Berkeley ($$$$) vs. Harvard

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LHS17

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Re: Berkeley ($$$$) vs. Harvard

Postby LHS17 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:27 pm

eck456 wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:
eck456 wrote:I'll bite...

also cambridge is objectively mediocre at best after the first 2 months. I would say that's a controversial opinion if it was one, but...it's not.

tl,dr: don't come to harvard for cambridge, come because it will make a real difference in your outcomes.


Eh. It is though. Cambridge is quite underrated.


I live here...if that's true can you send me your favorite places? Not joking at all, I would love to be excited about spending the next 3 yrs here


Is it Cambridge specifically that's so bad or Boston in general?

Yeah, weather sucks, but I wouldn't mind having reasonable access to Irish pubs, Chinatown, Italian on the weekends, provided the education is great.

crookedsmile

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Re: Berkeley ($$$$) vs. Harvard

Postby crookedsmile » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:37 pm

First off, thank you all for the well thought out and frankly, candid, responses. I have to make the decision by 5PM tomorrow and am still indecisive as hell but you all have given me A LOT to think about.

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rpupkin

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Re: Berkeley ($$$$) vs. Harvard

Postby rpupkin » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:34 pm

armc808 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
armc808 wrote:Harvard. The full ride at Berkeley is a tempting choice, but with a $40k grant from HLS, it doesn't get much better than that in terms of aid (as far as I'm aware, correct me if I'm wrong),

I'm kind of surprised that so many are focused on the fact that OP might get HLS's most generous need-based aid package. I don't see why that matters. At the end of the day, OP is going to have an additional $100K of debt if he or she attends HLS instead of Berkeley, for a total debt of $175K. That's a good chunk of debt.

I'm not saying HLS is the wrong choice here. I'd be tempted to make that choice if I were OP. But as someone who has worked as a lawyer for several years, I'll say this: big law is full of HYS grads who say "I wish I had taken a full ride at CLS/NYU/Chicago/Penn/Berkeley/UVA/Duke/Northwestern instead of going to Harvard/Yale/Stanford." Ironically, their lives are worse for having opted for prestige. Many of those who passed up HYS for a lower-ranked school can buy nicer things (including homes) because they have so much less debt.

Now, you're not going to pay sticker at HLS, so the debt-contrast isn't as stark. But $100K is a lot of extra debt for someone who just wants big law in SoCal, and whose other option is a school that places very well in California.

Sure biglaw is full of HYS grads who said they wish they had taken the money, we've all heard the anecdotal horror stories, but the legal profession itself is filled with people who would kill for the quantifiable and unquantifiable opportunities that a HYS degree provides.

I don't know what "unquantifiable opportunities" means. But in the realm of quantifiable opportunities, I do agree that HLS has a slight edge over Berkeley, even for someone who wants to work in SoCal. And, yes, if you're at the end of 1L and decide that you want to be a constitutional law professor instead of going into big law, you're better off at HLS instead of Berkeley. (Such a person would similarly be better off at YLS instead of HLS; for some of the unicorn jobs out there, HLS is closer to Berkeley than it is to YLS.) So the question is how much additional debt you're willing to take on in anticipation of unlikely scenarios. I lean toward saying $100K of additional debt is too much, but I understand the opposing view.

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Re: Berkeley ($$$$) vs. Harvard

Postby Npret » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:45 pm

armc808 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
armc808 wrote:Harvard. The full ride at Berkeley is a tempting choice, but with a $40k grant from HLS, it doesn't get much better than that in terms of aid (as far as I'm aware, correct me if I'm wrong),

I'm kind of surprised that so many are focused on the fact that OP might get HLS's most generous need-based aid package. I don't see why that matters. At the end of the day, OP is going to have an additional $100K of debt if he or she attends HLS instead of Berkeley, for a total debt of $175K. That's a good chunk of debt.

I'm not saying HLS is the wrong choice here. I'd be tempted to make that choice if I were OP. But as someone who has worked as a lawyer for several years, I'll say this: big law is full of HYS grads who say "I wish I had taken a full ride at CLS/NYU/Chicago/Penn/Berkeley/UVA/Duke/Northwestern instead of going to Harvard/Yale/Stanford." Ironically, their lives are worse for having opted for prestige. Many of those who passed up HYS for a lower-ranked school can buy nicer things (including homes) because they have so much less debt.

