Berkeley vs UCLA

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

UCLA or Berkeley

UCLA (105k)
28
56%
Berkeley (Sticker)
22
44%
 
Total votes: 50

CoconutP
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Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby CoconutP » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:51 pm

Not completely sure what I want to do with my jd. I do know that I am interested in clerking, and would like to do PI. However, that's what everyone says.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:54 pm

If I understand your poll, UCLA is offering $35,000 per year scholarship ?

If so, take the money over Berkeley at full tuition if targeting Southern California.

If undecided on a career path & geographic location, then less debt is better since it allows more freedom.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CoconutP
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby CoconutP » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:55 pm

I really don't have a regional target. I'd like a more portable (nationally) degree, because I could see myself wanting to work in DC or NY though.

CoconutP
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby CoconutP » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:59 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:If I understand your poll, UCLA is offering $35,000 per year scholarship ?

If so, take the money over Berkeley at full tuition if targeting Southern California.

If undecided on a career path & geographic location, then less debt is better since it allows more freedom.


I tend to think 99% of students, even at the T14, are undecided on their career path upon entry.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:07 pm

Calculate the total cost-of-attendance (COA) for each law school & see if that helps.

Assuming that you need to borrow 100% of your costs for UCal-Berkeley, you'll end up owing about $270,000 within 6 months of graduation when deferred interest is included.

UCLA should be much less costly in light of your $105,000 scholarship, but still above $100,000 of debt after 3 years.

P.S. Part of the problem is the debt crises in California which may result in higher tuition costs. Does Berkely offer a tuition rate guarantee ? Currently, UC_Berkeley & Cornell are the two most expensive law schools in the country.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

woeisme
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby woeisme » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:15 pm

Peer schools...

no, just kidding. I'd probably take the money here though.

CoconutP
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby CoconutP » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:27 pm

woeisme wrote:Peer schools...

no, just kidding. I'd probably take the money here though.


I'm assuming you aren't from California. It seems that everywhere, except California, people have the idea that UCB and UCLA are not peer, whereas here, most assume they are essentially the same, maybe UCB being a bit better. I'm a little confused by UCB's prestige; I can't find much reason to think that students there are any smarter, productive, or successful than UCLA students, and this goes for undergrad and grad programs. Stil, this is a hard decision since Berkeley is a much nicer place than UCLA.

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Redamon1
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby Redamon1 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:38 pm

CoconutP wrote:
woeisme wrote:Peer schools...

no, just kidding. I'd probably take the money here though.


I'm assuming you aren't from California. It seems that everywhere, except California, people have the idea that UCB and UCLA are not peer, whereas here, most assume they are essentially the same, maybe UCB being a bit better. I'm a little confused by UCB's prestige; I can't find much reason to think that students there are any smarter, productive, or successful than UCLA students, and this goes for undergrad and grad programs. Stil, this is a hard decision since Berkeley is a much nicer place than UCLA.


In the legal world, Berkeley has a clear edge, and coming out of law school, the opinion of legal recruiters in CA and around the country should be your primary concern.

I think this comes down to a personal, informed, choice. There are advantages and drawbacks in each case. You need to ask yourself the hard questions or else your choice will likely answer those questions for you de facto. In particular, do you want to work outside CA or would you be happy to stay in CA? How much debt will you have in each case and how much debt can you stomach? Although PI and clerking are career goals for you, are you willing to pursue other avenues if attending UCLA doesn't end up opening those doors for you?

Do the math, review detailed employment statistics and the schools' LRAPs, note the trade-offs and make your choice with your eyes wide open.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby moneybagsphd » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:43 pm

CoconutP wrote:I really don't have a regional target. I'd like a more portable (nationally) degree, because I could see myself wanting to work in DC or NY though.

