Berkeley vs. HYS W/L

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Berkeley$$ or HYS if I get off of the WL?

Berkeley ($150k total loans)
33
80%
HYS (~$290k total loans)
8
20%
 
Total votes: 41

catalina559
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Berkeley vs. HYS W/L

Postby catalina559 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:09 pm

***UPDATED with new poll***** I committed to Berkeley, but am wondering if I should go to HYS if I get off the waitlist? *****


I've been putting off making a post like this, but I have to decide by Friday and am stumped! About me: From Southern CA, living on the East Coast for the past two years, miss my family and had wanted to be closer to them for law school. LSAT 172, GPA 3.8x. Took the LSAT once.

Approximate total of loans for each school:
Berkeley: $150k
NYU: $199k

I have pretty similar scholarships at both schools, but Berkeley's is higher by $12k plus they have a lower cost of tuition. I have a small amount of money saved for law school but will basically be using loans (the amounts above reflect the total loans I would come out with). I should note that I also have a small scholarship at Columbia, but I prefer NYU's environment and it would be way more expensive to go to Columbia (around $250k in loans) so I am not really considering going there unless anyone has strong thoughts.

I am also on the waitlists at Yale, Stanford, and Harvard and would welcome thoughts on whether I should try to go there at all costs (after making this first decision of course!). My loans for those schools would be close to $300k, which makes me wary of whether it's worth it.

Goals: I am very public-interest minded and could see long-term working in government or public interest. However, I think I will probably work at a firm first to pay off the loans and because that experience is still attractive to me. I also really want to clerk. I am interested in gender rights and equality, civil rights, and international law and human rights. I would like to explore these areas in law school, and would like to do an international human rights internship abroad my 1L summer. As I am from CA, I would like to end up there to be closer to my family. I recognize that the job markets for some of these areas (especially international work) are not so prevalent in CA, which is why I am interested in doing other things as well. However, I would like the flexibility down the road to work in DC or NY if I wanted to, but that's not my main goal out of law school.

Basically, I am leaning towards Berkeley because it checks off being closer to my family, getting me a job in CA, and is cheaper. My hesitation comes from the fact that I attended ASW and didn't really connect with anyone I met there. I think I had a slightly weird experience so I'm trying to take it with a grain of salt, but I am worried that I won't connect with the community there. This is important to me, although I know for most people that isn't the ultimate goal of law school. In contrast, I've loved everyone I've met at NYU and have really connected with the people and programs there. It's just hard for me to imagine being so far from my family for three more years, plus I would like to put down roots in CA.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts!
Last edited by catalina559 on Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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trebekismyhero
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby trebekismyhero » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:16 pm

Berkeley. But if you really want to do PI, you should gun for it the entire time at Berkeley. You can move from big law to PI, but it is not easy if you don't have a real proof of commitment to PI

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dasq5511
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby dasq5511 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:24 pm

I would definitely go with B if I were you.

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hammy393
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby hammy393 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:33 pm

Based on your goals, preferences, etc., Berkeley is a no-brainer here imo

Re: not connecting with people: keep in mind that many of the people you met at ASW won't even end up attending the school. You'll definitely meet people you like through orgs, classes, social events, etc. And let's be real, you only need that small, tight-knit group of friends to be happy. You'll find it
Last edited by hammy393 on Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cron1834
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby cron1834 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:35 pm

I feel like you should have better options. But, given what you said about your life and family, Berkeley is more sensible between the two presented.

badlefthook
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby badlefthook » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:53 pm

catalina559 wrote:I've been putting off making a post like this, but I have to decide by Friday and am stumped! About me: From Southern CA, living on the East Coast for the past two years, miss my family and had wanted to be closer to them for law school. LSAT 172, GPA 3.8x. Took the LSAT once.

Approximate total of loans for each school:
Berkeley: $135k
NYU: $185k

I have pretty similar scholarships at both schools, but Berkeley's is higher by $12k plus they have a lower cost of tuition. I have a small amount of money saved for law school but will basically be using loans (the amounts above reflect the total loans I would come out with). I should note that I also have a small scholarship at Columbia, but I prefer NYU's environment and it would be way more expensive to go to Columbia (around $250k in loans) so I am not really considering going there unless anyone has strong thoughts.