Now, you're not going to pay sticker at HLS, so the debt-contrast isn't as stark. But $100K is a lot of extra debt for someone who just wants big law in SoCal, and whose other option is a school that places very well in California.

Sure biglaw is full of HYS grads who said they wish they had taken the money, we've all heard the anecdotal horror stories, but the legal profession itself is filled with people who would kill for the quantifiable and unquantifiable opportunities that a HYS degree provides. $100K is not an insignificant amount of debt, but over a lifetime it really is a small fraction one's earnings. OP says they want to go to SoCal biglaw after graduation, but what if during their 1L they decide to switch course to something else? OP may not end up doing that, but surely it is not inconceivable for future plans to change during law school. H pretty much keeps as many doors open as possible in the legal profession, and as a 0L with much to be learned, I think having that ace in your pocket can give you some piece of mind. It's a subjective judgment as to whether or not it's worth the extra $100K investment, but in taking the long view, I absolutely think it's worth it.

Please list these Harvard only opportunities available in California that Berkeley can't touch. That's what OP is asking about. Thanks.

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luckyirish13

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Re: Berkeley ($$$$) vs. Harvard

Postby luckyirish13 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:59 pm

crookedsmile wrote:First off, thank you all for the well thought out and frankly, candid, responses. I have to make the decision by 5PM tomorrow and am still indecisive as hell but you all have given me A LOT to think about.
For what it's worth, I initially suggested that if you got a great offer from Harvard you should take that, but based on what Rigo and a few others have commented, my mind has been changed. I think they're right that taking a full ride from Berkeley is a great option for you. Good luck making the decision! I'm sure you'll have a great career either way.

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armc808

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Re: Berkeley ($$$$) vs. Harvard

Postby armc808 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:40 pm

Npret wrote:
armc808 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
armc808 wrote:Harvard. The full ride at Berkeley is a tempting choice, but with a $40k grant from HLS, it doesn't get much better than that in terms of aid (as far as I'm aware, correct me if I'm wrong),

I'm kind of surprised that so many are focused on the fact that OP might get HLS's most generous need-based aid package. I don't see why that matters. At the end of the day, OP is going to have an additional $100K of debt if he or she attends HLS instead of Berkeley, for a total debt of $175K. That's a good chunk of debt.

I'm not saying HLS is the wrong choice here. I'd be tempted to make that choice if I were OP. But as someone who has worked as a lawyer for several years, I'll say this: big law is full of HYS grads who say "I wish I had taken a full ride at CLS/NYU/Chicago/Penn/Berkeley/UVA/Duke/Northwestern instead of going to Harvard/Yale/Stanford." Ironically, their lives are worse for having opted for prestige. Many of those who passed up HYS for a lower-ranked school can buy nicer things (including homes) because they have so much less debt.

Now, you're not going to pay sticker at HLS, so the debt-contrast isn't as stark. But $100K is a lot of extra debt for someone who just wants big law in SoCal, and whose other option is a school that places very well in California.

Sure biglaw is full of HYS grads who said they wish they had taken the money, we've all heard the anecdotal horror stories, but the legal profession itself is filled with people who would kill for the quantifiable and unquantifiable opportunities that a HYS degree provides. $100K is not an insignificant amount of debt, but over a lifetime it really is a small fraction one's earnings. OP says they want to go to SoCal biglaw after graduation, but what if during their 1L they decide to switch course to something else? OP may not end up doing that, but surely it is not inconceivable for future plans to change during law school. H pretty much keeps as many doors open as possible in the legal profession, and as a 0L with much to be learned, I think having that ace in your pocket can give you some piece of mind. It's a subjective judgment as to whether or not it's worth the extra $100K investment, but in taking the long view, I absolutely think it's worth it.

Please list these Harvard only opportunities available in California that Berkeley can't touch. That's what OP is asking about. Thanks.

