Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

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prospective2015
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Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby prospective2015 » Tue May 01, 2012 4:41 pm

Please help me choose! I want to practice biglaw in California (most likely Los Angeles).

My choices:
Penn ($61k total in scholarships)
Chicago ($30k total in scholarships)
Berkeley ($15k total in scholarships)

I went to Berkeley for undergrad, so I sort of want to experience law school at another school/in a different city. Not that big of an issue, but something to take into account. I really liked the student body at Berkeley, but it had a more public interest bent which I'm not too crazy about.

Chicago seems to dominate with respect to careers/job placement, especially at top firms. BUT the students are more intense/cut-throat and competitive, which is a HUGE turn-off, as is the weather and graded legal writing course.

Penn had a very friendly/more laid-back and liberal student body, which is very important to me. It does well with job placements (it was #1 last year for biglaw placements).

Chicago and Penn roughly place 8-10% of their students at California firms (some of this is because of self-selection, some I imagine, is not).

I put down a deposit at both Penn and Chicago. I'll be visiting Chicago in a couple of weeks. I also held my seat at Berkeley.

Please help!

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue May 01, 2012 4:43 pm

On May 15th LSAC gives all deposit information to all law schools. You need to make a decision before then.

If you want to experience a different schools, cross Berkeley off of your list.

I think Chicago is safer for going back to CA, but I don't know how well Penn students do at getting back and whether there is any added risk for that 30k (I would assume there is some).

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Nelson
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby Nelson » Tue May 01, 2012 4:46 pm

Chicago trolls gonna say Chicago, but I would go with Berkeley or Penn here. Berkeley would maximize your chances of getting a job in CA. But you could keep your debt out of Penn under 150k in principal and I assume you have California ties to get you back for job purposes.
Last edited by Nelson on Tue May 01, 2012 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby TaipeiMort » Tue May 01, 2012 4:57 pm

Chicago or Berkeley.

Chicago gives you a better chance at CA if you have ties. Berkeley is in arguably a better location and still places pretty well.

SaintFond
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby SaintFond » Tue May 01, 2012 5:07 pm

Berkeley or Penn but probably Penn. It sounds like neither Chicago nor Penn place much into CA (not comparable to Berkeley anyway), but you already have ties, think you prefer Penn's student body, and Penn is giving you more money than anyone else anyway.

Twit
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby Twit » Tue May 01, 2012 5:08 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:Chicago or Berkeley.

Chicago gives you a better chance at CA if you have ties. Berkeley is in arguably a better location and still places pretty well.

TLSNYC
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby TLSNYC » Tue May 01, 2012 5:14 pm

Penn.

I picked Penn over Chicago with about the same financial diff, i.e. 30k more from Penn than Chicago. Despite all the nit-picking that goes on on sites like this, P & C are similar in big law placement and Penn always has a healthy number of students going to Ca. We even have a special OCI-like program, I believe, for those interested in Ca. Save yourself the money for the same job prospects.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby TaipeiMort » Tue May 01, 2012 5:44 pm

TLSNYC wrote:Penn.

I picked Penn over Chicago with about the same financial diff, i.e. 30k more from Penn than Chicago. Despite all the nit-picking that goes on on sites like this, P & C are similar in big law placement and Penn always has a healthy number of students going to Ca. We even have a special OCI-like program, I believe, for those interested in Ca. Save yourself the money for the same job prospects.


I think you'd be right that Penn and Chicago have similar NYC prospects. However, CA is night and day difference. There simply aren't that many Columbia or Penn grads at CA firms. They aren't a big player. Chicago has the best outside of CA placement into CA besides Harvard (if you don't believe me, take a look at CA firms' partner attorney directories).

The big difference is that you can get CA with ties from Chicago below median. At Penn you will need better grades.

Real Madrid
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby Real Madrid » Tue May 01, 2012 6:50 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:Chicago or Berkeley.

Chicago gives you a better chance at CA if you have ties. Berkeley is in arguably a better location and still places pretty well.


Good God, you're ridiculous. Berkeley is in an arguably better location if you want California big law? Your Chicago trolling is getting so fucking obnoxious it's absurd. Let me guess, Chicago is also better for NYC than NYU/Columbia and better for California than Stanford?