I am also on the waitlists at Stanford and Harvard and would welcome thoughts on whether I should try to go there at all costs (after making this first decision of course!). My loans for those schools would be close to $300k, which makes me wary of whether it's worth it.

Goals: I am very public-interest minded and could see long-term working in government or public interest. However, I think I will probably work at a firm first to pay off the loans and because that experience is still attractive to me. I also really want to clerk. I am interested in gender rights and equality, civil rights, and international law and human rights. I would like to explore these areas in law school, and would like to do an international human rights internship abroad my 1L summer. As I am from CA, I would like to end up there to be closer to my family. I recognize that the job markets for some of these areas (especially international work) are not so prevalent in CA, which is why I am interested in doing other things as well. However, I would like the flexibility down the road to work in DC or NY if I wanted to, but that's not my main goal out of law school.

Basically, I am leaning towards Berkeley because it checks off being closer to my family, getting me a job in CA, and is cheaper. My hesitation comes from the fact that I attended ASW and didn't really connect with anyone I met there. I think I had a slightly weird experience so I'm trying to take it with a grain of salt, but I am worried that I won't connect with the community there. This is important to me, although I know for most people that isn't the ultimate goal of law school. In contrast, I've loved everyone I've met at NYU and have really connected with the people and programs there. It's just hard for me to imagine being so far from my family for three more years, plus I would like to put down roots in CA.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts!


I am in almost the exact same situation, with Columbia instead of nyu. Heavenly lifestyle at Berkeley, close to my family, and significantly cheaper, almost $120k difference over 3 years. But like you, after visiting the school, something just didn't sit right with me. Hard to say what exactly, but just a little too casual, laid back, low energy. I've been agonizing back and forth, but I think I will opt for the more serious, professional atmosphere I saw at Columbia even though I hate nyc. I really look at this as a long term investment and choosing a lesser option over $50k-$100k is quite myopic imho. Either way you're paying a ton of money, might as well go to the place that will allow you to develop your craft, compete, and be the best lawyer possible. That's been my thought process hope that helps.
Last edited by badlefthook on Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

texcellence
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby texcellence » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:03 pm

Have you talked to actual current students and alumni from Berk? If not, I'd recommend asking school admins to put you in touch with students who have participated in XYZ externship or clinic you're interested in/who are members of an affinity group you might want to join, or with alumni who work in your preferred field. I've found that's a better way to gauge the type of people who attend said school rather than the ASW cohort, most of whom probably won't end up there. Good luck!

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rpupkin
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:08 pm

badlefthook wrote:I've been agonizing back and forth, but I think I will opt for the seriousness, professionalism, and more elite-squad atmosphere I saw at Columbia even though I hate nyc. I really look at this as a long term investment and choosing a lesser option over $50k-$100k is quite myopic imho. Either way you're paying a ton of money, might as well go to the place that will allow you to develop your craft, compete, and be the best lawyer possible. That's been my thought process hope that helps.

You call Berkeley a "lesser option," but for someone like OP--who wants California PI--Berkeley is not a lesser option compared to NYU and CLS. Even before you get to issues of cost, Berkeley is probably a superior choice for OP's career interests.

As for the relaxed vibe you dislike, I think that's more of a California thing than a Berkeley thing. Stanford also has a relaxed vibe that seems superficially less professional than Columbia's. By the way, that relaxed atmosphere extends into professional environments in the Bay Area. I personally find it bizarre that someone would prefer a "serious, professional, elite-squad atmosphere" to the atmospheres of Berkeley or Stanford, but if you're attracted to that kind of thing, then maybe Columbia is the right choice for you.

badlefthook
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby badlefthook » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:38 pm

rpupkin wrote:
badlefthook wrote:I've been agonizing back and forth, but I think I will opt for the seriousness, professionalism, and more elite-squad atmosphere I saw at Columbia even though I hate nyc. I really look at this as a long term investment and choosing a lesser option over $50k-$100k is quite myopic imho. Either way you're paying a ton of money, might as well go to the place that will allow you to develop your craft, compete, and be the best lawyer possible. That's been my thought process hope that helps.

