Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

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janwlee
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Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby janwlee » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:03 am

Luckily, I don't have to worry about money. Given my numbers, it's a miracle that I'm in at both Columbia and Berkeley so I'm not expecting financial aid from them anyways.

However, I do care about job prospects and location.

I absolutely hate cold weather and my dream has always been to live in California for the rest of my life. Going to Berkeley makes sense in this regard.

However, I strongly prefer Columbia to Berkeley in terms of academic curriculum, faculty and employment prospects.

So the question is,

is it a realistic plan to relocate to CA after graduating from Columbia?

Although Columbia does send some graduates to CA every year, it's a very small number (10% last year). I don't have personal ties there (or anywhere else). But I don't want to build career in NYC, since I read that NYC biglaw is much worse than west coast biglaw.

It will be an easy choice if I start liking NYC, but then, one thing I've always wanted in my life is to end up in CA....

Thanks for reading this!

CanadianWolf
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:10 am

Since you want to live & work in California, the obvious choice is UCal-Berkeley.

How much scholarship did Duke offer ? Other acceptances & scholarship awards ?

Might be helpful to let other readers/posters know a bit about your background or this thread could turn ugly on you for considering attending law school at sticker price.

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Clemenceau
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby Clemenceau » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:11 am

Cls is obviously a great school, but going there with the intention of west coast biglaw, with no west coast ties, sounds like an awful plan.

Disclaimer: 0L

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White Dwarf
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby White Dwarf » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:12 am

Sounds like he/she has family footing the bill. In that case, either would probably work out okay. If you are dead-set on working on the west coast, Berkeley is probably the better choice.

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:15 am

White Dwarf wrote:Sounds like he/she has family footing the bill. In that case, either would probably work out okay. If you are dead-set on working on the west coast, Berkeley is probably the better choice.

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby zombie mcavoy » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:17 am

if ur family is so rich that 300k is completely insignificant then pry dont go to law school hth

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:15 am

sticker at either is ill advised

if you have no California ties, pushing there from columbia will be an uphill battle. I'd go to Berkeley if living in California is most important to you. If you would be fine working in New York or DC in addition to CA, then Columbia provides more options.

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swc65
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby swc65 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:24 am

Not sure where the above posters are getting info from. CA isnt a particularly insular market. Tons of CLS grads went to LA/SF/Newport/SV with few ties. It's all about grades. It takes very little to convince someone from CA why you want to live there.

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby MarkfromWI » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:51 am

swc65 wrote:Not sure where the above posters are getting info from. CA isnt a particularly insular market. Tons of CLS grads went to LA/SF/Newport/SV with few ties. It's all about grades. It takes very little to convince someone from CA why you want to live there.


You can't plan on good grades going in, though. They should planning based on what's a reasonable outcome from median. Yea, everything is easier with good grades, but you shouldn't be basing such a major life decision on the statistically-unrealistic probability that they end up in the top quarter or higher.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:59 am

swc65 wrote:Not sure where the above posters are getting info from. CA isnt a particularly insular market. Tons of CLS grads went to LA/SF/Newport/SV with few ties. It's all about grades. It takes very little to convince someone from CA why you want to live there.


I think it's more complicated; sure, for some firms grades are incredibly relevant and might even be the determining factor, but not everyone's interviewing with Irell. There are California firms that will pull way down below median into Columbia's class (and essentially ignore grades) if you have requisite ties. I think the more accurate statement would be there are two types of firm recruiting in California, the very grade selective and the more grade relaxed but ties sensitive.

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AreJay711
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:12 pm

Ties can be manufactured. Just go to CA 1L summer and tell a compelling story, so go to the school you like more. I'd hate being around all the public interest people at Berkeley, but maybe you wouldn't.

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swc65
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby swc65 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:13 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
swc65 wrote:Not sure where the above posters are getting info from. CA isnt a particularly insular market. Tons of CLS grads went to LA/SF/Newport/SV with few ties. It's all about grades. It takes very little to convince someone from CA why you want to live there.