You've probably built an altar dedicated to Brian Leiter for God's sake.

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Emma.
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby Emma. » Tue May 01, 2012 6:57 pm

Chi can open doors in CA (like Keker) that Penn never will.

Also, the cutthroat, competetive reputation of Chicago is completely overblown (after talking to kids at our ASW who had also visited Penn, it seemed like Penn was basically working really hard to instigate this).

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Flash
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby Flash » Tue May 01, 2012 8:06 pm

Emma. wrote:Chi can open doors in CA (like Keker) that Penn never will.

Also, the cutthroat, competetive reputation of Chicago is completely overblown (after talking to kids at our ASW who had also visited Penn, it seemed like Penn was basically working really hard to instigate this).

They'll do anything to get the attention away from Sanduskygate.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby TaipeiMort » Tue May 01, 2012 8:14 pm

Real Madrid wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:Chicago or Berkeley.

Chicago gives you a better chance at CA if you have ties. Berkeley is in arguably a better location and still places pretty well.


Good God, you're ridiculous. Berkeley is in an arguably better location if you want California big law? Your Chicago trolling is getting so fucking obnoxious it's absurd. Let me guess, Chicago is also better for NYC than NYU/Columbia and better for California than Stanford?

You've probably built an altar dedicated to Brian Leiter for God's sake.


You misquoted me. Berkeley is an arguably better location to live in. Chicago makes getting CA big law easier by far (unless we are talking IP-- Cal may be the best in the nation here). Chicago has like 30 CA natives per class and maybe 60 CA big law spots to give out). Berkeley may have 100 CA spots to give, but 150 people gunning for them.

law2015
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby law2015 » Tue May 01, 2012 8:29 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:Chicago or Berkeley.

Chicago gives you a better chance at CA if you have ties. Berkeley is in arguably a better location and still places pretty well.


Good God, you're ridiculous. Berkeley is in an arguably better location if you want California big law? Your Chicago trolling is getting so fucking obnoxious it's absurd. Let me guess, Chicago is also better for NYC than NYU/Columbia and better for California than Stanford?

You've probably built an altar dedicated to Brian Leiter for God's sake.


You misquoted me. Berkeley is an arguably better location to live in. Chicago makes getting CA big law easier by far (unless we are talking IP-- Cal may be the best in the nation here). Chicago has like 30 CA natives per class and maybe 60 CA big law spots to give out). Berkeley may have 100 CA spots to give, but 150 people gunning for them.


Provide a link to show some evidence for this or stfu.

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thelawyler
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby thelawyler » Tue May 01, 2012 9:33 pm

My gut for this tells me to do Cal for Cali...

Cal won't match these? Don't they have a matching policy?
Last edited by thelawyler on Tue May 01, 2012 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue May 01, 2012 9:38 pm

You can't make a wrong or a bad choice among these options. Congratulations !

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quiver
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby quiver » Tue May 01, 2012 9:55 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:Berkeley is an arguably better location to live in. Chicago makes getting CA big law easier by far (unless we are talking IP-- Cal may be the best in the nation here). Chicago has like 30 CA natives per class and maybe 60 CA big law spots to give out). Berkeley may have 100 CA spots to give, but 150 people gunning for them.
I don't really know what you're saying here. Maybe I'm just misunderstanding, but schools don't have a specific number of slots reserved for each market. If the 30 highest ranked and 30 lowest ranked kids at Chicago all apply for CA biglaw it's not like those bottom 30 are just waltzing into CA SAs because 60 kids from Chicago MUST be in CA for 2L summer.

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booboo
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby booboo » Tue May 01, 2012 10:11 pm

I think Chicago does actually send something like 20% of their class to California... So that is pretty impressive...

RoyBatty
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby RoyBatty » Tue May 01, 2012 10:42 pm

Not that hard to understand, really. In Chicago, firms see very, very few Stanford students. The competition among the top firms for the few Cardinal is spirited. In LA, there are very few Chicago students looking for work. But the top firms tend to have a few Chicago partners and, in any event, want to have a summer class with a roster of students from each top school. This is not conjecture, it's a fairly obvious fact. We don't spend money on OCI for kicks and travel.