You call Berkeley a "lesser option," but for someone like OP--who wants California PI--Berkeley is not a lesser option compared to NYU and CLS. Even before you get to issues of cost, Berkeley is probably a superior choice for OP's career interests.

As for the relaxed vibe you dislike, I think that's more of a California thing than a Berkeley thing. Stanford also has a relaxed vibe that seems superficially less professional than Columbia's. By the way, that relaxed atmosphere extends into professional environments in the Bay Area. I personally find it bizarre that someone would prefer a "serious, professional, elite-squad atmosphere" to the atmospheres of Berkeley or Stanford, but if you're attracted to that kind of thing, then maybe Columbia is the right choice for you.


Agreed. Born and raised in California so no stranger to the chill lifestyle. Just personally, knowing myself, I know I will get distracted and unmotivated living in such a beautiful relaxed environment. 100% would rather live in CA than NYC, but I'm going to law school to hone a craft and I think my skills will be enhanced in more of a competitive cutthroat environment. That's just what brings the best out of me.

And when I said "lesser" I was referring to OPs comment that the school didn't feel right, and that he/she shouldn't make a choice they are uncomfortable with over what ultimately amounts to pennies in the longterm.

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rpupkin
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:52 pm

badlefthook wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
badlefthook wrote:I've been agonizing back and forth, but I think I will opt for the seriousness, professionalism, and more elite-squad atmosphere I saw at Columbia even though I hate nyc. I really look at this as a long term investment and choosing a lesser option over $50k-$100k is quite myopic imho. Either way you're paying a ton of money, might as well go to the place that will allow you to develop your craft, compete, and be the best lawyer possible. That's been my thought process hope that helps.

You call Berkeley a "lesser option," but for someone like OP--who wants California PI--Berkeley is not a lesser option compared to NYU and CLS. Even before you get to issues of cost, Berkeley is probably a superior choice for OP's career interests.

As for the relaxed vibe you dislike, I think that's more of a California thing than a Berkeley thing. Stanford also has a relaxed vibe that seems superficially less professional than Columbia's. By the way, that relaxed atmosphere extends into professional environments in the Bay Area. I personally find it bizarre that someone would prefer a "serious, professional, elite-squad atmosphere" to the atmospheres of Berkeley or Stanford, but if you're attracted to that kind of thing, then maybe Columbia is the right choice for you.


Agreed. Born and raised in California so no stranger to the chill lifestyle. Just personally, knowing myself, I know I will get distracted and unmotivated living in such a beautiful relaxed environment. 100% would rather live in CA than NYC, but I'm going to law school to hone a craft and I think my skills will be enhanced in more of a competitive cutthroat environment. That's just what brings the best out of me.

Understood. At the risk of sounding patronizing and condescending, let me offer one bit of advice: the quality you think you prize—a "competitive cutthroat environment"—is the kind of thing that sounds good to some in the abstract but which rarely makes one happy or successful in practice. Even at relatively "relaxed" atmospheres like SLS and Berkeley, there is massive competition for opportunities. 1L classes are still graded on a strict curve. Futures rise and fall with grades. In my view, the nature of law school (and the legal job market) is already plenty competitive and cutthroat enough without the added misery of an environment like CLS's, which—fairly or not—has a reputation for attracting students who push competition to the point of misery.

If you're going to forego $120K to choose Columbia over Berkeley, do it because you want the somewhat better big-law opportunities that CLS will give you on the East Coast. Don't do it because you imagine that you will thrive in a cutthroat environment.

[/patronizing advice]

badlefthook
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby badlefthook » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:59 pm

rpupkin wrote:
badlefthook wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
badlefthook wrote:I've been agonizing back and forth, but I think I will opt for the seriousness, professionalism, and more elite-squad atmosphere I saw at Columbia even though I hate nyc. I really look at this as a long term investment and choosing a lesser option over $50k-$100k is quite myopic imho. Either way you're paying a ton of money, might as well go to the place that will allow you to develop your craft, compete, and be the best lawyer possible. That's been my thought process hope that helps.

