Berkeley Law or Stanford?

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unlawfool2010
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Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby unlawfool2010 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:39 am

Which school would you choose and why?
Berkeley costs roughly $30,000 a year for tuition only and Stanford is $40,000 a year. Assume that you won't get any financial aid from either school.

Edit:
Assume you have tons of friends at Berkeley already and no friends at Stanford. But Stanford is Stanford. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhh

p.s. I've been a long time fan of this forum (since 2006), but first time posting. As you can tell, I am in a dilemma.
Last edited by unlawfool2010 on Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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ari20dal7
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby ari20dal7 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:42 am

I would go to Berkeley, but there is no real reason to do that, as Stanford would offer as good or better career prospects in every way. I'm just more of a Berkeley guy than a Stanford guy.

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GDavidson87
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby GDavidson87 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:49 am

Berkeley, as well.

What type of law are you interested in?

Ryduce
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby Ryduce » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:57 am

Can somebody do a compare and contrast of the two, please?

I mean they seem pretty similar to me. They are both in the bay area. They both specialize in IP law. They both favor GPA over LSAT.

The one thing that seperates Berkeley is that it is supposedly crazytown, USA.

Can somebody with a little more insight discuss the details that makes each school unique?

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20160810
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby 20160810 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:00 am

Berkeley in a heartbeat. You're not going to starve coming out of either school, cause they're both amazing, so go for which one you'd enjoy more. Also, Stanfurd sucks.

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blackacre
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby blackacre » Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:12 am

Samford


(yes cumberland...)

YoungFogey
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby YoungFogey » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:13 am

Absolutely Stanford for me. Small classes, shift from traditional grading (in a more meaningful way than Berkeley), cross-disciplinary programs, more marketable nation-wide. They are both great schools, but the edge Stanford can give your career I think is worth the extra $10k/year. Plus, if that extra $10k is the in-state tuition differential, then I would wouldn't count on it sticking around. They are on track to close the gap over the next couple of years.

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playhero
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby playhero » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:18 am

Remember here in cal you qualify for instate tuition after your first year. So the second to years would only be 20k each. If you also get into Stanford you might be able to use that against Berkeley in order to gain some sort of scholarship.

Personally I'd go to Stanford as I hate everything Berkeley.

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badfish
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby badfish » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:35 am

Keep in mind Berkeley is much closer to SF than Palo Alto. All things considered you really can't lose here though.

mike4488
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby mike4488 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:36 am

I would just go to where ever you think you would enjoy the most. I recently faced a similar decision with Berkeley vs. Columbia and then just yesterday faced the same decision of Berkeley vs. Stanford. Luckily I posed the Stanford hyopthetical at the same time I was asking aobut Columbia.

I asked advice from almost every attorney I knew from solo lawyers to senior partners at V50 firms to General Counsel's and every single one of them told me the same thing. They said to just go to whatever school you think you will enjoy the most for the next two years. You can get great jobs out of either of them and down the road neither of the schools are going to hold you back. When you decide to change jobs later everybody is going to know you went to one of the best law schools in the country whether it be Stanford or Berkeley so that will not be the deciding factor. They pretty much said the differences were so miniscule that it doesn't really matter.

A couple pointed out that the only real difference is that Stanford will ring more with lay people so if you care about impressing people like that go there. However, I could care less about that so I decided on Berkeley as I think it would be neat experience.

Anyways, best of luck in making your decision as you have two outstanding options.

tx2102
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby tx2102 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:42 am

This is pretty interesting. I'm really suprised Berkeley is getting so much love.

It seems like when a NYU/Columbia vs. Harvard argument comes up, most people always say Harvard because of the added prestige and unique clerkship/job opportunities that Harvard can get you that are much harder from NYU or Columbia and NYU and Columbia are more highly regarded schools(except for IP stuff). I have to vote for Stanford here.

Yes they are both top law schools, but to most people Stanford is in a league with Harvard and Yale. I think a Stanford degree would give you more mobility in the long or short-term. If you just want a biglaw IP attorney job in California, they're probably pretty close, but other than that I don't think they are as close as people make it out.

Plus Stanford looked like paradise when I visited and Berkeley looked like not paradise.

KP429
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby KP429 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:57 am

Well, the poll is 24-5 so I'm not sure Berkeley is getting so much love...

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badfish
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby badfish » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:03 pm

KP429 wrote:Well, the poll is 24-5 so I'm not sure Berkeley is getting so much love...


Yes but it can be safely assumed that the people who choose Stanford over Berkeley and neglect to write anything are choosing based on ranking/prestige and any other number of factors that make Stanford a "better" (higher ranked) school. This is a perfectly fine way to go about choosing your school, but if I was to choose Berkeley over Stanford I would certainly want to give the OP a reason why I would choose Berkeley in spite of all of the ranking hype etc.

For Example:

I would choose Berkeley because I am a firm believer in the power of public education. I would like to attend the most prolific public law school in America. Very few schools could sway me from Berkeley. Namely Harvard (because I spent my undergraduate years in Boston) and Yale ... well because it is Yale.

tx2102
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby tx2102 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:33 pm

KP429 wrote:Well, the poll is 24-5 so I'm not sure Berkeley is getting so much love...



I was referring more to the comments than the poll. There weren't very many pro-Stanford comments.

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Arbit
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby Arbit » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:47 pm

I visited both schools when making my decision this past April and had absolutely no doubts about choosing Stanford after spending a couple days on either campus.

