Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

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NYU or Berkeley

NYU
23
43%
Berkeley
30
57%
 
Total votes: 53

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dabigchina
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby dabigchina » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:35 pm

For what it's worth, I've heard berkleys grading system tends to fuck a sizable contingent of people at Oci.

If you actually want nyc biglaw I would unequivocally say nyu is better. The old self selection saw does not really hold water because a sizable amount of people self select into pi at nyu also.

Also, if you want to do nyu biglaw aren't you just going to need to deal with ur family anyway? And this will be as a biglaw associate, which will make their annoying tendencies more or less unbearable.

Eta: loos like bagel covered every.

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Aeon
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby Aeon » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:41 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
Aeon wrote:Is this because Berkeley students strike out for these positions or there are simply very few of them who are interested in working in NYC? In some respects, it might be easier for a student coming from Berkeley to get a position in New York, as they aren't really competing against their classmates for those jobs.


Certainly, you're right not all Cal students are bidding NYC. But you'd think, year after year, with more and more aggregation of data and institutional memory, if NYC big law was truly a backup option, everyone below median would have it in their playbook. And moreover, they aren't just competing against their classmates, their competing against all the other top law programs as well. But we don't need speculation: 85% of 2Ls participate in EIW, and only 60% of those participants receive offers. Sure, there's some mass mail movement but that's true at every school. NYU's numbers are upwards of 80% offer rate.


It probably holds steady from year to year that most Berkeley students don't want to go to New York. They're at Berkeley largely because they want to work in California and are devoting all their efforts to the job search there. California has a more difficult job market than New York, yes, but just because there are jobs in New York doesn't mean that everyone is willing to go there, even if it means settling for a non-BigLaw position elsewhere.

jbagelboy wrote:
Aeon wrote:This isn't to discount that going to NYU will provide a significant networking advantage for someone who wants to remain in New York (if you go to Berkeley, most of your law school network will remain in California) and might offer more of a chance of finding a position at the highest echelon of New York BigLaw firms.


Networking is only marginally relevant at best to landing a summer associate gig. Yea, you can go to firm events, collect business cards, sip your old fashioned and enjoy those bite size tapas and conversations, but grades, resume & interview ability are 95%+ of the game. NYU's strength in firm hiring is not a result of the networking opportunities it provides for its students; it's more the institutional tie between the school and the firms, but this goes towards why you'd pick one school over another, not why a particular student might succeed or fail as a result of some vague proximity advantage. "Networking" and ground game matters for small firms and public interest, where it's particularly important to be local, but it doesn't do much work for national firms.


I wasn't referring to summer associate positions but generally building a professional network. As you become established as a lawyer, it helps to have a significant network to which to turn, from client referrals (albeit more relevant later in one's career) to getting your foot in the door for other positions when you're looking for your next job. And it is beneficial if you strike out at OCI, because once you're past that, the institutional links which feed grist for the BigLaw mill become far less salient and you do have to actively network to find a job.

Understandably the concern is that if you fail to get a summer associateship, then it's difficult to break into BigLaw. NYU is the better option if you want to land NYC BigLaw, but if OP wants a chance at California with the flexibility of going back to New York, Berkeley is not a bad choice.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:47 pm

TLDR: not the objectively optimal choice but it wouldn't be crazy.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:04 pm

If you want NYC biglaw, you'd be stupid to take Berkeley over NYU. A lot of New York offices, including my firm's NYC office, don't even bother recruiting at the California schools.

Columbia and NYU are consistently the most represented at my firm's NYC office (not saying they are actually better/good associates - some of the CLS/NYU grads are crap, just saying for recruiting purposes).

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rpupkin
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby rpupkin » Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:24 pm

qwerty125 wrote:So is it crazy to choose Berkeley over NYU if I ultimately want to get NYC biglaw (but would also be happy with SF biglaw)? Is an NYU degree really looked at that much more favorably by employers? Or will I have pretty much the same options assuming I do well at both schools (big assumption I know, but bear with me).

If you do well then you'll have similar options out of both schools. But what if you don't do well? You've got to keep that possibility to mind.

