Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

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SaintFond
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Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby SaintFond » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:32 pm

That's the basic question. Conceivably I might still get some money from Boalt, but I am not counting on it.

First, some information about myself. Will probably be posting this around various law forums on the Internet, so I apologize if you have seen it before or will see it again.

I just turned 26, and I graduated UC Berkeley a couple years back with a degree in philosophy. Since then, I have been employed as a document clerk in a boutique law firm in San Francisco. For the first year or so, I found the work the attorneys (seemed) to be doing to be terribly boring and stultifying. But as of late, one of the attorneys has taken me under his wing, as it were, and kind of shown me what being an attorney in this field is like; I actually find it rather stimulating. Basically, I want to be a white collar office worker desk jockey who spends his time investigating/researching/writing. Also, as cliche as it sounds, I want to be a lawyer because I enjoy constructing (and winning) arguments. I know how much lawyers work because I haven seen it firsthand, but I am undaunted. I have no interest in marriage or children or the family life. At this point my background is in securities-class action, and that is probably what I would pursue after law school. I would prefer to live and work in CA.

I come from a pretty solid middle class background. I could probably receive some assistance from my parents, but I can't count on much. The bulk of my education would be paid through loans. I currently make ~30K a year with good benefits, but there is no room for advancement, as far as I know. If I don't go to law school, my only other option would probably be to find some other generalized office job with more room for advancement. I currently have no debt.

If I were to go to Berk, I could stay in the Bay Area and conceivably even work at my firm during the summers. I am one of the better document clerks they've had, and it's not unheard of for them to rehire doc clerks as associates (one former d-clerk made partner a few years back). Also, truth be told, my uncle is a former named partner. So, if worst came to worst, I could probably get a job here as an associate, although that would be shameless, and admittedly I am not 100% sure they would take me. There is also another law firm here in the city which employs a lot of former attorneys and staff from my firm. An application from me would probably be looked upon favorably.

My parents live in LA county, and my mother used to work for UCLA medical center. In fact, she still does a lot of contract work for them. I originally thought that I could live with my parents and commute, but my mother tells me that the commute is horrendous after 6 in the morning and after 2 in the afternoon. Like, so bad it's probably not worthwhile. I may also be able to talk UCLA up another 15K because of an offer I got from another T20 school, and UCLA will be cheaper than Berk in terms of tuition by 15K anyway.

071816
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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby 071816 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:22 pm

Where do you ultimately want to work and live? For now, I would use Berkeley's offer (or offers from the other schools) to negotiate with UCLA. Then maybe you can use that offer to negotiate with Berkeley.

Also, did you apply to USC?

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby moneybagsphd » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:48 pm

chimp wrote:Where do you ultimately want to work and live? For now, I would use Berkeley's offer (or offers from the other schools) to negotiate with UCLA. Then maybe you can use that offer to negotiate with Berkeley.

Also, did you apply to USC?

I don't think UCLA is going negotiate with a Boalt acceptance because they've already offered a 90k scholly. I would leverage that against Boalt's offer. At this price point, I think UCLA is objectively the better choice.
Also, I got the same offer from UCLA and 40k/year from USC... I'm not sure which is the better choice.

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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby 071816 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:52 pm

moneybagsphd wrote:
chimp wrote:Where do you ultimately want to work and live? For now, I would use Berkeley's offer (or offers from the other schools) to negotiate with UCLA. Then maybe you can use that offer to negotiate with Berkeley.

Also, did you apply to USC?

I don't think UCLA is going negotiate with a Boalt acceptance because they've already offered a 90k scholly. I would leverage that against Boalt's offer. At this price point, I think UCLA is objectively the better choice.
Also, I got the same offer from UCLA and 40k/year from USC... I'm not sure which is the better choice.


You're probably right about the bolded, but I suppose it couldn't hurt to try.