In addition to the notable difference between the schools' placement in clerkships, academia, and national firms, the following were major factors in my decision.

1. Stanford seemed to be a much less competitive environment. Whereas several people I talked to at Berkeley described the 'no grade' system they have there as a farce and seemed unsure as to where they would wind up, some people I met at Stanford were willing to freely admit to being near the bottom of their class and still had several top firms knocking down their doors. Employment prospects are great out of either one, but it seemed the "worst case scenario" was a bit brighter coming out of Stanford, and that there was a tad more career flexibility.

2. It's not a huge deal, but I find it encouraging to be surrounded by students who have no regrets. At the Berkeley ASW about half the admits I met were "still waiting" for H, Y, or (most commonly) S. They liked Boalt a great deal, but it was obvious that it was not their absolute first choice. At the Stanford ASW, 90% of the people had been accepted to and narrowed their choices down to HYSC. Of these people, a fair proportion made their decision during those few days and determined that there was no school in the country they would rather spend three years attending.

3. The Stanford campus/Palo Alto was much more appealing to me than Berkeley. Having a beautiful campus and lots of nice walking trails nearby was a major plus after seeing the ghetto and plethora of frats at Berkeley. Palo Alto is surely a bit more boring, but finding nice housing is much less of a headache, which is another plus. Also, while neither law school was particularly pretty compared to Yale, Michigan, etc., I found the classrooms and maintenance of the law building at Stanford to be a step above Berkeley.

4. I found there to be a much more geographically diverse student body at Stanford. It seemed like virtually everyone I met at Boalt was from California, or went to college in California, or had been working there for some time. I felt a bit out of place coming from the southwest and having gone to school in New England while I was visiting Berkeley, since I seemed to be one of the only people without a strong and direct connection to the area. It was neat meeting people from Virginia, South Dakota, Texas, and Vermont at Stanford, rather than the people from California, California, Nevada, and California at Berkeley.

All in all, I determined my opportunities and quality of life would be better at Stanford. Both are amazing schools, and I think visiting them is very important. Initially they were two of my top choices, but after the ASWs, Berkeley dropped from one of top 3 choices to something like number 7 on my list.

KP429
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby KP429 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:50 pm

Ah, true. I missed all of those 3 pro-Berkeley responses.

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underdawg
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby underdawg » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:50 pm

Don't be a lil bitch; go to Stanford. You will make new friends, I swear!

unlawfool2010
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby unlawfool2010 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:48 pm

Thanks everyone for your comments and feedback, especially Arbit and Mike =).

I've been a long time fan of Berkeley and never even really thought of Stanford as an option. However, my mentor encouraged me to apply (to transfer) and I was fortunate enough to get into both. I know I can't go wrong at this point, but I'm having a hard time saying no to Stanford.

Would it be crazy if I choose a school that costs less (i.e., Berkeley)? Finance is really important to me because to be frank, my family is poor and I can't afford to take out more loans at this point. I'm hoping to graduate and make enough money to support my parents and siblings, so being 100K in debt would be problematic.

If Stanford won't give me any money (I'm getting my package tomorrow), can I still use Stanford as leverage to ask Berkeley for some money? I wonder if anyone has been successful at attempting this. Anyways, thanks!

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ari20dal7
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby ari20dal7 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:57 pm

The money will not matter if you go to SLS. If you want to make 160+bonus straight out, you can do so in any market at nearly any firm. If you just want to support your family, the debt will be relatively trivial.

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cfishy305
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby cfishy305 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:59 pm

you can deff use stanford as leverage...

but i still think you should go to stanford... i feel like going to any of the top 3 guarantess you at least worst case scenario 110K/Year and that is some great grub.

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underdawg
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby underdawg » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:02 pm

If you're a transfer, you are talking about an extra $20k for Stanford?

Dude. Man the fuck up.

The_Wall
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby The_Wall » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:18 pm

I'm pretty sure unlawfool's a woman.

And she should go to Stanford, particularly if she hopes to support her parents and siblings.

tx2102
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby tx2102 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:47 pm

KP429 wrote:Ah, true. I missed all of those 3 pro-Berkeley responses.



Wow, I see that sarcasm is big thing for you. That will serve you well in being an ass for the rest of your life. I wasn't attacking you, I was merely trying to explain my post. Even if there was only 3 pro-berkeley comments, that would have been around half of all the comments where a poster stated their choice. That's what I saw as odd. I would have expected nearly all "go to Stanford" comments, not just poll votes.

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niclaw
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby niclaw » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:05 pm

Can you use Stanford as leverage against Berkeley as a transfer student? My understanding is that you almost never get money as a transfer, that's partially how they fund the grants for incoming 1Ls, by charging transfer students full price. Maybe that's just merit and not need-based aid though. Good luck with your choice, Stanford is the better school, but Berkeley is such an awesome place to live. Great options either way.

KP429
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Re: Berkeley Law or Stanford?

Postby KP429 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:41 pm

Sorry tx, I didn't mean for you to take offense, just fucking around really. I just thought what you said was sort of silly and unjustifiable. To me, it would make sense that Berkeley supporters would post responses because their idea of whats best deviates so strongly from what is typically accepted/expected (i.e., the poll results).

Anyway, I love Berkeley and it's my top choice along with Stanford, so no harm done.


Actually, looking back at this, I wasn't even replying to what you said. It was actually something shonyaey said. So even less harm done?




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