Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

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general100
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Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby general100 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:08 pm

Been accepted to Boalt and Vandy and nothing in between -- have relatively low numbers for both, so not expecting much in the way of financial aid from either school.

Conventional wisdom would obviously be to attend a T14 and stick with Boalt, but I'm a true Southerner at heart (never stepped foot in the State of California), want to practice in DC or Atlanta (where Vandy has been pretty dominant recently), and will probably end up doing transactional work at a big firm (read: not PI, where Boalt has a significant edge with its generous LRAP program). At the same time, Berkeley has a much stronger name and rep, would give me more mobility west of the Mississippi, and has a much better gay community, which is somewhat of a big deal to me. I told someone I was between Boalt and Vandy and got the craziest look, as if I were a complete idiot for even considering Vandy.

Am I? What do you guys think?

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby TheBigMediocre » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:15 pm

Boalt!

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stratocophic
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby stratocophic » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:17 pm

general100 wrote:Been accepted to Boalt and Vandy and nothing in between -- have relatively low numbers for both, so not expecting much in the way of financial aid from either school.

Conventional wisdom would obviously be to attend a T14 and stick with Boalt, but I'm a true Southerner at heart (never stepped foot in the State of California), want to practice in DC or Atlanta (where Vandy has been pretty dominant recently), and will probably end up doing transactional work at a big firm (read: not PI, where Boalt has a significant edge with its generous LRAP program). At the same time, Berkeley has a much stronger name and rep, would give me more mobility west of the Mississippi, and has a much better gay community, which is somewhat of a big deal to me. I told someone I was between Boalt and Vandy and got the craziest look, as if I were a complete idiot for even considering Vandy.

Am I? What do you guys think?


If you want Atlanta, Vandy. For DC, could go either way but I'd lean Boalt. Berkeley was only slightly ahead of Vandy for Biglaw in '09, and Vandy's rep in the south is almost certainly stronger than theirs.

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 2443758843

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5ky
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby 5ky » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:19 pm

If you get some $$ from Vandy, go there.

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JollyGreenGiant
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby JollyGreenGiant » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:20 pm

Any $ at Vandy?

general100
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby general100 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:21 pm

Vandy hasn't announced $$$ yet, but I would be blown away if I got a dime.

wired
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby wired » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:22 pm

general100 wrote:Vandy hasn't announced $$$ yet, but I would be blown away if I got a dime.


I wouldn't be too surprised - they give out a relatively large amount of aid across the board.

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sirchristaylor
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby sirchristaylor » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:28 pm

Berkeley Law all the way!!!

swimbrad
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby swimbrad » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:29 pm

Vandy - Nashville is amazing

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bilbobaggins
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby bilbobaggins » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:33 pm

Berkeley will place better in DC and will likely be a wash in Atlanta.

You can also spend a semester in DC through Boalt's UCDC program. The placements are really, really good (including White House Counsel's Office).

We get Southerners here all of the time. Many of them have never been to California. The ones I know enjoy it.

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existenz
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby existenz » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:04 pm

Vandy is not nearly as much of a step down as you'd think from the rankings. Their placement stats are comparable to Berkeley, and if you plan to practice in the South they are a superior choice.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=108528

Either way you will be going to a great school!

APimpNamedSlickback
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:04 pm

of course bro. you dont want to be in class with people that need adult diapers.

enjoy vandy.

hungryhungryhippo
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby hungryhungryhippo » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:20 pm

I'm from the South and IMO, for the sake of "prestige" to impress laymen (not people familiar with rankings), if you mentioned that you either graduated from Vandy or UCBerkeley law, I think most Southerners would assume Vandy as the more impressive of the two.

For the sake of impressing employers and those familiar with rankings, I think Boalt would be more beneficial. (Note the distinction between the name references with respect to region: to laymen, you'd have to use UCBerkely, but with those in the law field, they'd understand Boalt).

There's not as accepting a gay community here as there is in CA. My first time through SanFran was a culture shock...

Also consider how you fare far from family (alliteration attack). I'm good at making friends but I'll still need a tangible concrete group of friends at all times if I'm under the pressure of law school.

