UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

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anonymous1213
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UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby anonymous1213 » Fri May 25, 2012 3:42 pm

I went to UCLA undergrad and would ideally like to end up in California, probably LA biglaw, but I'm not completely opposed to leaving CA if job prospects here are bad in three years. I like UCLA and I like Berkeley, but I am not dying to go to either one. Berkeley would be a new experience though. I got a 30k/year scholarship to UCLA (already increased twice, the only leverage I have now is a Penn offer off the WL), and my matching scholarship was denied at Berkeley. I have 100k in savings, so if I go to UCLA it will be completely paid off. There is a chance my parents could help me with Berkeley, or that I will have to take out the rest in loans. I'm really uncertain about what to do. I like the idea of not having loans, but I'm scared that the job prospects will be significantly better at Boalt since UCLA only placed 22% in biglaw last year. Not sure if Berkeley is worth 100k more though for biglaw in LA. Also, I currently have no debt from undergrad.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri May 25, 2012 4:01 pm

Conventional wisdom at TLS is that you need to be top 1/3 to be competitive for LA biglaw coming out of UCLA. This being said, you will come out of UCLA pretty close to debt free, so the risk associated with that fact is very much decreased because you won't be taking out loans to cover the degree. This being said, Berkeley's biglaw placement in CA is in fact much better than UCLA. Berkeley was at 46% biglaw placement last year.

So the calculation is 100k for over double the chance of biglaw (46% vs. 22%). Personally, I would go for it if I wanted to come as close as possible to "guaranteeing" California biglaw. However, it's a risk calculation that's up to you.

Also, do you have any interest in CA non-biglaw positions? If so, that might make UCLA look more acceptable.

SaintFond
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby SaintFond » Fri May 25, 2012 4:03 pm

If you can come out of UCLA with little or no debt, you wouldn't even need BigLaw

I'd do UCLA if you're willing to blow your savings.

CanadianWolf
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri May 25, 2012 4:04 pm

Personal preference. Seems like a tie if you can get through UCLA debt-free. Probably UCLA unless Berkeley offers a three year tuition rate guarantee (as some drastic cost-cutting & revenue raising measures are likely in the state of California).

Real Madrid
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby Real Madrid » Fri May 25, 2012 4:25 pm

I was faced with this exact same choice and turned down UCLA with 100k for Berkeley at sticker (also had similar savings). Not only does Berkeley do better in big law (46% in the worst year in history), but the federal clerkship placement is higher and it's one of the biggest feeders into PI in the country. Reasonable or not, I took that to mean that our actual chances a few years from now during OCI will (hopefully) be much higher.

anonymous1213
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby anonymous1213 » Fri May 25, 2012 4:38 pm

I am only interested in biglaw, but I would be graduating from UCLA completely debt free. I'm thinking that double the chance to get a job I really want is worth it too, it's just scary to give up all of the money at UCLA and risk debt. I am leaning toward Berkeley too, but I think UCLA would just be the easier choice to make.

CanadianWolf
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri May 25, 2012 4:44 pm

Why biglaw ? Most have to get biglaw to pay down their law school loans.

In my opinion, you can't make a wrong choice between the two.

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twenty
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby twenty » Fri May 25, 2012 4:46 pm

It's magnitude vs. likelihood. You're much more likely to get a job/job you want out of Berkeley, but if you don't, you're much more screwed.

Personally, I'd go with Berkeley.

EDIT> You're not "screwed", really, if you have 100k in savings. Unless you buy a Mercedes your 1L year, you'll be okay, even with a little debt from Berkeley.
Last edited by twenty on Fri May 25, 2012 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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gaud
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby gaud » Fri May 25, 2012 4:46 pm

SaintFond wrote:I'd do UCLA if you're willing to spend blow your savings.

anonymous1213
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby anonymous1213 » Fri May 25, 2012 5:00 pm

I guess you're right, I'd probably limit myself to biglaw if I go to Berkeley and have debt. I would be more open to other job possibilities if I went to UCLA and was debt free, but I wouldn't have any savings so I still would need an income for the high cost of living in LA or SF or wherever I end up.

anonymous1213
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby anonymous1213 » Fri May 25, 2012 5:16 pm

For those of you who picked Berkeley over a scholarship, are you taking out loans for most of it too?

jim-green
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby jim-green » Sat May 26, 2012 11:01 am

Thanks, i must say this is very re-assuring to me. Anyone know what the biglaw placement rate is in good years? I was worried about this 46% number myself, because Cl's website itself says 32% biglaw placement (> 501 attorney firms) . This 46% is the NLJ number. If you think the top 50%, i.e., median at Cal, can gt biglaw, I'll be much reassured about going there.

