

Boourns76
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby Boourns76 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:40 pm

I left a top 3 DC BigLaw firm a few years ago, and I can tell you that we had as many Boalt grads as Michigan grads. I think that was the case at the other big DC firms as well. I think the perception is that Michigan may be slightly better at producing clerks, but Berkeley is better at producing actual lawyers, but the difference is really minor.

If you want to work in BigLaw (even if just for a few years after which you realize you hate it), you won't need to worry about debt so much. So kind of up to you. For me, I've come to hate cold winters, so it's a no brainer. And being in NorCal means more interesting experiences as well, to the extent that this will be the last experience of your pre-retirement life that gets to just screw around and go do random things when you want to.

Boourns76
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby Boourns76 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:46 pm

dude, and really, worries about the market in california? if you do reasonably well at either school, you're going to have a good array of options. if you excel at either school, everything will be open to you. that being said, it's not HYS, so if you fall in the bottom third, you'll have issues outside of your region. If you are that risk averse that you want to attend a school based on the possibility of being a poorly performing student there, I guess the relevant question is would you rather be confined to the Chicago/Detroit market or the West Coast market? I don't think Cali is doing worse than the Midwest, and I don't think it makes one bit of difference on the East Coast (in fact, one could make a case that Cal places better on the East Coast for two reasons: 1) less Cal grads seek East Coast jobs; and 2) most partners/hiring folks remember Berkeley from its pre-California budget crisis heyday when it was legitimately one of the top universities in the country). In any event, the difference outside of their regions is extremely minor, as reflected by the back and forth they do in the rankings.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:42 pm

Boourns76 wrote:dude, and really, worries about the market in california? if you do reasonably well at either school, you're going to have a good array of options. if you excel at either school, everything will be open to you. that being said, it's not HYS, so if you fall in the bottom third, you'll have issues outside of your region.

Generally correct.

Boourns76 wrote:I'd I guess the relevant question is would you rather be confined to the Chicago/Detroit market or the West Coast market?

That's not how it works. If you do poorly at Michigan you go to your home market, not to Detroit or Chicago. Chicago is very difficult to break into right now, and Detroit firms rarely take Michigan students who aren't from the region just because they went to school there. Similarly, doing poorly at Berkeley doesn't mean the entire west coast is open to you. In fact, it is highly unlikely that the primary west coast markets (SF or LA) or major secondary markets (Seattle or Portland) will be open to a poor performer, unless that's where you're from and you're targeting small firms (which is the same as it would be from Michigan). Regardless of attending Michigan or Berkeley, your default market if you don't perform well will be small firms in your home town.

Boourns76 wrote: I don't think Cali is doing worse than the Midwest

Michigan gets slammed for having a poor economy, but people rarely realize that Detroit has been in pretty awful shape for over three decades. There was an economic downturn and that makes people think that Detroit is suddenly doing much worse, but it's been bad for awhile and the recent downturn really hasn't affected Michigan all that much worse than elsewhere. The reason why people make this argument for California school is because the economic downturn has been far worse for California, relatively-speaking. Because of such substantial budget shortfalls in the state, the tuition at Berkeley is slated to increase by almost 15,000 dollars between the 2009-2010 and 2012-2013 school years (from $36k/year to $51k/year) (http://abovethelaw.com/2009/11/law-school-tuition-hikes-spread-like-wildfires-in-california/). Sudden tuition increases like this are particularly unlikely at Michigan due to the fact that it is approximately 98% funded from sources other than the state of Michigan. The fact that the state of California's economy has caused that much volatility to Berkeley's tuition is what has people concerned, particularly with California's continuing budget issues. Whether that's a good reason to avoid Berkeley is entirely in the eye of the beholder, but it would be particularly naive to pretend like it isn't at least mildly relevant.

Boourns76 wrote:in fact, one could make a case that Cal places better on the East Coast for two reasons: 1) less Cal grads seek East Coast jobs;

I completely agree that this is a realistic possibility. I actually think this benefits Michigan in New York as compared to predominantly-NY placing schools in much the same way, except I would argue (/Michigan trolling) that we typically disperse our grads so much throughout the country compared to most schools (I think only HYSChi have as dispersed geographic placement as we do) that our grads almost have that type of rarity, regardless of the market.

Boourns76 wrote: most partners/hiring folks remember Berkeley from its pre-California budget crisis heyday when it was legitimately one of the top universities in the country).

I don't think there was ever a time where Berkeley was clearly the better law school than Michigan. If anything, it may have been the opposite (I'm not talking about 1987 USNews - Michigan was legitimately a top 3-5 school in the mid-20th century). Regardless, I don't think that matters much for present placement since they're presently very comparable schools, but I doubt that it favors Berkeley if it does favor anyone.

Boourns76 wrote:If you want to work in BigLaw (even if just for a few years after which you realize you hate it), you won't need to worry about debt so much.

Because if you're working BigLaw, it means you suddenly have to stop paying off the amount of debt you take out? If I'd taken out 210k in debt with compounding interest at NYU instead of my 150k at Michigan, I would guess it'd easily make a difference of about 1-2 years in payments vs. 1-2 years of saving. The whole 'If you get biglaw, debt doesn't matter" argument that people throw around on here is absolutely absurd.

Real Madrid
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby Real Madrid » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:42 pm

Thanks for all the replies guys! To answer a question from earlier: I'm sure I could distinguish between the Bay Area and Ann Arbor, but I'm also the type of person who can more or less adapt to whatever environment I'm in and be happy. That being said, I did the whole college town thing in undergrad, so the proximity to San Francisco that Berkeley offers is definitely appealing. On the other hand, though, the scholarship and low cost of living that Michigan offers is appealing as well.

I basically asked this question because I know both schools offer great opportunities for those interested in public interest, but I've had trouble finding a lot of information about Berkeley and its students' big law prospects.

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:04 pm

I would go for Boalt, for three reasons:
1) It's no longer a gulag! Newly renovated and furnished, the law school looks amazing.
2) No snow!
3)Image

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rftdd888
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Re: Berkeley vs. Michigan

Postby rftdd888 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:43 pm

a real live war criminal!




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