I think the better option between USC and UCLA is always the one that is cheapest, unless you have a strong preference for one or the other. However, if you want public interest, UCLA is probably the better choice because I believe they guarantee summer funding for first year students whereas USC has a pretty competitive application process for these types of grants, which is pretty sucky in my opinion.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby moneybagsphd » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:07 pm

chimp wrote:
moneybagsphd wrote:
chimp wrote:Where do you ultimately want to work and live? For now, I would use Berkeley's offer (or offers from the other schools) to negotiate with UCLA. Then maybe you can use that offer to negotiate with Berkeley.

Also, did you apply to USC?

I don't think UCLA is going negotiate with a Boalt acceptance because they've already offered a 90k scholly. I would leverage that against Boalt's offer. At this price point, I think UCLA is objectively the better choice.
Also, I got the same offer from UCLA and 40k/year from USC... I'm not sure which is the better choice.


You're probably right about the bolded, but I suppose it couldn't hurt to try.

I think the better option between USC and UCLA is always the one that is cheapest, unless you have a strong preference for one or the other. However, if you want public interest, UCLA is probably the better choice because I believe they guarantee summer funding for first year students whereas USC has a pretty competitive application process for these types of grants, which is pretty sucky in my opinion.

I'm inclined to agree. Overall USC will cost 18k less than UCLA, and offers pretty much identical job prospects. I'm leaning slightly towards USC, but I haven't visited yet... It might come down to preference in the end.

071816
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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby 071816 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:30 pm

moneybagsphd wrote:
chimp wrote:
moneybagsphd wrote:
chimp wrote:Where do you ultimately want to work and live? For now, I would use Berkeley's offer (or offers from the other schools) to negotiate with UCLA. Then maybe you can use that offer to negotiate with Berkeley.

Also, did you apply to USC?

I don't think UCLA is going negotiate with a Boalt acceptance because they've already offered a 90k scholly. I would leverage that against Boalt's offer. At this price point, I think UCLA is objectively the better choice.
Also, I got the same offer from UCLA and 40k/year from USC... I'm not sure which is the better choice.


You're probably right about the bolded, but I suppose it couldn't hurt to try.

I think the better option between USC and UCLA is always the one that is cheapest, unless you have a strong preference for one or the other. However, if you want public interest, UCLA is probably the better choice because I believe they guarantee summer funding for first year students whereas USC has a pretty competitive application process for these types of grants, which is pretty sucky in my opinion.

I'm inclined to agree. Overall USC will cost 18k less than UCLA, and offers pretty much identical job prospects. I'm leaning slightly towards USC, but I haven't visited yet... It might come down to preference in the end.


Yea you should definitely visit both. For L.A. jobs, the schools are virtually identical in every regard. The major tangible differences between the two are location and class size.

SaintFond
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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby SaintFond » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:20 pm

Hey, sorry I never responded. It looked like nobody was going to say anything, so I abandoned thread (prematurely).

I did get into USC w/35K scholarship, but for reasons I don't want to go in to, I didn't want to attend, and the scholarship I am pretty sure just expired.

I also got a scholarship from Cornell to the tune of 75K. I submitted a matching scholarship app. to Berkeley but haven't heard back yet. Berkeley would not have matched UCLA. If Berkeley matches or even gives me ~50K, I will probably attend. Otherwise, I still have a choice to make.

I would PREFER to work somewhere in CA, but if anyone thought that Cornell were the undisputed best choice, I would consider going to Cornell and working on the East Coast.

Also, I am currently waitlisted at NYU and Columbia. However, the chances I get off the Columbia waitlist are slim to none, and even if I did, it would probably be too late for me to jump ship. The NYU waitlist is a possibility, I guess, but it might have the same issue as Columbia. And again, I would like to work in CA ideally.

Any further advice?

SaintFond
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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby SaintFond » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:52 pm

HALP!

CanadianWolf
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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:55 pm

UCal-Berkeley is the better choice for one seeking West Coast employment versus Cornell. Congratulations on the scholarship offers !