Sure, who doesn't want a national degree? The question is, how much is that national reach worth to you? Let me frame your UCLA scholarship in a different way. Berkeley's tuition is about 5k more per year, so let's call it a 120k difference. Using the georgetown finaid calculator, you can see that on a ten year repayment plan that 120k swells to 200k.
Berkeley is the better school, there's no two ways about it. But is it worth it to you?
I turned down Columbia at sticker (national) to go to USC (super regional) with a 120k scholarship because the extra money wasn't worth it to me. I didn't want to commit to the maximum term of biglaw to pay down my debt. It was hard to turn down my dream school (and the prestige).Berkeley might be the right decision for you, but you need to be clear about your goals...

CoconutP
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby CoconutP » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:46 pm

Redamon1 wrote:
CoconutP wrote:
woeisme wrote:Peer schools...

no, just kidding. I'd probably take the money here though.


I'm assuming you aren't from California. It seems that everywhere, except California, people have the idea that UCB and UCLA are not peer, whereas here, most assume they are essentially the same, maybe UCB being a bit better. I'm a little confused by UCB's prestige; I can't find much reason to think that students there are any smarter, productive, or successful than UCLA students, and this goes for undergrad and grad programs. Stil, this is a hard decision since Berkeley is a much nicer place than UCLA.


In the legal world, Berkeley has a clear edge, and coming out of law school, the opinion of legal recruiters in CA and around the country should be your primary concern.

I think this comes down to a personal, informed, choice. There are advantages and drawbacks in each case. You need to ask yourself the hard questions or else your choice will likely answer those questions for you de facto. In particular, do you want to work outside CA or would you be happy to stay in CA? How much debt will you have in each case and how much debt can you stomach? Although PI and clerking are career goals for you, are you willing to pursue other avenues if attending UCLA doesn't end up opening those doors for you?

Do the math, review detailed employment statistics and the schools' LRAPs, note the trade-offs and make your choice with your eyes wide open.


I appreciate the comment. I've done all of this to be honest. Also, I think the last sentence of your second paragraph applies to Berkeley to, but obviously I would have to pursue other avenues. Honestly, from what I can find, UCB is not that much better than UCLA. UCB seems to have almost a 10% higher full time jd employment stat than UCLA, and its LRAP is slightly better. I don't see much evidence for it being favored too much more nationally or globally. I'd really like someone from TLS, as they tend to be pretty informed in some cases, to make the argument that UCB offers SUBSTANTIALLY better opportunities then UCLA, otherwise my clear choice is UCLA.

CoconutP
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby CoconutP » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:49 pm

moneybagsphd wrote:
CoconutP wrote:I really don't have a regional target. I'd like a more portable (nationally) degree, because I could see myself wanting to work in DC or NY though.

Sure, who doesn't want a national degree? The question is, how much is that national reach worth to you? Let me frame your UCLA scholarship in a different way. Berkeley's tuition is about 5k more per year, so let's call it a 120k difference. Using the georgetown finaid calculator, you can see that on a ten year repayment plan that 120k swells to 200k.
Berkeley is the better school, there's no two ways about it. But is it worth it to you?
I turned down Columbia at sticker (national) to go to USC (super regional) with a 120k scholarship because the extra money wasn't worth it to me. I didn't want to commit to the maximum term of biglaw to pay down my debt. It was hard to turn down my dream school (and the prestige).Berkeley might be the right decision for you, but you need to be clear about your goals...


May I ask you what your goals are?

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby moneybagsphd » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:54 pm

CoconutP wrote:May I ask you what your goals are?

Clerking would be nice, it would be great to have biglaw on my resume, then boutique/gov/other coveted legal jobs. Really, not 100% sure what my goals are, which is why I took USC.
ETA: Why aren't the pro-Berkeley people commenting?

shoeshine
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby shoeshine » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:56 pm

moneybagsphd wrote:Sure, who doesn't want a national degree? The question is, how much is that national reach worth to you? Let me frame your UCLA scholarship in a different way. Berkeley's tuition is about 5k more per year, so let's call it a 120k difference. Using the georgetown finaid calculator, you can see that on a ten year repayment plan that 120k swells to 200k.
Berkeley is the better school, there's no two ways about it. But is it worth it to you?
I turned down Columbia at sticker (national) to go to USC (super regional) with a 120k scholarship because the extra money wasn't worth it to me. I didn't want to commit to the maximum term of biglaw to pay down my debt. It was hard to turn down my dream school (and the prestige). Berkeley might be the right decision for you, but you need to be clear about your goals...