Real Madrid wrote:I was faced with this exact same choice and turned down UCLA with 100k for Berkeley at sticker (also had similar savings). Not only does Berkeley do better in big law (46% in the worst year in history), but the federal clerkship placement is higher and it's one of the biggest feeders into PI in the country. Reasonable or not, I took that to mean that our actual chances a few years from now during OCI will (hopefully) be much higher.

Real Madrid
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby Real Madrid » Sat May 26, 2012 1:13 pm

jim-green wrote:Thanks, i must say this is very re-assuring to me. Anyone know what the biglaw placement rate is in good years? I was worried about this 46% number myself, because Cl's website itself says 32% biglaw placement (> 501 attorney firms) . This 46% is the NLJ number. If you think the top 50%, i.e., median at Cal, can gt biglaw, I'll be much reassured about going there.

Real Madrid wrote:I was faced with this exact same choice and turned down UCLA with 100k for Berkeley at sticker (also had similar savings). Not only does Berkeley do better in big law (46% in the worst year in history), but the federal clerkship placement is higher and it's one of the biggest feeders into PI in the country. Reasonable or not, I took that to mean that our actual chances a few years from now during OCI will (hopefully) be much higher.


I don't think it's unreasonable to think that median (and probably lower) at Berkeley will be able to get big law a few years down the road. Not only did 46% get NLJ jobs, but like 7% (maybe more?) got Article III clerkships (usually assumed on these boards that they could get big law) and like 19+% (according to Law School Transparency) took PI jobs. You have to assume (and I definitely do after visiting and talking to students), that a lot of these students never wanted big law in the first place.

The other good news is that Berkeley's grading system makes it more or less impossible to be below median. So unless you've got straight Ps with no work experience, extracurriculars, etc. and suck at interviewing, you should have a good chance at good employment.

jim-green
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby jim-green » Sat May 26, 2012 2:10 pm

Real Madrid wrote:I don't think it's unreasonable to think that median (and probably lower) at Berkeley will be able to get big law a few years down the road. Not only did 46% get NLJ jobs, but like 7% (maybe more?) got Article III clerkships (usually assumed on these boards that they could get big law) and like 19+% (according to Law School Transparency) took PI jobs. You have to assume (and I definitely do after visiting and talking to students), that a lot of these students never wanted big law in the first place.

The other good news is that Berkeley's grading system makes it more or less impossible to be below median. So unless you've got straight Ps with no work experience, extracurriculars, etc. and suck at interviewing, you should have a good chance at good employment.
Thanks, this is very helpful of you.

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Lasers
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby Lasers » Sun May 27, 2012 7:20 pm

berkeley.

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outlookingin
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Re: UCLA ($$) or Berkeley (sticker)? Updated financial info

Postby outlookingin » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:51 am

Real Madrid wrote:
jim-green wrote:Thanks, i must say this is very re-assuring to me. Anyone know what the biglaw placement rate is in good years? I was worried about this 46% number myself, because Cl's website itself says 32% biglaw placement (> 501 attorney firms) . This 46% is the NLJ number. If you think the top 50%, i.e., median at Cal, can gt biglaw, I'll be much reassured about going there.

Real Madrid wrote:I was faced with this exact same choice and turned down UCLA with 100k for Berkeley at sticker (also had similar savings). Not only does Berkeley do better in big law (46% in the worst year in history), but the federal clerkship placement is higher and it's one of the biggest feeders into PI in the country. Reasonable or not, I took that to mean that our actual chances a few years from now during OCI will (hopefully) be much higher.


I don't think it's unreasonable to think that median (and probably lower) at Berkeley will be able to get big law a few years down the road. Not only did 46% get NLJ jobs, but like 7% (maybe more?) got Article III clerkships (usually assumed on these boards that they could get big law) and like 19+% (according to Law School Transparency) took PI jobs. You have to assume (and I definitely do after visiting and talking to students), that a lot of these students never wanted big law in the first place.

The other good news is that Berkeley's grading system makes it more or less impossible to be below median. So unless you've got straight Ps with no work experience, extracurriculars, etc. and suck at interviewing, you should have a good chance at good employment.




Waaaaait a second, really?? Is there no curve at UCB? Is literally the entire class "above median," whatever that means in this context? Something seems weird about that.




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