U Chicago vs. Berkeley

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solucky
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U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby solucky » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:37 pm

COA: sticker price for Berkeley, $15k over three years for Chicago. With living expenses and traveling, Chicago will be more expensive over three years despite the $15k. Parents are generously financing all the costs associated with law school.

I'm a bay area native, completed UG in LA, and interested in spending 3 years in another part of the US, although I ultimately want to live and work in California. After practicing for a decade or so, I would like to transition into academia.

LSAC GPA 4.02, Dec LSAT 165, strong softs. I only took the LSAT once and I definitely did NOT put my best foot forward. I am confident that I could raise my score at least 3-5 points if I retake, BUT it would require that I take another year off. During this past gap year, I spent it taking care of an ailing family member. I've found it is very difficult to get an interesting/well-paying job after having a resume gap.

This is a general taboo on TLS, but I have a far-fetched dream that I might be able to transfer to HYS after a year at Berkeley, however, highly unlikely after a year at Chicago (due to grading system, competitiveness, etc.). Due to my interest in academia, would I be strongly disadvantaged to attend a non-HYS school?

Is Berkeley or Chicago a better decision for my long-term goals? Is the prestige difference between HYS and CCN and MVPB significant? Or is it just grossly exaggerated on TLS?
Last edited by solucky on Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Crowing
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby Crowing » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:39 pm

If you want academia/HYS you really should retake esp with that 4.0. You don't need to have an interesting job for the next year; just find something to do.

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:41 pm

Re-take man... although I dunno how people do with a 4.02 on a 4.33 scale

And if your parents are paying, no reason not to do HYS

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Rahviveh
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby Rahviveh » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:44 pm

Don't waste that beautiful GPA on these TTT public schools. Go to hys

solucky
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby solucky » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:33 pm

If I commit to Chicago and re-take June, would that be a smart choice? That way if I don't go up significantly (168+) then at least I'll still be going to Chicago in the fall?

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Bronck
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby Bronck » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:36 pm

solucky wrote:If I commit to Chicago and re-take June, would that be a smart choice? That way if I don't go up significantly (168+) then at least I'll still be going to Chicago in the fall?


No. Retake and re-apply.

solucky
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby solucky » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:38 pm

ManOfTheMinute wrote:Re-take man... although I dunno how people do with a 4.02 on a 4.33 scale

And if your parents are paying, no reason not to do HYS


I was on a 4.0 scale for UG but a few A+'s got recalculated as 4.33 for my LSAC GPA. Most classes don't even give A+'s at my UG actually. I think GPAs from schools that give A+'s versus schools that give only A's are treated the same. (I might be wrong.)

solucky
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby solucky » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:38 pm

Bronck wrote:
solucky wrote:If I commit to Chicago and re-take June, would that be a smart choice? That way if I don't go up significantly (168+) then at least I'll still be going to Chicago in the fall?


No. Retake and re-apply.


What if I don't raise my score? Anything could happen.

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Dany
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby Dany » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:40 pm

It is highly unlikely that you'll have a better shot at transferring to HYS from one vs. the other - that shouldn't even play into your decision. If you want to go to HYS, you should sit out another year and retake. If you have a lot of time to put into studying for the June LSAT, I think your suggestion is good - pick whichever school you think gives you a better shot at your career goals and deposit there, retake, then reevaluate based on your June score.

solucky
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby solucky » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:53 pm

Dany wrote:It is highly unlikely that you'll have a better shot at transferring to HYS from one vs. the other - that shouldn't even play into your decision. If you want to go to HYS, you should sit out another year and retake. If you have a lot of time to put into studying for the June LSAT, I think your suggestion is good - pick whichever school you think gives you a better shot at your career goals and deposit there, retake, then reevaluate based on your June score.


I agree. Is it possible to re-negotiate merit aid based on a new LSAT score? (For Chicago; Berkeley is stingy)

And one of my original questions: Is the prestige difference between CCN and HYS as tangible as TLSers claim it to be?

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Dany
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby Dany » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:54 pm

You can try to negotiate but I wouldn't count on anything. I did know people who got off the WL in August who got scholarships at UChi so I guess it's possible they'll still have some money then.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:11 pm

You should be going to CCN for free or YHS. Go get another 5 points on the LSAT.

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RhymesLikeDimes
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:45 pm

In terms of biglaw, CCN and HYS aren't that far apart (especially Columbia). But, if you are serious about academia, then you really do need to go to HYS.