It's not a matter of "Harvard only" opportunities (and I'd add that I never mentioned anything of the sort). My comment was concerned with amassing the maximum amount of opportunities as a lawyer, and you would be hard pressed to argue that you cannot achieve that with an HLS degree. Maybe that's not what OP is concerned about and that's absolutely fine; maybe it's something OP had not considered enough but maybe is after I mentioned it. The point is I gave my thoughts on the matter, as you and everyone on this thread did, and I think it's both silly and naive to treat this as a right/wrong situation. One thing that I've found is that TLS is an extremely debt-averse bunch; on virtually every thread on here like this the decision almost always gets boiled down to money. I'm not saying that's a misguided view, but I think do think it is helpful to approach these kinds of situations from multiple perspectives, hence the view that I expressed. In the end both schools are stellar options, but one or the other may be better depending on what one values. OP will make the call on that.

Npret

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Re: Berkeley ($$$$) vs. Harvard

Postby Npret » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:03 pm

armc808 wrote:
Npret wrote:
armc808 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
armc808 wrote:Harvard. The full ride at Berkeley is a tempting choice, but with a $40k grant from HLS, it doesn't get much better than that in terms of aid (as far as I'm aware, correct me if I'm wrong),

I'm kind of surprised that so many are focused on the fact that OP might get HLS's most generous need-based aid package. I don't see why that matters. At the end of the day, OP is going to have an additional $100K of debt if he or she attends HLS instead of Berkeley, for a total debt of $175K. That's a good chunk of debt.

I'm not saying HLS is the wrong choice here. I'd be tempted to make that choice if I were OP. But as someone who has worked as a lawyer for several years, I'll say this: big law is full of HYS grads who say "I wish I had taken a full ride at CLS/NYU/Chicago/Penn/Berkeley/UVA/Duke/Northwestern instead of going to Harvard/Yale/Stanford." Ironically, their lives are worse for having opted for prestige. Many of those who passed up HYS for a lower-ranked school can buy nicer things (including homes) because they have so much less debt.

Now, you're not going to pay sticker at HLS, so the debt-contrast isn't as stark. But $100K is a lot of extra debt for someone who just wants big law in SoCal, and whose other option is a school that places very well in California.

Sure biglaw is full of HYS grads who said they wish they had taken the money, we've all heard the anecdotal horror stories, but the legal profession itself is filled with people who would kill for the quantifiable and unquantifiable opportunities that a HYS degree provides. $100K is not an insignificant amount of debt, but over a lifetime it really is a small fraction one's earnings. OP says they want to go to SoCal biglaw after graduation, but what if during their 1L they decide to switch course to something else? OP may not end up doing that, but surely it is not inconceivable for future plans to change during law school. H pretty much keeps as many doors open as possible in the legal profession, and as a 0L with much to be learned, I think having that ace in your pocket can give you some piece of mind. It's a subjective judgment as to whether or not it's worth the extra $100K investment, but in taking the long view, I absolutely think it's worth it.

Please list these Harvard only opportunities available in California that Berkeley can't touch. That's what OP is asking about. Thanks.

It's not a matter of "Harvard only" opportunities (and I'd add that I never mentioned anything of the sort). My comment was concerned with amassing the maximum amount of opportunities as a lawyer, and you would be hard pressed to argue that you cannot achieve that with an HLS degree. Maybe that's not what OP is concerned about and that's absolutely fine; maybe it's something OP had not considered enough but maybe is after I mentioned it. The point is I gave my thoughts on the matter, as you and everyone on this thread did, and I think it's both silly and naive to treat this as a right/wrong situation. One thing that I've found is that TLS is an extremely debt-averse bunch; on virtually every thread on here like this the decision almost always gets boiled down to money. I'm not saying that's a misguided view, but I think do think it is helpful to approach these kinds of situations from multiple perspectives, hence the view that I expressed. In the end both schools are stellar options, but one or the other may be better depending on what one values. OP will make the call on that.


