Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

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4'sup
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Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby 4'sup » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:44 pm

Hi all.

Trying to decide between these schools while also riding Harvard's waiting list.

My goal is to work in California(either SF or San Diego) where I already have ties. I want to work in Biglaw first, then transition into BigFed. DoJ or SEC is the goal. I want to start in White Collar Crime Defense Litigation and move into White Collar Crime Prosecution after I've saved up some cash and paid off all debt. Of course, this might all change. :D

Ive gotten these scholarships from the schools:

Michigan: $150,000 COA- $90,000
Berkeley: $142,000 COA- $103,000
Penn: $120,000 COA- $144,000

I had convinced myself Michigan would be my school before Berkeley and Penn raised their offers. I love Michigan's quality of life and facilities, but worry about Biglaw prospects and the headache that would be traveling to a summer internship. I like Penn's prestige and the fact that it's in a cool city that I've never been to, and it's connected to other cities in the NE––more importantly, it has the best Biglaw placement of the group, although I am not interested in NYC Biglaw. I am only interested in working in California or Texas BigLaw. For Berkeley, I like that it's in Cali where I want to work, I like the Bay Area(although don't really care for Berkeley), it's near my family and friends, and I wouldn't have to travel too far for an internship(my parents cannot help me with money in any way).


Any help deciding would be greatly appreciated. At this point it seems like Penn is a bad idea and it should just be between Berk and Michigan because they are so relatively cheap.

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existentialcrisis
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby existentialcrisis » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:49 pm

Boalt for sure.

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Nebby
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby Nebby » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:49 pm

existentialcrisis wrote:Boalt for sure.

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Po$eidon
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby Po$eidon » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:50 pm

If you want to work in Cali go to Berk

Edit - sidebar: was today the day Berk decided to throw money? There's like 4 threads w/Boalt money updates

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby SmokeytheBear » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:52 pm

Po$eidon wrote:If you want to work in Cali go to Berk


Given your career preferences and COA, Boalt for sure. Not a question.

Do note that San Diego big law is a bit harder to get into than LA/SF/SV. People want to see ties to the area. That said, it's pretty sweet place to practice, as most firms pay market and the cost of living (whether the office is in the Del Mar area or downtown) is nothing compared to LA/SF/SV.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby SmokeytheBear » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:53 pm

Po$eidon wrote:If you want to work in Cali go to Berk

Edit - sidebar: was today the day Berk decided to throw money? There's like 4 threads w/Boalt money updates


For real. Wondering if I'll get some money from them.

4'sup
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby 4'sup » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:55 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Po$eidon wrote:If you want to work in Cali go to Berk


Given your career preferences and COA, Boalt for sure. Not a question.

Do note that San Diego big law is a bit harder to get into than LA/SF/SV. People want to see ties to the area. That said, it's pretty sweet place to practice, as most firms pay market and the cost of living (whether the office is in the Del Mar area or downtown) is nothing compared to LA/SF/SV.



Thanks for the advice everyone!

Regarding San Diego BigLaw, that's what I realized. Seeing that San Diego firms pay market makes it very very attractive. I went to UG in southern California so hopefully the may get me an in(I'm from Northern California).

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GFox345
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby GFox345 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:58 pm

First of all I want to compliment you on approaching this decision in a much more calculated way than most applicants and prospective students do. Also, you are really looking at some fantastic options here. Nice work. It will serve you well. In the spirit of full disclosure, I will start by saying that I am a current 1L summer starter at Michigan, so I am roughly at the half-way point through law school and have yet to go through OCI.

That being said, I have really enjoyed my experience at Michigan thus far. There are several great living options within a 5-minute walk of the Law School. Michigan definitely lives up to its reputation for being more laid back and friendly (as much as a law school can be at any rate). Moreover, it is fairly easy to live cheaply, especially compared to schools like Berkeley and Penn. I would say that you have a fairly realistic estimation of what the COA is going to be for Michigan. Approximately $30k in tuition more than your scholly, and roughly $20k/year thereafter.

Going into OCI, I've done quite a bit of research on the prospects of students in different grade brackets. While I can't give you specifics, I will tell you that even below-median students have a good chance during OCI. The often-lamented Biglaw numbers at Michigan, in my opinion, have much more to do with the very real tendency of many Michigan students to go for PI jobs at rates higher than many other T-14 schools. All in all, my impression from asking 2Ls and 3Ls here is that the vast, vast majority of people who want BigLaw here get it.

