dixiecupdrinking wrote:I think CLS will put you in a marginally better position to do transactional work than Berkeley. Though, if you speak the language, then you will be highly sought after to do international work from either school, particularly with China, where there's a lot of growth at the moment. The prestige of these schools in China is (in addition to seeming completely speculative in this thread) not that relevant because you will be looking for jobs with U.S. law firms, in the U.S. That, combined with your personal desire to get out of Berkeley for a while, equals a vote for CLS.
Important to note that you can't really go wrong here, though.
Kind of right, kind of wrong. Basically, U.S. satellites in China take people on the basis of their pedigree, as well as the reach of their alumni network. Columbia has about as far a reach as anyone (maybe better), with Harvard, NYU, Berkeley, and Chicago also being heavy hitters.
Basically, there are two types of Hong Kong/Beijing/Shanghai/Taipei/Singapore/Australia (in that order) satellites which hire U.S. people. The first type are the Magic Circle firms, as well as Baker Mckenzie and a few others which large and sophisticated operations and hire a few a year. You will mainly be doing capital markets if you are in Hong Kong, and likely general corporate/securities if somewhere else.
The next tier are the smaller shops (see Vinson & Elkins, Skadden, Perkins Coie, Sidley, etc.) which actually have 8-25 attorneys in an office. The hiring in these offices is pretty sporadic and basically consists of one entry-level person from one of the aforementioned schools getting a job every year or two pretty randomly and on the basis of practice need. For example, securities practices were growing last year and a few firms hired one person, but now this area is down, and other areas might be up. Firms generally hate to do this because it is hard to send said person back stateside if 1) they fail, or 2) the practice dies down. So, you are rolling the dice in these instances, but it also can be a good thing, as these offices usually pay for COL adjustments, school for your kids, and a lot of other perks depending upon location.
It is easier to get over to the second group of offices by starting out at OMM Palo Alto or whatever and then lateraling once you actually have skill. Something to reiterate is that you don't learn how to be a corporate lawyer in law school. It is like learning to skateboard-- you have to learn the basics and practice a ton before you can ollie and then nosegrab or whatever. You want to be in an office that gives you a ton of practice on the basics, and once you understand these agreements you are actually employable and should then lateral out.