If you want big law, the bolded was a huge mistake.

OP's decision is slightly less crazy but I would tell anyone who wants a shot at big law to go T14 (possibly even T10) or don't go to law school. The big law economy has only recovered in the top schools. The regional school are still struggling with big law placement.

It is insane to gamble 125k on the assumption that you will be top 25%. Having a 60-70% chance at big law at Columbia (or 55% for OP at Berkeley) is much more reasonable. Plus the LRAP programs for students at T14 schools provide a reasonable fall back if you completely strike out.

CoconutP
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby CoconutP » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:00 pm

@Shoeshine

Can you supply some UCLA stats to compare there? I have the ones from there website, but I believe there is another organization that has better data? There websites employment data seems fudged.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby moneybagsphd » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:27 pm

shoeshine wrote:If you want big law, the bolded was a huge mistake.

OP's decision is slightly less crazy but I would tell anyone who wants a shot at big law to go T14 (possibly even T10) or don't go to law school. The big law economy has only recovered in the top schools. The regional school are still struggling with big law placement.

It is insane to gamble 125k on the assumption that you will be top 25%. Having a 60-70% chance at big law at Columbia (or 55% for OP at Berkeley) is much more reasonable. Plus the LRAP programs for students at T14 schools provide a reasonable fall back if you completely strike out.

I don't think so. Then again, I'm not biglaw or bust. I am not certain that I want to work in the biglaw salt mines for 5-7 years. I might love biglaw, I might hate it. If I hate it, I don't want to be stuck with it. My situation is a little different than OP's as my parents are paying COL. My total debt, on a 10yr repayment plan, from USC will be ~74k. My debt from Columbia would have been 290k. That's ~29,000/year for 10 years. Fuck that.

CoconutP
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby CoconutP » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:31 pm

moneybagsphd wrote:
shoeshine wrote:If you want big law, the bolded was a huge mistake.

OP's decision is slightly less crazy but I would tell anyone who wants a shot at big law to go T14 (possibly even T10) or don't go to law school. The big law economy has only recovered in the top schools. The regional school are still struggling with big law placement.

It is insane to gamble 125k on the assumption that you will be top 25%. Having a 60-70% chance at big law at Columbia (or 55% for OP at Berkeley) is much more reasonable. Plus the LRAP programs for students at T14 schools provide a reasonable fall back if you completely strike out.

I don't think so. Then again, I'm not biglaw or bust. I am not certain that I want to work in the biglaw salt mines for 5-7 years. I might love biglaw, I might hate it. If I hate it, I don't want to be stuck with it. My situation is a little different than OP's as my parents are paying COL. My total debt, on a 10yr repayment plan, from USC will be ~74k. My debt from Columbia would have been 290k. That's ~29,000/year for 10 years. Fuck that.


Are you going to gun for a summer SA position? IF your parents are covering COL and you have 120, then you are really only 30k in debt right, why would you let that balloon to 74k?

Given that Berkeley is winning the poll, I have to agree with common TLS wisdom that there are a lot of Berkeley trolls who can't back up their own school.

jim-green
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby jim-green » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:50 pm

shoeshine wrote:
moneybagsphd wrote:Sure, who doesn't want a national degree? ... Berkeley is the better school, there's no two ways about it. But is it worth it to you?
I turned down Columbia at sticker (national) to go to USC (super regional) with a 120k scholarship because the extra money wasn't worth it to me. I didn't want to commit to the maximum term of biglaw to pay down my debt. It was hard to turn down my dream school (and the prestige). Berkeley might be the right decision for you, but you need to be clear about your goals...