Overall, even if you don't believe the anecdote about PI work, Penn sends approximately 10-15% more students into Big Law than Michigan does. I don't think that's worth 55k. And even in the disastrous and unlikely scenario that you go to Michigan and do so poorly that you can't get Big Law, you will have a pretty manageable amount of debt that a midlaw job could easily pay off. I think Michigan is the clear choice here. I hope this helps, and I hope to see you in Ann Arbor next year!

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Rigo
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby Rigo » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:18 pm

Berkeley.

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UVA2B
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby UVA2B » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:24 pm

Nebby wrote:
existentialcrisis wrote:Boalt for sure.

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rpupkin
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby rpupkin » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:21 pm

4'sup wrote:For Berkeley, I like that it's in Cali where I want to work

Then Berkeley easily.

Also, Penn isn't more prestigious than the other two options. Prestige shouldn't matter to you anyway; but, to the extent that it does, Berkeley has more prestige in the Cali legal job market than Penn.

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Po$eidon
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby Po$eidon » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:31 pm

rpupkin wrote:
4'sup wrote:For Berkeley, I like that it's in Cali where I want to work

Then Berkeley easily.

Also, Penn isn't more prestigious than the other two options. Prestige shouldn't matter to you anyway; but, to the extent that it does, Berkeley has more prestige in the Cali legal job market than Penn.


Berkeley has significant lay prestige - particularly so throughout the west coast. Not that that should matter or change one's choice but it exists. UPenn will of course be known by hiring figures but the averages of the west coast are very 'huh? UPenn?'. As such, I'm unsurprised to hear that hiring figures also rate Berkeley especially highly in CA.

4'sup
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby 4'sup » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:23 am

rpupkin wrote:
4'sup wrote:For Berkeley, I like that it's in Cali where I want to work

Then Berkeley easily.

Also, Penn isn't more prestigious than the other two options. Prestige shouldn't matter to you anyway; but, to the extent that it does, Berkeley has more prestige in the Cali legal job market than Penn.



Even if I already have Northern California ties and went to UG in southern California? Would Berkeley really help that much with a job in Cali then?

Thanks for the help and advice everyone!

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quiver
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby quiver » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:21 am

4'sup wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
4'sup wrote:For Berkeley, I like that it's in Cali where I want to work

Then Berkeley easily.

Also, Penn isn't more prestigious than the other two options. Prestige shouldn't matter to you anyway; but, to the extent that it does, Berkeley has more prestige in the Cali legal job market than Penn.



Even if I already have Northern California ties and went to UG in southern California? Would Berkeley really help that much with a job in Cali then?

Thanks for the help and advice everyone!
If your COA numbers are correct: (a) Penn is not worth 40k+ more for Cali biglaw over Berk, and (b) Berk is worth 10k more for Cali biglaw over Michigan given this:
4'sup wrote:For Berkeley, I like that it's in Cali where I want to work, I like the Bay Area(although don't really care for Berkeley), it's near my family and friends, and I wouldn't have to travel too far for an internship(my parents cannot help me with money in any way).

I think Berk is the easy choice here.

nyu2019maybeplease
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

Postby nyu2019maybeplease » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:24 am

I'm obviously a Michigan homer but if you know you want Cali big law, the costs are close, and you didn't like Boalt significantly less than Michigan? Seems like a pretty easy win for Boalt.

That said Mich is awesome, happy to connect you w ppl here going to cali big law. Totally defensible pick if you felt more comfortable here.

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rpupkin
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Re: Michigan($$$) vs. Berkeley($$$) vs. Penn($$$)

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

4'sup wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
4'sup wrote:For Berkeley, I like that it's in Cali where I want to work

Then Berkeley easily.

Also, Penn isn't more prestigious than the other two options. Prestige shouldn't matter to you anyway; but, to the extent that it does, Berkeley has more prestige in the Cali legal job market than Penn.



Even if I already have Northern California ties and went to UG in southern California? Would Berkeley really help that much with a job in Cali then


It depends on what you mean by "much." It'll help some, which is probably reason enough to choose it given the COA figures.




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