I want to practice in the South, and if it were my choice, I'd be in CA with full faith that I'd be able to secure a job rather easily. The experience of living out West (our cultures are vastly disparate) and the prestige of Berkeley/Boalt convince me to take the trip, even if my friends and family are 1,000 miles away.

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Joga Bonito
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby Joga Bonito » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:29 pm

For most TLSers this is a no brainer, Boalt, but since your a true southerner at heart and you want to work in the southeast or DC, you should go to Vandy.
1. You wanna spend your 3 years in a place you will enjoy.
2. You wanna make connections with people who will work in your region.
3. You want a school that caters to your market.

On the other hand I would take Boalt even if i wanted ATL because the people I know in the ATL, layman's and professionals all know Berkeley is better than Vandy in general and view it as more prestigous in general. Layman prestige aside, Boatl is objectively better, and more prestigous and gives you more mobility.

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Grizz
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby Grizz » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:33 pm

general100 wrote:Vandy hasn't announced $$$ yet, but I would be blown away if I got a dime.


Wait until you find out about money, then get back to us.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:08 pm

Just throwing this out there -- if you've never been to California, you may like it more than you realize when you come to the Bay Area. I'm a deep southerner myself and only moved here recently; not sure if I ever want to leave.

Are you going to Boalt ASW? You should. I think that could/should play a big role in your choice. See how much you actually like being out here.

I don't think you can go wrong. I'd lean Boalt, but they're both great schools.

general100
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby general100 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:32 pm

Update: 15k from Vandy, no GPA strings attached...just "good standing."

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gymboree
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby gymboree » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:35 pm

Tangerine Gleam wrote:Just throwing this out there -- if you've never been to California, you may like it more than you realize when you come to the Bay Area. I'm a deep southerner myself and only moved here recently; not sure if I ever want to leave.

Are you going to Boalt ASW? You should. I think that could/should play a big role in your choice. See how much you actually like being out here.

I don't think you can go wrong. I'd lean Boalt, but they're both great schools.


+1 Go to the ASW and then see how you feel. (I'm coming from the South, too.)

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Grizz
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby Grizz » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:08 pm

general100 wrote:Update: 15k from Vandy, no GPA strings attached...just "good standing."


Per year or total?

Seriously though, I'm also one of those "true Southerners at heart" (didn't apply to any schools outside the South). People know how good Boalt is obviously, but there are Vandy grads all around here, and the degree holds tremendous weight down here, somewhat mitigating UC Berkely's better ranking. Honestly, I feel that this is almost a tossup, so I suggest visiting to see where you feel more comfortable, especially since having a gay community is important to you. Good luck.

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1800calturk
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Re: Berkeley vs Vandy -- A No Brainer?

Postby 1800calturk » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:35 pm

general100 wrote:Been accepted to Boalt and Vandy and nothing in between -- have relatively low numbers for both, so not expecting much in the way of financial aid from either school.

Conventional wisdom would obviously be to attend a T14 and stick with Boalt, but I'm a true Southerner at heart (never stepped foot in the State of California), want to practice in DC or Atlanta (where Vandy has been pretty dominant recently), and will probably end up doing transactional work at a big firm (read: not PI, where Boalt has a significant edge with its generous LRAP program). At the same time, Berkeley has a much stronger name and rep, would give me more mobility west of the Mississippi, and has a much better gay community, which is somewhat of a big deal to me. I told someone I was between Boalt and Vandy and got the craziest look, as if I were a complete idiot for even considering Vandy.

Am I? What do you guys think?


Berkeley will be a shock. Never has there been such a gathering of crazies, super-liberals, and homeless (which actually encompasses the first two also). This mixture can be interesting and rewarding to the right kind of person, but to someone else, it could be a really disruptive environment.

My philosophy is that you have to go somewhere where you have the best chance of succeeding. If you hate it in Berkeley, you may under perform. Especially if you want to practice in Atlanta, being top dog at Vandy is probably more advantageous than being middle or low at Boalt.

If you think that you will be unaffected (or even come to enjoy) constantly being accosted for change, not being able to wander around campus at night, being yelled at for talking on your cell phone by an insane bum who hates technology, and then worried that the car alarm outside means some east oaklanders have broken into your car again, then Boalt's reputation may be worth it.

Definitely visit before you make your choice.




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