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Borg
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby Borg » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:58 pm

RhymesLikeDimes wrote:In terms of biglaw, CCN and HYS aren't that far apart (especially Columbia). But, if you are serious about academia, then you really do need to go to HYS.


Agree with this completely regarding academia. Also, it's worth mentioning that I was actually pretty surprised at Chicago's numbers in an article I saw recently. Seems that Columbia outpaces both Chicago and NYU by a more substantial margin than I thought. Here's a link:

http://abovethelaw.com/2013/03/which-la ... lite-jobs/

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sinfiery
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby sinfiery » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:26 pm

No idea how they got those numbers but at best, they are outdated and at worst are just plain wrong.

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Borg
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby Borg » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:53 pm

sinfiery wrote:No idea how they got those numbers but at best, they are outdated and at worst are just plain wrong.


Evidence?

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sinfiery
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby sinfiery » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:58 pm

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=206368


Although the link you posted seems to use some weird mechanic where they relate the amount of biglaw firms grads earn not.only to the total class size but also to the amount of students from said class going into said firm field. Same for clerkships. I'm on a cellphone tho, so I can't really confirm.


But yeah, in the context given no, Columbia does not outpace Chicago or to a lesser extent NYU by that much.
Last edited by sinfiery on Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LSATSCORES2012
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:04 pm

sinfiery wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=206368


Although the link you posted seems to use some weird mechanic where they relate the amount of biglaw firms grads earn not.only to the total class size but also to the amount of students from said class going into said firm field. Same for clerkships. I'm on a cellphone tho, so I can't really confirm.


But yeah, in the context given no, Columbia does not outpace Chicago or to a lesser extent NYU by that much.

I think the difference might actually be because that thread includes all Federal Clerkships, whereas the link includes only AIII Federal Clerkships. Though that's a surprisingly large difference.

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sinfiery
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby sinfiery » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:06 pm

Thought of that, but Biglaw numbers alone eclipse those of the data in the link. Maybe its based on 2011 data

Eta: yep, based on 2011 numbers but the article using it as a source was released march 28th 13, lol.

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Bronck
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby Bronck » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:24 pm

sinfiery wrote:Thought of that, but Biglaw numbers alone eclipse those of the data in the link. Maybe its based on 2011 data

Eta: yep, based on 2011 numbers but the article using it as a source was released march 28th 13, lol.


Was just going to post this, yep. Use of old data.

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worldtraveler
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby worldtraveler » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:33 pm

Retake. Even a gain of 2-3 points might significantly change outcomes for you. Don't waste that GPA.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby Doorkeeper » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:54 pm

Retake, get 170+, go to HYS if you want academia.

Chicago has been slipping in academia placement in recent years.

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jbagelboy
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:56 pm

Sounds like you havent exhausted your lsat potential, so a retake would yield a higher score and more opportunities if you studied (but in my opinion not much more unless you killed it). Also, Academic law placements are doable out of Chicago and Cal is opening up some new resources for legal academics, but the job market is flushed with HYS grads so those top schools are your best bet.

Strong disagree with poster who said 2, 3, or 5 points will get you full rides at CCN or in at HY. Cutoff for rubys and hamiltons is more like 174/175. Not sure why anyone would post about this anyway or why you would care since you are of the moneyed class and finances wont impeed your education. Also consider you already got into chicago with a low lsat, but opportunity cost wise your score would have to improve significantly. If you nailed a 170 I think you'd be in at Stanford and possibly Harvard if you found legit employment and have somewhat decent softs -- yale is a crapshoot with any stats.

Look for opportunities for next year but honestly both these schools are amazing options and if you dont want to do academia for 10 more yrs then those optipns will open for you later

jym_dawg
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby jym_dawg » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:59 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:Retake, get 170+ 172+, go to HYS if you want academia.

Chicago has been slipping in academia placement in recent years.

Fify

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2014
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Re: U Chicago vs. Berkeley

Postby 2014 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:09 pm

I agree with retaking, but if you do make this decision, don't let the likelihood of doing well enough to transfer be the deciding factor. Even if Boalt looks "easier", you will still need to get enough high pass or honors or w/e they call it to be at the top of your class and that will be no easier than getting the 179s or 180s that you will need to get at UChi. Law students at good schools are all bright people and will be competitive no matter where you go, UChi being more competitive than any other school has been in my experience an entirely unsubstantiated rumor.




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