Berkeley vs. Harvard

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
pop_pop_pop
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:57 am

Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:01 am

My friend was accepted to both Berkeley and Harvard recently.

I was wondering if someone would be able to elaborate on the major differences between the two, and any general advice that could contribute to making a decision between them.

Thanks.

pwyoung
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pwyoung » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:34 am

I mean it's more based on their desired employment, location, and general interests than anything. Harvard obviously has more prestige and better employment numbers.

User avatar
zdamico
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:57 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby zdamico » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:58 am

Could you give some specifics?

Did he/she get any money at either place?
Does he/she want to live/practice in a certain area?

Harvard is significantly better, but getting money at Boalt or wanting to practice in CA would definitely warrant going there instead.

pop_pop_pop
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:57 am

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:13 am

She is mostly interested in social issues (e.g., has volunteered to work with ESL immigrants, for green/environmental endeavors) and is passionate about animal rights (e.g., has worked for the Humane Society, is a staunch vegan).

She is mostly unconcerned with prestige and does not like things pretentious, uppity, or "stuffy". She would never consider taking a job primarily for an enormous salary. For these reasons, she likes California, as it seems to be more laid back than the Northeast, generally.

Regarding where she would want to settle/practice: I'm not sure, but I think a permanent move to California is more likely than a move to Boston/NYC (she is from outside Philly). However, it is also possible that she may choose to remain in the PA-DE-MD area.

I don't think $$ comes into play in deciding between the two.

As may be obvious, she is leaning towards Berkeley because she would not like an ultra-competitive or pretentious environment. (During a band trip to Harvard in undergrad, she found it beautiful, but in her interactions with undergrads, found that they tended to be very "name brand" obsessed, which was offputting to her. Still, this may not be indicative of grad/law students.)

Anyway, she only heard about Harvard yesterday, so naturally she is very interested in it (after all, it is Harvard), and is going to visit both before making a final decision. I was just wondering if anyone had any insight about the pros/cons of the two schools... for example, assessing the accuracy of the statements listed above.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby IAFG » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:34 am

pop_pop_pop wrote:
She is mostly unconcerned with prestige and does not like things pretentious, uppity, or "stuffy".

Maybe she doesn't want to be a lawyer then. Even public interest employers fucking love prestige. And Berkeley Law isn't laid back. No law school is.

Boggs
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:57 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby Boggs » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:06 am

IAFG wrote:
pop_pop_pop wrote:
She is mostly unconcerned with prestige and does not like things pretentious, uppity, or "stuffy".

Maybe she doesn't want to be a lawyer then. Even public interest employers fucking love prestige. And Berkeley Law isn't laid back. No law school is.


I attend Berkeley Law and frequently describe it as laid back. Also, I'm pretty sure there is room in the profession for attorneys who are unconcerned with prestige.

The right approach is to visit both (as she is). PM me if you like. I'd be happy to answer questions or show her around. I visited quite a few law schools, though was not deciding between these two specifically.

pop_pop_pop
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:57 am

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:45 am

IAFG wrote:
pop_pop_pop wrote:
She is mostly unconcerned with prestige and does not like things pretentious, uppity, or "stuffy".

Maybe she doesn't want to be a lawyer then. Even public interest employers fucking love prestige. And Berkeley Law isn't laid back. No law school is.


This thread isn't about assessing her decision to attend law school. If you can't comment on the information I'm asking about, please don't respond with irrelevant and unhelpful information. (Also, see the post below yours.)

By the way, not all lawyers are concerned with prestige. My father, for one, is living proof of that.

I provided additional information (as requested) to give insight into the type of person that she is in order for posters to comment on the topic of Berkeley vs. Harvard in relation to her personality and goals... i.e. she is someone who would prefer a school environment that is less cutthroat and pretentious; that she is not someone who will automatically choose Harvard became of its "name brand"; and that she doesn't care about gateways into "big law". I'm interested in hearing about the the varying communities of the two schools, how their academic programs relate to her ambitions, and any other contrasts between the two that may be relevant.


Boggs wrote:I attend Berkeley Law and frequently describe it as laid back. Also, I'm pretty sure there is room in the profession for attorneys who are unconcerned with prestige.

The right approach is to visit both (as she is). PM me if you like. I'd be happy to answer questions or show her around. I visited quite a few law schools, though was not deciding between these two specifically.


