Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

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Berkeley or Georgetown

Berkeley
61
88%
Georgetown
8
12%
 
Total votes: 69

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smaug_
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby smaug_ » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:18 am

monathenomad wrote:What about Columbia? Would Columbia be a better choice than Berkeley for my situation?


I'm not sure, but nobody here is going to be able answer what you want for this. (Or I'd be surprised if someone could answer this well.) You should talk to students and to ad coms at both schools and say that you specifically are interested in Chinese law. If you have specific goals like that the alumni network/institutional support will be a huge factor to consider. Some schools will punch above their weight when it comes to international connections in certain fields, so until you know exactly which schools have connections where, you shouldn't make a decision. I think you should be direct and say you want to learn more about Chinese Legal Studies at each school. Ask them if they have programs/connections 1Ls during their first summer. See if you can figure out how many students actually end up in China from each school.

I'd look at these links: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/168.htm http://web.law.columbia.edu/chinese-legal-studies

Hopefully they're helpful.

As to the cost thing, if it is totally being taken care of and you're OK with that, I guess it isn't worth discussing. If you're taking out loans you should thoughtfully consider your COA and that should be a major factor in choosing where to go.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:03 am

Berkeley has multiple professors who work on US/China relations. The university as a whole also has really strong connections with institutions in China. Did you get into NYU? I believe NYU might be even stronger in this regard.
Contact Professor Alex Wang or Bob Berring at Berkeley.
Find out how many LLMs come from China at each school every year. Most people just whine about the LLMs and don't realize that they can be great connections. Berkeley had one of the Chinese Supreme Court Justices a couple years ago.
Do you speak Mandarin? If you don't I think that will seriously hamper your efforts.

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HankBashir
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby HankBashir » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:17 am

I know that NYU, Columbia, and Michigan all have solid Chinese Legal Studies department. It's a field I'm interested in as well.

worldtraveler wrote:Do you speak Mandarin? If you don't I think that will seriously hamper your efforts.


I'd hope OP has some Mandarin skills, otherwise this is largely a moot discussion.

With the options presented above, however, I'd go for Berkeley over GULC.

monathenomad
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby monathenomad » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:22 am

I am starting to realize I should be doing more China specific research into these schools. At first, I assumed that because Georgetown was in D.C. and I wanted to end up as legal counsel in the government (on some branch or issue in U.S.-China relations), Georgetown would be the way to go but I starting to get a sense that connections to government are as contingent on physical location as I'd previously thought.

I also don't think I gave enough information on my own background. I am a Chinese-American. My first language was Mandarin but once I started learning English at a young age, my English skills quickly overtook my Mandarin and I would consider English my native language. However, my Mandarin is quite strong (with the exception of perhaps writing) and I can speak with no accent. I am actually in Beijing right now (I moved to China after graduation) in the hopes of improving my Mandarin although I'm sure I will need formal instruction in the area of legal reading and writing in Mandarin once I return to the states.

I'm not sure if this should be relevant to my decision-making process but I also got holds from Columbia and Harvard (and waitlisted at Penn). It seems to me, after browsing through some posts on TLS, that getting holds from schools like Columbia and Harvard are nearly equivalent to future wait-list and rejection so I haven't bothered thinking too much about these schools. Is that a mistake?

monathenomad
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby monathenomad » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:24 am

HankBashir wrote:I know that NYU, Columbia, and Michigan all have solid Chinese Legal Studies department. It's a field I'm interested in as well.

worldtraveler wrote:Do you speak Mandarin? If you don't I think that will seriously hamper your efforts.


I'd hope OP has some Mandarin skills, otherwise this is largely a moot discussion.

With the options presented above, however, I'd go for Berkeley over GULC.


I didn't apply to Michigan because of location and NYU because I didn't like the campus. Is it better to attend a school that specializes in this field or to attend a generally prestigious school?

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worldtraveler
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:35 am

monathenomad wrote:
HankBashir wrote:I know that NYU, Columbia, and Michigan all have solid Chinese Legal Studies department. It's a field I'm interested in as well.

worldtraveler wrote:Do you speak Mandarin? If you don't I think that will seriously hamper your efforts.


I'd hope OP has some Mandarin skills, otherwise this is largely a moot discussion.

With the options presented above, however, I'd go for Berkeley over GULC.


I didn't apply to Michigan because of location and NYU because I didn't like the campus. Is it better to attend a school that specializes in this field or to attend a generally prestigious school?


That is the worst reason to eliminate a school.