If you want big law, the bolded was a huge mistake ... It is insane to gamble 125k on the assumption that you will be top 25%. Having a 60-70% chance at big law at Columbia (or 55% for OP at Berkeley) is much more reasonable. Plus the LRAP programs for students at T14 schools provide a reasonable fall back if you completely strike out.
Aren't you Ken who started TLS?

Real Madrid
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby Real Madrid » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:19 pm

CoconutP wrote:
moneybagsphd wrote:
shoeshine wrote:If you want big law, the bolded was a huge mistake.

OP's decision is slightly less crazy but I would tell anyone who wants a shot at big law to go T14 (possibly even T10) or don't go to law school. The big law economy has only recovered in the top schools. The regional school are still struggling with big law placement.

It is insane to gamble 125k on the assumption that you will be top 25%. Having a 60-70% chance at big law at Columbia (or 55% for OP at Berkeley) is much more reasonable. Plus the LRAP programs for students at T14 schools provide a reasonable fall back if you completely strike out.

I don't think so. Then again, I'm not biglaw or bust. I am not certain that I want to work in the biglaw salt mines for 5-7 years. I might love biglaw, I might hate it. If I hate it, I don't want to be stuck with it. My situation is a little different than OP's as my parents are paying COL. My total debt, on a 10yr repayment plan, from USC will be ~74k. My debt from Columbia would have been 290k. That's ~29,000/year for 10 years. Fuck that.


Are you going to gun for a summer SA position? IF your parents are covering COL and you have 120, then you are really only 30k in debt right, why would you let that balloon to 74k?

Given that Berkeley is winning the poll, I have to agree with common TLS wisdom that there are a lot of Berkeley trolls who can't back up their own school.



What do you expect people to say? I mean, if you did just the slightest bit of your own research, you'd see that, among other things, Berkeley more than doubled the NLJ250 placement of UCLA in the latest class results. That's not even taking into account its far superior PI placement and (I assume) superior clerkship placement.

CoconutP
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby CoconutP » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:25 pm

Real Madrid wrote:
CoconutP wrote:
moneybagsphd wrote:
shoeshine wrote:If you want big law, the bolded was a huge mistake.

OP's decision is slightly less crazy but I would tell anyone who wants a shot at big law to go T14 (possibly even T10) or don't go to law school. The big law economy has only recovered in the top schools. The regional school are still struggling with big law placement.

It is insane to gamble 125k on the assumption that you will be top 25%. Having a 60-70% chance at big law at Columbia (or 55% for OP at Berkeley) is much more reasonable. Plus the LRAP programs for students at T14 schools provide a reasonable fall back if you completely strike out.

I don't think so. Then again, I'm not biglaw or bust. I am not certain that I want to work in the biglaw salt mines for 5-7 years. I might love biglaw, I might hate it. If I hate it, I don't want to be stuck with it. My situation is a little different than OP's as my parents are paying COL. My total debt, on a 10yr repayment plan, from USC will be ~74k. My debt from Columbia would have been 290k. That's ~29,000/year for 10 years. Fuck that.


Are you going to gun for a summer SA position? IF your parents are covering COL and you have 120, then you are really only 30k in debt right, why would you let that balloon to 74k?

Given that Berkeley is winning the poll, I have to agree with common TLS wisdom that there are a lot of Berkeley trolls who can't back up their own school.



What do you expect people to say? I mean, if you did just the slightest bit of your own research, you'd see that, among other things, Berkeley more than doubled the NLJ250 placement of UCLA in the latest class results. That's not even taking into account its far superior PI placement and (I assume) superior clerkship placement.


Thanks. Please understand I said that to get some kind of reaction. Thats great that you are proving the point of big law, and that is clear, but can you provide evidence of its "far superior" PI placement?

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Redamon1
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby Redamon1 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:30 pm

CoconutP wrote:
moneybagsphd wrote:
shoeshine wrote:If you want big law, the bolded was a huge mistake.

OP's decision is slightly less crazy but I would tell anyone who wants a shot at big law to go T14 (possibly even T10) or don't go to law school. The big law economy has only recovered in the top schools. The regional school are still struggling with big law placement.