Thanks for the offer! Much appreciated, and I will PM you shortly.
Last edited by pop_pop_pop on Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

Konner
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:43 am

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby Konner » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:59 am

pop_pop_pop wrote:She is mostly interested in social issues (e.g., has volunteered to work with ESL immigrants, for green/environmental endeavors) and is passionate about animal rights (e.g., has worked for the Humane Society, is a staunch vegan).

She is mostly unconcerned with prestige and does not like things pretentious, uppity, or "stuffy". She would never consider taking a job primarily for an enormous salary. For these reasons, she likes California, as it seems to be more laid back than the Northeast, generally.

Regarding where she would want to settle/practice: I'm not sure, but I think a permanent move to California is more likely than a move to Boston/NYC (she is from outside Philly). However, it is also possible that she may choose to remain in the PA-DE-MD area.

I don't think $$ comes into play in deciding between the two.

As may be obvious, she is leaning towards Berkeley because she would not like an ultra-competitive or pretentious environment. (During a band trip to Harvard in undergrad, she found it beautiful, but in her interactions with undergrads, found that they tended to be very "name brand" obsessed, which was offputting to her. Still, this may not be indicative of grad/law students.)

Anyway, she only heard about Harvard yesterday, so naturally she is very interested in it (after all, it is Harvard), and is going to visit both before making a final decision. I was just wondering if anyone had any insight about the pros/cons of the two schools... for example, assessing the accuracy of the statements listed above.


1. Your name reminds me of Boston Legal.

2. Your friend sounds like an amazing person.

3. Definitely visit both.

Money isn't an issue. Prestige doesn't concern her. I think the next question on the checklist is whether one school would afford her more flexibility than the other in terms of her future practice, opening/closing doors, so on and so forth. Everyone knows Harvard, and I'd assume it would open doors. OTOH maybe it would make her less attractive to the circles to which she aspires. IDK. I'd encourage her to do her research and try to determine which would afford her the best education relative to her specific interests. If she's not interested in competition, fine, don't compete. If Berkley is superior in terms of what she wants to do later, fine, Berkley it is. If location is a factor, consider putting that on the back burner in favor of the educational opportunities. You can move later...then again, former military talking here, so my perspective may be somewhat...skewed.

Your friend has a great "problem" before her. I envy it. And congratulate it.

Cheers

pop_pop_pop
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:57 am

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:05 am

Konner wrote:
pop_pop_pop wrote:She is mostly interested in social issues (e.g., has volunteered to work with ESL immigrants, for green/environmental endeavors) and is passionate about animal rights (e.g., has worked for the Humane Society, is a staunch vegan).

She is mostly unconcerned with prestige and does not like things pretentious, uppity, or "stuffy". She would never consider taking a job primarily for an enormous salary. For these reasons, she likes California, as it seems to be more laid back than the Northeast, generally.

Regarding where she would want to settle/practice: I'm not sure, but I think a permanent move to California is more likely than a move to Boston/NYC (she is from outside Philly). However, it is also possible that she may choose to remain in the PA-DE-MD area.

I don't think $$ comes into play in deciding between the two.

As may be obvious, she is leaning towards Berkeley because she would not like an ultra-competitive or pretentious environment. (During a band trip to Harvard in undergrad, she found it beautiful, but in her interactions with undergrads, found that they tended to be very "name brand" obsessed, which was offputting to her. Still, this may not be indicative of grad/law students.)

Anyway, she only heard about Harvard yesterday, so naturally she is very interested in it (after all, it is Harvard), and is going to visit both before making a final decision. I was just wondering if anyone had any insight about the pros/cons of the two schools... for example, assessing the accuracy of the statements listed above.


1. Your name reminds me of Boston Legal.

2. Your friend sounds like an amazing person.

3. Definitely visit both.

Money isn't an issue. Prestige doesn't concern her. I think the next question on the checklist is whether one school would afford her more flexibility than the other in terms of her future practice, opening/closing doors, so on and so forth. Everyone knows Harvard, and I'd assume it would open doors. OTOH maybe it would make her less attractive to the circles to which she aspires. IDK. I'd encourage her to do her research and try to determine which would afford her the best education relative to her specific interests. If she's not interested in competition, fine, don't compete. If Berkley is superior in terms of what she wants to do later, fine, Berkley it is. If location is a factor, consider putting that on the back burner in favor of the educational opportunities. You can move later...then again, former military talking here, so my perspective may be somewhat...skewed.