OP go get fluent in Mandarin first, then go to law school. As far as I'm aware, any job in this field requires complete fluency.

monathenomad
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby monathenomad » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:41 am

worldtraveler wrote:
monathenomad wrote:
HankBashir wrote:I know that NYU, Columbia, and Michigan all have solid Chinese Legal Studies department. It's a field I'm interested in as well.

worldtraveler wrote:Do you speak Mandarin? If you don't I think that will seriously hamper your efforts.


I'd hope OP has some Mandarin skills, otherwise this is largely a moot discussion.

With the options presented above, however, I'd go for Berkeley over GULC.


I didn't apply to Michigan because of location and NYU because I didn't like the campus. Is it better to attend a school that specializes in this field or to attend a generally prestigious school?


That is the worst reason to eliminate a school.

OP go get fluent in Mandarin first, then go to law school. As far as I'm aware, any job in this field requires complete fluency.


I don't want to waste my time retyping so I'm just going to quote from above:
"I also don't think I gave enough information on my own background. I am a Chinese-American. My first language was Mandarin but once I started learning English at a young age, my English skills quickly overtook my Mandarin and I would consider English my native language. However, my Mandarin is quite strong (with the exception of perhaps writing) and I can speak with no accent. I am actually in Beijing right now (I moved to China after graduation) in the hopes of improving my Mandarin although I'm sure I will need formal instruction in the area of legal reading and writing in Mandarin once I return to the states."

I'm not sure what your idea of fluency is but I'm fairly certain if I'm reading Chinese-based text on topics in international relations, I meet it. Or I can just dispose of modesty and just flat out say I'm bilingual.

monathenomad
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby monathenomad » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:32 am

worldtraveler wrote:
monathenomad wrote:
HankBashir wrote:I know that NYU, Columbia, and Michigan all have solid Chinese Legal Studies department. It's a field I'm interested in as well.

worldtraveler wrote:Do you speak Mandarin? If you don't I think that will seriously hamper your efforts.


I'd hope OP has some Mandarin skills, otherwise this is largely a moot discussion.

With the options presented above, however, I'd go for Berkeley over GULC.


I didn't apply to Michigan because of location and NYU because I didn't like the campus. Is it better to attend a school that specializes in this field or to attend a generally prestigious school?


That is the worst reason to eliminate a school.

OP go get fluent in Mandarin first, then go to law school. As far as I'm aware, any job in this field requires complete fluency.


I wasn't impressed when I visited NYU and was pretty sure I wouldn't be a good fit. I realize that in the grand scheme of life, time spent in law school is like a drop in the bucket. But I also know that the social environment and my ability to live and enjoy myself in the area is very important to me, my psychological well-being, and my performance in law school so that's what I was basing my calculations off of. But I am curious to know if I missed something. Why do you say that is the worst reason to eliminate a school?

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby ManoftheHour » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:36 am

It's probably not the WORST reason, but it's definitely not a good one. I can see your point though. New York isn't everyone's cup of tea, and I can leave it at that. It's definitely easier to study in an environment that you're happy in.

LRGhost
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby LRGhost » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:26 am

ManoftheHour wrote:It's probably not the WORST reason, but it's definitely not a good one. I can see your point though. New York isn't everyone's cup of tea, and I can leave it at that. It's definitely easier to study in an environment that you're happy in.


The dude is rich enough to go where ever he wants and he knows Mandarin. Both of these things put him ahead of almost everyone else at law school. I agree with you. If OP doesn't like NYU, so be it.

OP, go where ever. If you want government work, you'll be in demand even if you graduated from GW.

Chaucer1343
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby Chaucer1343 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:38 am

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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby Chaucer1343 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:51 am

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smaug_
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby smaug_ » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:55 am

OK now I think things are getting derailed. Credentials with this kind of thing are way less important than a combination of ability and networking.

Re:
Columbia has the best China law program and offerings out of all the top law schools.
I'm not sure this is true, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is. I had the (I guess false) impression that NYU had stronger connections in China, but everything I've heard about the Center for Chinese Legal Studies had been astoundingly positive. If CLS isn't an option, just check and see where you can get the most institutional support/which school has the largest alumni network in the field you want to work in.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby BigZuck » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:59 am

What's all this China law stuff? Is that a thing? Like, it's a real field where people get jobs and stuff?

If I were OP I would either YOLO it because their is no real danger in striking out or if I really wanted to be a lawyer I would just do Columbia because then I would have a 90%+ chance of actually being a lawyer. At Georgetown there is like a 30%+ of not being a lawyer. That sucks.

Chaucer1343
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby Chaucer1343 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:19 pm

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BigZuck
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby BigZuck » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:25 pm

Chaucer1343 wrote:CLS has the Center for Chinese Legal Studies (R. Randall Edwards [before], Benjamin Liebman [now])
NYU has the US-Asia Law Institute (Jerome Cohen [now])

Both CLS and NYU are excellent schools with leading Chinese law scholars.