You call Berkeley a "lesser option," but for someone like OP--who wants California PI--Berkeley is not a lesser option compared to NYU and CLS. Even before you get to issues of cost, Berkeley is probably a superior choice for OP's career interests.

As for the relaxed vibe you dislike, I think that's more of a California thing than a Berkeley thing. Stanford also has a relaxed vibe that seems superficially less professional than Columbia's. By the way, that relaxed atmosphere extends into professional environments in the Bay Area. I personally find it bizarre that someone would prefer a "serious, professional, elite-squad atmosphere" to the atmospheres of Berkeley or Stanford, but if you're attracted to that kind of thing, then maybe Columbia is the right choice for you.


Agreed. Born and raised in California so no stranger to the chill lifestyle. Just personally, knowing myself, I know I will get distracted and unmotivated living in such a beautiful relaxed environment. 100% would rather live in CA than NYC, but I'm going to law school to hone a craft and I think my skills will be enhanced in more of a competitive cutthroat environment. That's just what brings the best out of me.

Understood. And at the risk of sounding patronizing and condescending, let me offer one bit of advice: the quality you think you prize—a "competitive cutthroat environment"—is the kind of thing that sounds good to some in the abstract but which rarely makes one happy or successful in practice. Even at relatively "relaxed" atmospheres like SLS and Berkeley, there is massive competition for opportunities. 1L classes are still graded on a strict curve. Futures rise and fall with grades. In my view, the nature of law school (and the legal job market) is already plenty competitive and cutthroat enough without the added misery of an environment like CLS's, which—fairly or not—has a reputation for attracting students who push competition to the point of misery.

If you're going to forego $120K to choose Columbia over Berkeley, do it because you want the somewhat better big-law opportunities that CLS will give you on the East Coast. Don't do it because you imagine that you will thrive in a cutthroat environment.

[/patronizing advice]


I really appreciate you taking the time to write this. It's great advice and definitely gives me a lot to think over.

djsamji
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby djsamji » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:29 pm

I have/had the exact same dilemma as you, coming down to even the same COA for each school.

The main difference for me was that I got along really well with the people I met at the ASW, and it's a bummer to hear that you didn't feel the same way. Ultimately, I ended up going with Berkeley over NYU. I'll list my reasoning below, hopefully it helps!

1. Lower COA-- it being >50K difference made me lean heavily towards Berkeley
2. Location. NYU has a stronger program in my specific academic interest, but I know I want to practice in CA, and most likely in the Bay. I don't want to go three years of law school stressing about how to make my way back to CA (I'm a SoCal local) and I personally didn't think the benefits of a stronger program at NYU outweighed the connects and comfort of schooling where I want to practice at Berkeley.
3. Campus culture. Pretty hardcore ENEMIES OF THE GATE over here, so the activism focus at Berkeley and the Bay Area in general really appeals to me. Also a minority (not URM) and I live for the diversity in Berkeley/Oakland area.
4. Academic environment. I went to a highly ranked undergrad that was notorious for being "chill and laidback," and, though I didn't really fit into the crowd (I'm considered more of a gunner), it really facilitated a fruitful academic experience where I could be in the top of my class without the stress of competition and antagonizing of my peers.

All in all, I definitely support the decision to attend Berkeley. I recommend getting connected with current students to get a better glimpse of campus life, hopefully it will ameliorate some of the negative experiences/reservations you got from ASW. Good luck!

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:59 pm

badlefthook wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
badlefthook wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
badlefthook wrote:I've been agonizing back and forth, but I think I will opt for the seriousness, professionalism, and more elite-squad atmosphere I saw at Columbia even though I hate nyc. I really look at this as a long term investment and choosing a lesser option over $50k-$100k is quite myopic imho. Either way you're paying a ton of money, might as well go to the place that will allow you to develop your craft, compete, and be the best lawyer possible. That's been my thought process hope that helps.

You call Berkeley a "lesser option," but for someone like OP--who wants California PI--Berkeley is not a lesser option compared to NYU and CLS. Even before you get to issues of cost, Berkeley is probably a superior choice for OP's career interests.