I think it's more complicated; sure, for some firms grades are incredibly relevant and might even be the determining factor, but not everyone's interviewing with Irell. There are California firms that will pull way down below median into Columbia's class (and essentially ignore grades) if you have requisite ties. I think the more accurate statement would be there are two types of firm recruiting in California, the very grade selective and the more grade relaxed but ties sensitive.


I doubt any firm will essentially ignore grades if you have ties.

You will not have a problem getting CA from CLS. If anything, CLS placement rates, especially for biglaw, should more than outweigh and slight marginal difference in somehow creating "ties" by attending Berkeley. If you were very worried about that, spend 1L summer in CA doing something public interesty.

Ties are very important for some markets, but most large markets in CA aren't sensitive enough to ties to make it worthwhile to go to Berkeley over CLS.

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swc65
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby swc65 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:14 pm

AreJay711 wrote:Ties can be manufactured. Just go to CA 1L summer and tell a compelling story, so go to the school you like more. I'd hate being around all the public interest people at Berkeley, but maybe you wouldn't.



+1000

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:05 pm

swc65 wrote:You will not have a problem getting CA from CLS.

It's certainly possible but I wouldn't say it's a done deal for any 0L.

BigZuck
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby BigZuck » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:26 pm

Big law is probably going to suck anywhere, if you just want to be in CA and enjoy your life why not just go live there and skip the working in big law thing altogether? You'll probably be a lot happier. Plus, more time for surfing or whatever it is that Californians do all the time.

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rpupkin
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:34 pm

AreJay711 wrote:Ties can be manufactured. Just go to CA 1L summer and tell a compelling story, so go to the school you like more. I'd hate being around all the public interest people at Berkeley, but maybe you wouldn't.

On the other hand, they're not competing with you for firm jobs.

Also, the "ties can be manufactured" thing probably works better for LA than SF.

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AreJay711
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:57 pm

rpupkin wrote:On the other hand, they're not competing with you for firm jobs.


Yeah. For employment, it's fine. I just found them to be a little self righteous.

rpupkin wrote:Also, the "ties can be manufactured" thing probably works better for LA than SF.


You might know better than me. It worked for me in Houston. The concern, IME, is whether people seem likely to get out of dodge once they get enough experience / figure out that their romantic notions of a place are unfounded (because every place has its elements that make it sucky).

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WeeBey
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby WeeBey » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:06 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
swc65 wrote:You will not have a problem getting CA from CLS.

It's certainly possible but I wouldn't say it's a done deal for any 0L.


Wouldn't it be the same at Berkeley?

If im paying sticker, I'd take the considerable safety net below median that Columbia gives over the marginal increase in my odds of working CA biglaw.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:28 pm

WeeBey wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
swc65 wrote:You will not have a problem getting CA from CLS.

It's certainly possible but I wouldn't say it's a done deal for any 0L.


Wouldn't it be the same at Berkeley?

If im paying sticker, I'd take the considerable safety net below median that Columbia gives over the marginal increase in my odds of working CA biglaw.

I would too (and did exactly that myself three years ago). The real question is whether the OP's second choice is non-biglaw in CA or NYC biglaw. If he or she is ok doing NYC biglaw should CA biglaw not work out then CLS makes the most sense. That said if your lifelong dream is to go to California maybe you should just do it now.

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SupCutie
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby SupCutie » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:31 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Since you want to live & work in California, the obvious choice is UCal-Berkeley.


UCal-Berkeley? :cry:

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:36 pm

SupCutie wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Since you want to live & work in California, the obvious choice is UCal-Berkeley.


UCal-Berkeley? :cry:


Cal-Boalt

janwlee
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby janwlee » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:59 am

Thanks everyone for great comments. They really helped me get some more rational perspective. I got a tiny bit of $ from Columbia just today, so I withdrew from Berkeley. Thanks everyone and good luck!

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby zombie mcavoy » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:58 am

:lol:

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia vs. Berkeley (both at sticker)

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:11 pm

janwlee wrote:Thanks everyone for great comments. They really helped me get some more rational perspective. I got a tiny bit of $ from Columbia just today, so I withdrew from Berkeley. Thanks everyone and good luck!


Congrats on your choice.

For what it's worth, CalSoc is big here and there are a ton of resources for CA- bound students.




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