Feel free to make your own comparisons from the information available.


Cool. So people get jobs in this field? Where is the data on that?

Chaucer1343
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby Chaucer1343 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:39 pm

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monathenomad
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby monathenomad » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:22 pm

Chaucer1343 wrote:What language programs have you completed?

What language tests have you taken? Did you pass? Score?

How do you objectively define fluent?

Are you just interested in Chinese legal studies, or have you established yourself (with objective credentials) so as to pursue a career related to Chinese law (for sure).


Good questions. I've only taken two Chinese language based courses during undergrad. One was advanced language for learners with a Chinese background. The other was a literature class where we read Chinese language based text. I also work as a research assistant in a Chinese university and have done translation work for my professors publications. I have not taken any Chinese language standardized tests (like the GRE and HSK) Mostly because I thought they wouldnt do anything to enhance my credentials. Would you recommend that take these tests?

By the way, I'm also a female. I'm not sure if that is relevant but if it is I would like to know why.

I would love to go to Columbia but I don't know how likely it is I will get in. I'm still on hold (as of late February). Anybody have any idea when I might hear from them or what the usual hold process is like?

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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby Chaucer1343 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:50 pm

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bowser
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby bowser » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:00 pm

You seem to have really specialized interests.

Is your primary desire to practice law, or is it to do something policy-oriented? Or perhaps is your primary goal to work at a job where you are traveling a lot between the US and China? Do you have ANY interest in practicing law domestically, either for a US law firm or other organization?

I go to CLS and the factors are somewhat different for run-of-the-mill humanities majors like me and people with backgrounds and interests like yours (there are tons of people in my class interested in China/Japan, and they seem to have decent success). But your interests seem more specialized than theirs (many of them are working at Chinese/Japanese law firms this summer, or international branches of US or British law firms).

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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby indo » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:02 pm

Golden Bear 11 wrote:Studios around campus are $900/month?!?!?!



10 year ago ?

hunter.d
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby hunter.d » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:14 pm

You sound like your looking for a somewhat not traditional career path then most people who go into law school i.e. biglaw or bust. Berkley is the better school for biglaw. I think what your looking for, the advantages of being in DC outweigh the lower ranking. This is especially true if you are in the financial situation to not have to worry about serious debt.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby LRGhost » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:22 pm

hunter.d wrote:You sound like your looking for a somewhat not traditional career path then most people who go into law school i.e. biglaw or bust. Berkley is the better school for biglaw. I think what your looking for, the advantages of being in DC outweigh the lower ranking. This is especially true if you are in the financial situation to not have to worry about serious debt.


I actually think this is cr. Being fluent in Mandarin is a big boon to job prospects out of any school. If gov/Fed work is what you're interested, you'll still be able to probably get it from anywhere, but GULC would offer one particular advantage in location. But really, in this one particular instance, I think the candidate's credentials will lead to greater opportunities than the school. Where the actual degree is from won't really matter.

monathenomad
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby monathenomad » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:22 pm

bowser wrote:You seem to have really specialized interests.

Is your primary desire to practice law, or is it to do something policy-oriented? Or perhaps is your primary goal to work at a job where you are traveling a lot between the US and China? Do you have ANY interest in practicing law domestically, either for a US law firm or other organization?

I go to CLS and the factors are somewhat different for run-of-the-mill humanities majors like me and people with backgrounds and interests like yours (there are tons of people in my class interested in China/Japan, and they seem to have decent success). But your interests seem more specialized than theirs (many of them are working at Chinese/Japanese law firms this summer, or international branches of US or British law firms).


I would like to work on legal policy(WTO would be a dream or an equivalent domestic org in either the U.S. or China) but I heard that having extensive experience in a field outside of government (ie law) would help in securing a more high-level job in the policy field. So long-term goal is possibly government of policy making org, but I think it might be a good idea to establish credentials in a particular area through work experience before going into government. Any takes on this?

I wouldn't say my (short-term) interests are that narrow in the sense that I would be okay with almost any job that allowed me to travel between the U.S. and China. Money is an important consideration of course but I don't live an extravagant lifestyle and I know that a salary at a big law firm is not integral my happiness. I'm more concerned about the sense of satisfaction I would get from my job which is why the China focus and policy orientation are huge for me. I would gladly trade a high salary for the opportunity to do meaningful policy work.

If I (miraculously) get accepted to CLS, would it be okay for me to contact you or any of your classmates that are in a similar position as mine?
Last edited by monathenomad on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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052220151
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Re: Berkeley vs. Georgetown (difficult decision!)

Postby 052220151 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:34 pm

Go to Berkeley because the weather is better.




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