But it is a right/wrong situation. You haven't given a single reason why Harvard or HYS is better than Berkeley for OP. You have agreed that plenty of people wish they had taken the scholarship.

lawlorbust

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Re: Berkeley ($$$$) vs. Harvard

Postby lawlorbust » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:08 pm

LHS17 wrote:
eck456 wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:
eck456 wrote:I'll bite...

also cambridge is objectively mediocre at best after the first 2 months. I would say that's a controversial opinion if it was one, but...it's not.

tl,dr: don't come to harvard for cambridge, come because it will make a real difference in your outcomes.


Eh. It is though. Cambridge is quite underrated.


I live here...if that's true can you send me your favorite places? Not joking at all, I would love to be excited about spending the next 3 yrs here


Is it Cambridge specifically that's so bad or Boston in general?

Yeah, weather sucks, but I wouldn't mind having reasonable access to Irish pubs, Chinatown, Italian on the weekends, provided the education is great.


The weather sucks, is one universal response. IDK. I guess Cambridge is Boston+. You have all the benefits of that "city," in a way you don't even really at UChicago or Berkeley/SF -- the red line makes it super convenient to access Boston. Cambridge proper is just a very gentrified, "nice," urban neighborhood. Nothing less, nothing more. Personally, I think it's just a great environment for three years where, to be frank, you're not really going to do a lot of exploring of your broader surroundings.

Happy to talk more about stuff you're specifically interested in.

LHS17

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Re: Berkeley ($$$$) vs. Harvard

Postby LHS17 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:27 pm

lawlorbust wrote:
LHS17 wrote:
eck456 wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:
eck456 wrote:I'll bite...

also cambridge is objectively mediocre at best after the first 2 months. I would say that's a controversial opinion if it was one, but...it's not.

tl,dr: don't come to harvard for cambridge, come because it will make a real difference in your outcomes.


Eh. It is though. Cambridge is quite underrated.


I live here...if that's true can you send me your favorite places? Not joking at all, I would love to be excited about spending the next 3 yrs here


Is it Cambridge specifically that's so bad or Boston in general?

Yeah, weather sucks, but I wouldn't mind having reasonable access to Irish pubs, Chinatown, Italian on the weekends, provided the education is great.


The weather sucks, is one universal response. IDK. I guess Cambridge is Boston+. You have all the benefits of that "city," in a way you don't even really at UChicago or Berkeley/SF -- the red line makes it super convenient to access Boston. Cambridge proper is just a very gentrified, "nice," urban neighborhood. Nothing less, nothing more. Personally, I think it's just a great environment for three years where, to be frank, you're not really going to do a lot of exploring of your broader surroundings.

Happy to talk more about stuff you're specifically interested in.


I worked in London for 2 years and loved it. Definitely had its issues, but a great place to broaden one's worldview. I imagine Boston has some similarities.

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rpupkin

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Re: Berkeley ($$$$) vs. Harvard

Postby rpupkin » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:30 pm

lawlorbust wrote:The weather sucks, is one universal response. IDK. I guess Cambridge is Boston+. You have all the benefits of that "city," in a way you don't even really at UChicago or Berkeley/SF -- the red line makes it super convenient to access Boston. Cambridge proper is just a very gentrified, "nice," urban neighborhood. Nothing less, nothing more. Personally, I think it's just a great environment for three years where, to be frank, you're not really going to do a lot of exploring of your broader surroundings.

I'm not going to weigh in on the Berkeley vs. Cambridge debate, but I'll note that I see the bolded sentiment expressed a lot on TLS, and I think it's off the mark. In general, you'll have way more free time in law school to explore your broader surroundings than you will as a working lawyer. It's a fun time, so think hard about where you want to live for three years.

lawlorbust

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Re: Berkeley ($$$$) vs. Harvard

Postby lawlorbust » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:35 pm

LHS17 wrote:I worked in London for 2 years and loved it. Definitely had its issues, but a great place to broaden one's worldview. I imagine Boston has some similarities.


Eh, not really. Boston has an outsized international reputation for what it actually is, which is really a regional city with pretty parochial locals. I'd never consider it close to similar to London. But it's my regional city, and--I'd argue--an objectively nice one.

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pancakes3

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Re: Berkeley ($$$$) vs. Harvard

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:21 pm

ahem. Cambridge



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