As for the relaxed vibe you dislike, I think that's more of a California thing than a Berkeley thing. Stanford also has a relaxed vibe that seems superficially less professional than Columbia's. By the way, that relaxed atmosphere extends into professional environments in the Bay Area. I personally find it bizarre that someone would prefer a "serious, professional, elite-squad atmosphere" to the atmospheres of Berkeley or Stanford, but if you're attracted to that kind of thing, then maybe Columbia is the right choice for you.


Agreed. Born and raised in California so no stranger to the chill lifestyle. Just personally, knowing myself, I know I will get distracted and unmotivated living in such a beautiful relaxed environment. 100% would rather live in CA than NYC, but I'm going to law school to hone a craft and I think my skills will be enhanced in more of a competitive cutthroat environment. That's just what brings the best out of me.

Understood. And at the risk of sounding patronizing and condescending, let me offer one bit of advice: the quality you think you prize—a "competitive cutthroat environment"—is the kind of thing that sounds good to some in the abstract but which rarely makes one happy or successful in practice. Even at relatively "relaxed" atmospheres like SLS and Berkeley, there is massive competition for opportunities. 1L classes are still graded on a strict curve. Futures rise and fall with grades. In my view, the nature of law school (and the legal job market) is already plenty competitive and cutthroat enough without the added misery of an environment like CLS's, which—fairly or not—has a reputation for attracting students who push competition to the point of misery.

If you're going to forego $120K to choose Columbia over Berkeley, do it because you want the somewhat better big-law opportunities that CLS will give you on the East Coast. Don't do it because you imagine that you will thrive in a cutthroat environment.

[/patronizing advice]


I really appreciate you taking the time to write this. It's great advice and definitely gives me a lot to think over.

FWIW I thought Columbia was pretty chill. If you have the type of personality that makes you think you gotta grind hard to "hone a craft" you'll probably have that same kind of experience anywhere.

Also I assure you that 50-100k is not peanuts. As rpupkin said, only take that on because it translates into meaningful employment differences. If it makes you feel any better (or worse) those improved employment numbers you'd be paying for at CLS would likely make things more chill, not less.

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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby dabigchina » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:28 pm

badlefthook wrote:I am in almost the exact same situation, with Columbia instead of nyu. Heavenly lifestyle at Berkeley, close to my family, and significantly cheaper, almost $120k difference over 3 years. But like you, after visiting the school, something just didn't sit right with me. Hard to say what exactly, but just a little too casual, laid back, low energy. I've been agonizing back and forth, but I think I will opt for the more serious, professional atmosphere I saw at Columbia even though I hate nyc. I really look at this as a long term investment and choosing a lesser option over $50k-$100k is quite myopic imho. Either way you're paying a ton of money, might as well go to the place that will allow you to develop your craft, compete, and be the best lawyer possible. That's been my thought process hope that helps.

CLS is more serious and professional than Cal? That's news to me. More people here are interested in biglaw, but I wouldn't say the average student here is materially different from any T14.

I would also advise against going to CLS if you don't like New York.

badlefthook
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby badlefthook » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:23 am

dabigchina wrote:
badlefthook wrote:I am in almost the exact same situation, with Columbia instead of nyu. Heavenly lifestyle at Berkeley, close to my family, and significantly cheaper, almost $120k difference over 3 years. But like you, after visiting the school, something just didn't sit right with me. Hard to say what exactly, but just a little too casual, laid back, low energy. I've been agonizing back and forth, but I think I will opt for the more serious, professional atmosphere I saw at Columbia even though I hate nyc. I really look at this as a long term investment and choosing a lesser option over $50k-$100k is quite myopic imho. Either way you're paying a ton of money, might as well go to the place that will allow you to develop your craft, compete, and be the best lawyer possible. That's been my thought process hope that helps.

CLS is more serious and professional than Cal? That's news to me. More people here are interested in biglaw, but I wouldn't say the average student here is materially different from any T14.

I would also advise against going to CLS if you don't like New York.


I sat in on 1 class at both schools and spent a day around each campus, and that is the impression I got. At CLS, students (and professor) were locked in, focused, and engaged. At the UCB class, kids were quiet as church mice, more passive, and somewhat low energy. I am somebody who really enjoys/needs intensity in the classroom, and so this is the frame through which I was examining each school's students. It's very possible that the classes I attended are not representative of each school and its students, but from my conversations with students at both schools, I generally hear comments that seem to back my initial gut impressions.