If NYC big law is your goal, then NYU is a little safer in the event that you finish at or below the median of your 1L class. That said, I agree with others ITT that it's not crazy to choose Berkeley over NYU. This isn't like UCLA versus Harvard. The schools are close enough in placement power that it's not unreasonable to consider personal preferences (like a desire to live on the West Coast for a few years) in making your choice. Good luck.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:26 pm

rpupkin wrote:
qwerty125 wrote:So is it crazy to choose Berkeley over NYU if I ultimately want to get NYC biglaw (but would also be happy with SF biglaw)? Is an NYU degree really looked at that much more favorably by employers? Or will I have pretty much the same options assuming I do well at both schools (big assumption I know, but bear with me).

If you do well then you'll have similar options out of both schools. But what if you don't do well? You've got to keep that possibility to mind.

If NYC big law is your goal, then NYU is a little safer in the event that you finish at or below the median of your 1L class. That said, I agree with others ITT that it's not crazy to choose Berkeley over NYU. This isn't like UCLA versus Harvard. The schools are close enough in placement power that it's not unreasonable to consider personal preferences (like a desire to live on the West Coast for a few years) in making your choice. Good luck.


Didn't Berkeley have the second worst placement in biglaw in the most recent data (after Georgetown)?

NYU seems a lot safer IMO if you just want a job and are okay with NYC. Here's class of 2013 data:

Columbia: 73.2 + 4.8 = 78%
Stanford: 48.5 + 29.4 = 77.8%
Chicago: 62.3 + 10.2 = 72.6%
Harvard: 54.5 + 17.0 = 71.5%
Penn: 59.8 + 9.3 = 69.1%
Cornell: 57.5 + 10.9 = 68.4%
NYU: 58.3 + 8.8 = 67.0%
Yale: 30.5 + 35 = 65.5%
Northwestern: 55.6 + 7.7 = 63.4%
UVA: 50 + 12.9 = 62.9%
Duke: 51.4 + 8.7 = 60.2%
Michigan: 49.4 + 7.8 = 57.1%
Berkeley: 47.8 + 8.0 = 55.8%
GULC: 41.4 + 5.1 = 46.5%

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:43 am

Not crazy, but NYU makes a LOT more sense, given that you want to be in NYC after graduation. All the biglaw firms come to NYU's OCI, whereas many but not nearly all will go to Berkley. Not to mention flying across the county numerous times for callbacks your 2L year is going to be a bitch. Moreover, the placement in biglaw out of NYU is a lot better. Furthermore, if you do strike out at OCI, it'll be a lot easier to find a job in NYC if you're at NYU than in Berkley (it's a lot easier to network, interview with non-biglaw firms, which might not be willing to pay your interview related travel expenses, etc. when you're in the city that you want to work in after graduation).

It helps that you're okay with the idea of being in SF after graduation, but do you have any ties to SF? It sounds like you don't, and SF firms care about ties (and going to Berkley alone isn't going to cut it for most of them, unless you do really, really well at Berkley--firms tend to be more willing to take a chance on a potential flight risk if you're an otherwise really, really attractive candidate). Also, the SF market is a lot more competitive than NYC (there's a lot fewer legal jobs in SF and a lot more people who are fighting for them). I think NYU is objectively the better decision, but I can understand going to Berkley.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:51 am

If you want to go to Berkeley, go to Berkeley. I don't know a single person who wanted NYC big law and didn't get it.

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Lwoods
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby Lwoods » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:20 am

O/P, you have two excellent choices. I don't really think there's a wrong answer here.

I just wanted to comment on the friends aspect--having local non-law friends can be an asset. While I would encourage anyone who has only lived in one place (particularly when that place is NYC) to get out and experience living somewhere else, I don't think law school is the time to do that, unless you're making a permanent move. I lived in the city where I went for law school a year before school started and built a network of friends outside of law school. They were lifesavers. They were people who helped me keep balance in my life, and they were there for me to share my academic disappointments and successes (as it's a faux pas to do so with classmates). So, just consider that.

Congrats on having stellar options!

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Smoking Gunner
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby Smoking Gunner » Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:06 pm

Thanks everyone for all the advice! It seems like NYU is the objectively better choice (if only slightly), so I really just need to weigh personal factors against the slightly better job prospects of NYU. At the moment I'm about 60/40 in favor of NYU (congrats to the NYU supporters who swayed me from 55/45 in favor of Berkeley), but this is dependent upon everything going well when I sit my parents down and tell them I'll be living in the same city as them but won't really be seeing them (though obviously I won't phrase it that way).