It is insane to gamble 125k on the assumption that you will be top 25%. Having a 60-70% chance at big law at Columbia (or 55% for OP at Berkeley) is much more reasonable. Plus the LRAP programs for students at T14 schools provide a reasonable fall back if you completely strike out.

I don't think so. Then again, I'm not biglaw or bust. I am not certain that I want to work in the biglaw salt mines for 5-7 years. I might love biglaw, I might hate it. If I hate it, I don't want to be stuck with it. My situation is a little different than OP's as my parents are paying COL. My total debt, on a 10yr repayment plan, from USC will be ~74k. My debt from Columbia would have been 290k. That's ~29,000/year for 10 years. Fuck that.


Are you going to gun for a summer SA position? IF your parents are covering COL and you have 120, then you are really only 30k in debt right, why would you let that balloon to 74k?

Given that Berkeley is winning the poll, I have to agree with common TLS wisdom that there are a lot of Berkeley trolls who can't back up their own school.


Right, that Berkeley is a better school than UCLA is just hype. :roll: Look, no one is arguing that UCLA isn't a good school. It is. It's just that Berkeley has an employment edge in certain sectors, including BigLaw and PI, has wider geographical reach and has greater prestige overall. That may or may not be worth the extra money in your case. No one can decide that for you. If you're looking to compare stats, just check out LST. Check out for example the number of graduates in part-time employment, the percentage of grads who have reported salary info, or the percentage of graduates working outside CA.

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Last edited by Redamon1 on Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby moneybagsphd » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:35 pm

CoconutP wrote:Are you going to gun for a summer SA position? IF your parents are covering COL and you have 120, then you are really only 30k in debt right, why would you let that balloon to 74k?

Given that Berkeley is winning the poll, I have to agree with common TLS wisdom that there are a lot of Berkeley trolls who can't back up their own school.

1) Something like that. I'm just going focus on doing well in law school. I will likely try to get a biglaw job (like everyone else). Columbia places like 80% of the class in biglaw (might just be OCI #s)... Getting biglaw from USC is going to be harder, but at least I won't be in a suffocating amount of debt.
2) I will be taking out 5k/year to help my parents...

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby moneybagsphd » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:40 pm

Redamon1 wrote:
Right, that Berkeley is a better school than UCLA is just hype. :roll: Look, no one is arguing that UCLA isn't a good school. It is. It's just that Berkeley has an employment edge in certain sectors, including BigLaw and PI, has wider geographical reach and has greater prestige overall. That may or may not be worth the extra money in your case. No one can decide that for you. If you're looking to compare stats, just check out LST. Check out for example the number of graduates in part-time employment, the percentage of grads who have reported salary info, or the percentage of graduates working outside CA.

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+1. Berkeley is the better school. I don't think it's worth sticker, though. Not at 74k/year COA.

CoconutP
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby CoconutP » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:42 pm

Haha, only on TLS do you have to show some form of disrespect (calling them trolls) in order to get some evidence.

Redamon, the site you are using is using old employment stats from 2010, and it isn't exactly showing where it is pulling them from. I'm not arguing with the main fact that those data suggest, which I have always assumed to be true, Berkeley does tend to place better. But is it that substantial? Thanks for the input by the way.

Money bags, did you apply to UCB?

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby moneybagsphd » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:47 pm

CoconutP wrote:Haha, only on TLS do you have to show some form of disrespect (calling them trolls) in order to get some evidence.

Redamon, the site you are using is using old employment stats, and it isn't exactly showing where it is getting them from. I'm not arguing with the main fact that those data suggest, which I have always assumed to be true. Thanks for the input.

Money bags, did you apply to UCB?

Yup, only school that rejected me. Obviously, if Columbia wasn't worth it to me at sticker, Berkeley wouldn't be either.

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Lasers
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Re: Berkeley vs UCLA

Postby Lasers » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:48 pm

berkeley if you even are thinking of big law.




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