Again though, I realize that is an incredibly small sample size and I am not pretending to understand the 'essence' of each school and their student body based off 1 day of walking around and some comments exchanged over a message board.

catalina559
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby catalina559 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:20 pm

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who posted! I talked to a lot of students, professors, and alumni, and finally decided on Berkeley and am very excited!

I might make a separate post as well, but does anyone have thoughts about waitlists at HYS? I would basically be taking out loans for the full cost at these schools, and I'm really not sure that's worth it. Plus, I was getting really excited about being in CA. Is HYS worth it??

cheaptilts
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby cheaptilts » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:24 pm

catalina559 wrote:Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who posted! I talked to a lot of students, professors, and alumni, and finally decided on Berkeley and am very excited!

I might make a separate post as well, but does anyone have thoughts about waitlists at HYS? I would basically be taking out loans for the full cost at these schools, and I'm really not sure that's worth it. Plus, I was getting really excited about being in CA. Is HYS worth it??


if you and your parents are really poor yes it's worth it

if you and your parents are not really poor then it's not worth it

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Rigo
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby Rigo » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:41 pm

cheaptilts wrote:
catalina559 wrote:Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who posted! I talked to a lot of students, professors, and alumni, and finally decided on Berkeley and am very excited!

I might make a separate post as well, but does anyone have thoughts about waitlists at HYS? I would basically be taking out loans for the full cost at these schools, and I'm really not sure that's worth it. Plus, I was getting really excited about being in CA. Is HYS worth it??


if you and your parents are really poor yes it's worth it

if you and your parents are not really poor then it's not worth it

Just to expand upon this, they are all need-based schools which adds a new dynamic into choosing.
I'm not sure about YS but H will want you to commit within 24 hours after acceptance and before you get any financial aid info, so you will be accepting somewhat blindly unless you have a way of ballparking your aid and parental contribution. Think about if you'd be prepared to withdraw from Berkeley and commit to Harvard immediately if you got the call without knowing about money.

There's not exactly any harm in riding the WL for awhile, so it's up to you. Sometimes it's a relief just to be fully done though.

catalina559
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby catalina559 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:46 pm

cheaptilts wrote:
catalina559 wrote:Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who posted! I talked to a lot of students, professors, and alumni, and finally decided on Berkeley and am very excited!

I might make a separate post as well, but does anyone have thoughts about waitlists at HYS? I would basically be taking out loans for the full cost at these schools, and I'm really not sure that's worth it. Plus, I was getting really excited about being in CA. Is HYS worth it??


if you and your parents are really poor yes it's worth it

if you and your parents are not really poor then it's not worth it


To clarify, I am expecting no need-based aid, but would be funding everything completely through loans (so full COA taken out as loans).

cheaptilts
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby cheaptilts » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:48 pm

catalina559 wrote:
cheaptilts wrote:
catalina559 wrote:Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who posted! I talked to a lot of students, professors, and alumni, and finally decided on Berkeley and am very excited!

I might make a separate post as well, but does anyone have thoughts about waitlists at HYS? I would basically be taking out loans for the full cost at these schools, and I'm really not sure that's worth it. Plus, I was getting really excited about being in CA. Is HYS worth it??


if you and your parents are really poor yes it's worth it

if you and your parents are not really poor then it's not worth it


To clarify, I am expecting no need-based aid, but would be funding everything completely through loans (so full COA taken out as loans).

yeah obv my advice doesn't mean anything but HYS would absolutely not be worth it compared to your B in that case

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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:08 pm

badlefthook wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
badlefthook wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
badlefthook wrote:I've been agonizing back and forth, but I think I will opt for the seriousness, professionalism, and more elite-squad atmosphere I saw at Columbia even though I hate nyc. I really look at this as a long term investment and choosing a lesser option over $50k-$100k is quite myopic imho. Either way you're paying a ton of money, might as well go to the place that will allow you to develop your craft, compete, and be the best lawyer possible. That's been my thought process hope that helps.