If any current Berkeley students or Berkeley alums have any insight about the process of getting nyc biglaw from Berkeley, I'd really like to hear it. I'm currently leaning towards NYU, but if personal factors make NYU extremely difficult to bear, I'd like to know that I'm not making an imprudent decision to go out west.

Also, how is the write-on process/workload for journals at NYU? I definitely plan on being on a journal, so that could be another factor that might make me lean towards one school over another.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:19 pm

Lwoods wrote:I just wanted to comment on the friends aspect--having local non-law friends can be an asset.


+1. They'll help you keep your sanity. The nice thing about local non-law school friends while in law school is that they don't know anything about law, so you're forced to talk about other things.

Also, another factor to consider is alumni base. I'm not sure how many Berkley grads are in NYC (someone else can probably chime in about this), but it's really helpful later in your career to have alums from your law school in the city that you want to be in. For example, say you spend a couple years in NYC biglaw, and decide you want to work for the USAO (or wherever), it's really helpful to be able to network with alums from your law school before even applying (this can definitely get your resume plucked out of the pile in a lot of places). Imagine there's probably a lot more NYU grads filling up the ranks in pretty much all desirable legal jobs in NYC. I'm not sure if that's necessarily true for Berkley grads, since a relatively small number of them seem to leave CA after graduation. I dunno, thinking about it some more, I think it's irrational to go to Berkley if you really want to work in NYC, but I can understand going to Berkley (especially if you really think that you're not going to be able to succeed at NYU because of your family and friends will prevent you from being able to study, etc.)

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Smoking Gunner
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby Smoking Gunner » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:06 pm

Can anyone speak to whether or not LSAT scores are in any way determinative of law school success? I had an LSAT score at the 25th at NYU, and I'm wondering if that's going to put me at a disadvantage, as I'll be competing with people who scored much higher on the LSAT. Is there any validity to the assumption that I would do better at Berkeley over NYU based on LSAT medians? Sorry if this is a dumb question, but it's a legitimate concern.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:11 pm

qwerty125 wrote:Can anyone speak to whether or not LSAT scores are in any way determinative of law school success? I had an LSAT score at the 25th at NYU, and I'm wondering if that's going to put me at a disadvantage, as I'll be competing with people who scored much higher on the LSAT. Is there any validity to the assumption that I would do better at Berkeley over NYU based on LSAT medians? Sorry if this is a dumb question, but it's a legitimate concern.

The correlation between LSAT and grades exists but it's pretty limited and the difference in caliber of student between NYU and Berkeley, if it exists at all, will be so small as to be meaningless. Not something to be worried about.

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Smoking Gunner
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby Smoking Gunner » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:25 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
qwerty125 wrote:Can anyone speak to whether or not LSAT scores are in any way determinative of law school success? I had an LSAT score at the 25th at NYU, and I'm wondering if that's going to put me at a disadvantage, as I'll be competing with people who scored much higher on the LSAT. Is there any validity to the assumption that I would do better at Berkeley over NYU based on LSAT medians? Sorry if this is a dumb question, but it's a legitimate concern.

The correlation between LSAT and grades exists but it's pretty limited and the difference in caliber of student between NYU and Berkeley, if it exists at all, will be so small as to be meaningless. Not something to be worried about.


That's reassuring, thank you.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Am I crazy to go to Berkeley over NYU?

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:11 pm

qwerty125 wrote:Thanks everyone for all the advice! It seems like NYU is the objectively better choice (if only slightly), so I really just need to weigh personal factors against the slightly better job prospects of NYU. At the moment I'm about 60/40 in favor of NYU (congrats to the NYU supporters who swayed me from 55/45 in favor of Berkeley), but this is dependent upon everything going well when I sit my parents down and tell them I'll be living in the same city as them but won't really be seeing them (though obviously I won't phrase it that way).

If any current Berkeley students or Berkeley alums have any insight about the process of getting nyc biglaw from Berkeley, I'd really like to hear it. I'm currently leaning towards NYU, but if personal factors make NYU extremely difficult to bear, I'd like to know that I'm not making an imprudent decision to go out west.

Also, how is the write-on process/workload for journals at NYU? I definitely plan on being on a journal, so that could be another factor that might make me lean towards one school over another.


I would ask Boalt's career services if they can put you in touch with a current student or recent alum. There are quite a few of them.




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