SaintFond
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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby SaintFond » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:01 pm

(probably) last bump!

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Dignan
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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby Dignan » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:59 pm

SaintFond wrote:(probably) last bump!

I'm not sure what you're expecting from the crowd at this point.

You say that you would prefer to work in California. If you would be just as happy in SoCal as NorCal, then UCLA is a decent choice. Based on anecdotal information, SoCal firms seem to dip deeper into Boalt's class then UCLA's class, but it might be worth $90K to give up that advantage.

If you would prefer NorCal to SoCal, then it's hard to justify passing up Boalt. Both SLS and Boalt students have a leg up on landing jobs in the relatively insular SF/SV firm market. Although a HLS student can overcome those advantages, I don't think that a UCLA or Cornell grad can without excellent grades.

As for Cornell, you've got to be comfortable with the idea of working in NYC, because that's where you'll very likely end up. If you'd be happy with that outcome, then it's a fine choice as well.

SaintFond
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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby SaintFond » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:09 pm

I guess my concern is that, at least as of late, UCLA's placement rates have been pretty bad. I am not quite sure why this is, but last year they only placed like 22.5% in the NLJ250, whereas I think in previous years their rates have been more like 30%+. A 20-25% chance of getting Biglaw doesn't strike me as an especially good proposition, even with the scholarship. The way I see it, of that 20-25%, at least some of them probably had special (tech) backgrounds or connections, so the actual rate for the average student might even be lower. Berkeley, on the other hand, is solid T14/T10 with good placement rates (certainly for last year anyway). However, it would be an obscene amount of debt, assuming I can't get a scholarship for 2L.

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Dignan
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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby Dignan » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:38 pm

Your concerns are legitimate. Even when the economy is going great, Boalt significantly outplaces UCLA. Just before the bubble burst in 2008, Boalt placed 62.6% of its grads into NLJ250 firms; UCLA placed 42.4%.

Boalt will you give you a better shot at biglaw and will give you more options nationally. Is that worth an additional $100K of debt? I can't answer that question for you, but I'll share this: there are quite a few students at Boalt who turned down significant scholarship money at UCLA to attend school here. I have yet to hear someone say that, in retrospect, they wished they had taken the scholarship money at UCLA. But I heave heard several students remark how thankful they are that they didn't go to UCLA, where their friends are struggling to find jobs. It's a biased sample—people generally like to validate their decisions—so take it for what it's worth.

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2014
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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby 2014 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:49 pm

It isn't shameless at all to use your connections to get a job. If I were in your shoes I would talk to the person who has taken you under their wing and ask their opinion and ask what your chances of getting hired there are from UCLA or Berkeley. Use your network to your advantage, everyone else will be doing it so you might as well too.

SaintFond
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Re: Boalt (sticker ) v. UCLA (30K/yr)

Postby SaintFond » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:26 pm

2014 wrote:It isn't shameless at all to use your connections to get a job. If I were in your shoes I would talk to the person who has taken you under their wing and ask their opinion and ask what your chances of getting hired there are from UCLA or Berkeley. Use your network to your advantage, everyone else will be doing it so you might as well too.


Yeah believe me, if I knew I would have an (almost) guaranteed job here after Berkeley no matter what, I would probably do Berkeley. Part of the problem though is that I am having a hard time finding the courage, as it were, to broach the subject. I just don't know how quite to ask them, "Hey, if I **** up, will you guys still hire me?"

However, another partner I was speaking to about where to attend did say off the cuff that I could always get a job here if it came to that. On the other hand, I am not entirely sure how hiring here works or who is in charge, and even then a verbal assurance isn't much. Someone far more cynical on a different forum straight up said that one can't count on employer goodwill anymore and that I should go into law school with the worst case scenario in mind.

Also, there was an element of nepotism in my even having my current job, so...




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