You call Berkeley a "lesser option," but for someone like OP--who wants California PI--Berkeley is not a lesser option compared to NYU and CLS. Even before you get to issues of cost, Berkeley is probably a superior choice for OP's career interests.

As for the relaxed vibe you dislike, I think that's more of a California thing than a Berkeley thing. Stanford also has a relaxed vibe that seems superficially less professional than Columbia's. By the way, that relaxed atmosphere extends into professional environments in the Bay Area. I personally find it bizarre that someone would prefer a "serious, professional, elite-squad atmosphere" to the atmospheres of Berkeley or Stanford, but if you're attracted to that kind of thing, then maybe Columbia is the right choice for you.


Agreed. Born and raised in California so no stranger to the chill lifestyle. Just personally, knowing myself, I know I will get distracted and unmotivated living in such a beautiful relaxed environment. 100% would rather live in CA than NYC, but I'm going to law school to hone a craft and I think my skills will be enhanced in more of a competitive cutthroat environment. That's just what brings the best out of me.

Understood. And at the risk of sounding patronizing and condescending, let me offer one bit of advice: the quality you think you prize—a "competitive cutthroat environment"—is the kind of thing that sounds good to some in the abstract but which rarely makes one happy or successful in practice. Even at relatively "relaxed" atmospheres like SLS and Berkeley, there is massive competition for opportunities. 1L classes are still graded on a strict curve. Futures rise and fall with grades. In my view, the nature of law school (and the legal job market) is already plenty competitive and cutthroat enough without the added misery of an environment like CLS's, which—fairly or not—has a reputation for attracting students who push competition to the point of misery.

If you're going to forego $120K to choose Columbia over Berkeley, do it because you want the somewhat better big-law opportunities that CLS will give you on the East Coast. Don't do it because you imagine that you will thrive in a cutthroat environment.

[/patronizing advice]


I really appreciate you taking the time to write this. It's great advice and definitely gives me a lot to think over.


Columbia does not have a cut-throat environment. its extremely supportive.

shadowfax
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby shadowfax » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:17 pm

Did you apply late in the cycle? You should have better results than this given your numbers.

I think your interests line up well with the vibe at B and NYU but those jobs ain't easy to come by. HS might not be as activist but would help you get what you want. PI and 300k in debt is a bit scary though no matter how good LRAP is.

Columbia or wait till next year.

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rpupkin
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby rpupkin » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:21 pm

shadowfax wrote:Columbia or wait till next year.

Did I just read that? You're advising someone with an interest in PI and California to take on an additional $115K of debt in order to attend Columbia over Berkeley. That's crazy.

catalina559
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby catalina559 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:34 pm

shadowfax wrote:Did you apply late in the cycle? You should have better results than this given your numbers.

I think your interests line up well with the vibe at B and NYU but those jobs ain't easy to come by. HS might not be as activist but would help you get what you want. PI and 300k in debt is a bit scary though no matter how good LRAP is.

Columbia or wait till next year.


I applied around Christmas/New Year's, so not early but also not that late, right? I was a little surprised too, but oh well.

At this point I've already decided on Berk over NYU and Columbia, and am wondering if I should go to HYS if I get off the waitlist. Leaning towards staying with Berk, but wanted to make sure I'm not making a huge mistake!

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jbagelboy
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Re: Berkeley vs. NYU

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:53 pm

catalina559 wrote:
shadowfax wrote:Did you apply late in the cycle? You should have better results than this given your numbers.

I think your interests line up well with the vibe at B and NYU but those jobs ain't easy to come by. HS might not be as activist but would help you get what you want. PI and 300k in debt is a bit scary though no matter how good LRAP is.

Columbia or wait till next year.


I applied around Christmas/New Year's, so not early but also not that late, right? I was a little surprised too, but oh well.

At this point I've already decided on Berk over NYU and Columbia, and am wondering if I should go to HYS if I get off the waitlist. Leaning towards staying with Berk, but wanted to make sure I'm not making a huge mistake!


Staying with Berk is the right call over H for sure. For Y and S I could maybe see the argument given your interests and geographic preferences.




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