kpormir wrote:-The schools you are considering
UChicago, Berkeley, and UCLA.
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships.
UCLA: +$100,000. (~100k into my pocket.)
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
My father has graciously offered to pay for the first two years of whatever school I attend, with the prerequisite that I attend school this coming year. I've already tried to reason with him that it would be better if I retake the LSAT and tried for bigger scholarships/better schools, but he's not budging and it's his money, so I don't want to press it further. Anything out of my education fund (roughly 100k) that isn't used is mine to use as I will after graduation.
I own a functioning car if I decide to go to UCLA. I can sell it for ~6k if I decide to go to Berkeley or UChicago. I have about 35k in savings.
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
From Orange County, want to work in Irvine/LA or SF. Berkeley is my alma mater and I did research for the law school, so I have significant ties there. Very few ties in Chicago and other than family/friends, not many in LA either.
-Your general career goals
BigLaw to get out of whatever debt I have -> In-house/PI. Making a lot of money is not a huge deal for me so I don't mind the 60k/year salary as long as I'm free from debt. At the same time, I would like the ability to make 165k+, should I change my mind.
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
-How many times you have taken the LSAT
Those COA numbers are complete BS dude, you're way too low. You say you're estimating Berk at sticker, but tuition ALONE (without interest/books) is about $160k for three years. $160k - $100k from Dad = $60k (your share of tuition). Do you really think you can get by for 3 years in the most expensive area of the country on $16k? You need to add at least $60k to that number for COL and interest. 2L SA $ will help a bit though.
Also, if your goal is SF biglaw --> in-house, B is the winner here as others have suggested. You can still probably get back to SF from Chicago but you'll get more access to SF firms at B's OCI. Plus, U Chicago has pretty much the opposite cultural reputation as B, would you really want to spend your next 3 years there?
UCLA isn't a bad option for free but your biglaw chances drop significantly, especially when it comes to SF.