I'd venture that Boalt students have a broader range of easily found (ie, the firms come to you) prospects in CA than do students at CCN, and I'd guess Yale too. But the extra firm prospects (and we are just talking biglaw firms here) at Boalt are all going to be below the top tier CA firms that attend T6 OCI.

There's little doubt that Munger or whoever is going to dig deeper into UofC's class.

The reason this makes sense in the long run is that traditionally, old fashioned top firms have a certain number of slots for each school. So one ends up competing against classmates rather than across schools in a meaningful sense. Don't get me wrong, there is give and take around the margins (take more from local powerhouse A if the showing was dismal at T6 B). But that's a fallback position. Finally, as suggested above, there is a slight bias in non-NY major market firms built in against students from the NY T6. Not a bias based on perceived student quality; rather, perceived poor return on recruiting effort. Many large LA, SF, Chi firms don't have many NYU/CLS partners (per capita) compared to HLS, SLS, UofC. They also have difficulty competing for the top NY students against the top NY firms (which for 100 years and counting have an edge in pay, work and prestige). And there's a perception that NY students want to stay in NY more than non-NY students crave Boston, Chicago, etc. So *relatively* less effort to recruit in NY is often spent. I think this is easily overcome by CN students who make a minimal effort to show a committment to CA.

In summary, a better shot at a top CA firm from Chi, all else being equal, is not hard to fathom. If a firm has partner ties and spends money on OCI, they will fill some slots with kids from that school unless something goes very wrong. If every student is gunning for limited summer slots from LA firm X at UCLA and 2 UofC students are gunning for the same firm, then the UofC people obviously have a better shot. It really comes down to the pre-interview decision the firm made about the *school* by committing to OCI as much as anything.

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thelawyler
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby thelawyler » Tue May 01, 2012 10:52 pm

Better than Yale? That's some Chicago trolling right there.

RoyBatty
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby RoyBatty » Tue May 01, 2012 11:12 pm

Help me out and show me where I said that.

The sole Yale reference was that Boalt probably has more CA firms at OCI than does Yale (or CCN- don't know about HLS and its deep OCI, but I'd guess Boalt has more). That fact does not make attending Boalt a stronger play for Munger than attending Yale, either. The same can be said for the other T6. That's all.

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thelawyler
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby thelawyler » Tue May 01, 2012 11:34 pm

I misread. I thought you said Chicago has better chance than Yale for CA. I read that again and I have no idea how I got that .

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby TaipeiMort » Tue May 01, 2012 11:46 pm

booboo wrote:I think Chicago does actually send something like 20% of their class to California... So that is pretty impressive...


Last year it was around 1/6. I don't know about this year, as my class seems to have placed more in CA, but this may also be because there are a lot of Californians in our class, and transactional practice in several CA markets is doing well.

What has been nicest is that if you have demonstrated ties to CA it is pretty easy to get a CA job due to lower levels of competition among classmates.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby TaipeiMort » Tue May 01, 2012 11:50 pm

thelawyler wrote:Better than Yale? That's some Chicago trolling right there.


Chicago isn't better than Yale, but Yale places far fewer into California than Harvard and Chicago. I believe this is because both have strong CA alumni networks. From glancing through firm directories as OCI prep, NYU, Columbia, and Yale just didn't have that many people at CA firms. I would guess that Arizona State, BYU, and Utah have close to as many alumni at CA firms as Yale.

concurrent fork
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby concurrent fork » Tue May 01, 2012 11:52 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:What has been nicest is that if you have demonstrated ties to CA it is pretty easy to get a CA job due to lower levels of competition among classmates.

So if we accept your reasoning ITT, doesn't that make NYU better than UChi for Chicago biglaw?

sperry
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Re: Chicago vs Penn vs Berkeley for California Big Law

Postby sperry » Tue May 01, 2012 11:57 pm

Don't go to Penn unless you want to work in New York or Philly, and since no sane person wants to work in Philly, only go to Penn if you want to work in New York.




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