Your friend has a great "problem" before her. I envy it. And congratulate it.

Cheers


Thanks for the feedback! Very valid, and she indeed will be doing a lot of research on the two schools, visiting each, and talking extensively with the student bodies. She holds that last bit (speaking with students from each school) especially important, which is a major reason why I posed this topic here - for students from either school who may be reading this to assess their school's pros/cons in relation to my friend's goals or qualify the statements (assumptions) I made above.

Regarding Boston Legal, that's funny - but I have never watched it, so the reference was wholly unintentional. :)

And regarding my friend, she is indeed an amazing person - one of the most generous, loving, and passionate people I've ever met.

She has a great "problem", indeed.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby IAFG » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:11 am

pop_pop_pop wrote:
IAFG wrote:Maybe she doesn't want to be a lawyer then. Even public interest employers fucking love prestige. And Berkeley Law isn't laid back. No law school is.


This thread isn't about assessing her decision to attend law school. If you can't comment on the information I'm asking about, please don't respond with irrelevant and unhelpful information. (Also, see the post below yours.)

By the way, not all lawyers are concerned with prestige. My father, for one, is living proof of that.


God I love when people try to censor their threads. You don't get to decide what gets posted in your thread, sweetheart. First, while one Boaltie called it laid back, I can think of 5 I know personally who were appalled by how gunnerish they found their peers to be. So my assessment is not based on wild speculation.

As for the prestige-obsession of the legal field, how many new lawyers a year does your father hire, and how many does he hire to do public interest work? Facts are, it's a prestige-obessed field. If your friend is uncomfortable with prestige obsession and name-brand bullshit, she might find the legal profession to be a bad fit for her. Whether that's what you wanted discussed in your thread or not.

pop_pop_pop
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:57 am

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:16 am

IAFG wrote:God I love when people try to censor their threads. You don't get to decide what gets posted in your thread, sweetheart. First, while one Boaltie called it laid back, I can think of 5 I know personally who were appalled by how gunnerish they found their peers to be. So my assessment is not based on wild speculation.

As for the prestige-obsession of the legal field, how many new lawyers a year does your father hire, and how many does he hire to do public interest work? Facts are, it's a prestige-obessed field. If your friend is uncomfortable with prestige obsession and name-brand bullshit, she might find the legal profession to be a bad fit for her. Whether that's what you wanted discussed in your thread or not.


Sure, someone can post anything they like, in any thread. However, the decision to attend law school is not one she made casually, and since none of you know her, I would appreciate responses that provide insight relating to the actual topic of this thread rather than extraneous/unhelpful commentary.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby IAFG » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:22 am

pop_pop_pop wrote:
IAFG wrote:God I love when people try to censor their threads. You don't get to decide what gets posted in your thread, sweetheart. First, while one Boaltie called it laid back, I can think of 5 I know personally who were appalled by how gunnerish they found their peers to be. So my assessment is not based on wild speculation.

As for the prestige-obsession of the legal field, how many new lawyers a year does your father hire, and how many does he hire to do public interest work? Facts are, it's a prestige-obessed field. If your friend is uncomfortable with prestige obsession and name-brand bullshit, she might find the legal profession to be a bad fit for her. Whether that's what you wanted discussed in your thread or not.


Sure, someone can post anything they like, in any thread. However, the decision to attend law school is not one she made casually, and since none of you know her, I would appreciate responses that provide insight relating to the actual topic of this thread rather than extraneous/unhelpful commentary.

I am giving you insight into the actual topic, but maybe I am being obtuse. Whatever she wished the case to be, legal hiring is very prestige-obsessed. Recommend that she contact someone who is involved with legal hiring at whatever NGO/public interest/bleeding heart org that is her dream job and ask them, all else held equal, which they would rather have: a median student from HLS or a median student at Boalt.

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7669
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:25 am

I go to Berkeley, and your friend sounds like she would really fit in at the school. I wouldn't describe it as super laid back, but as laid back as law school can get.

Obviously, Harvard is better in terms of reputation and there could be some definite career advantages, but your friend sounds like she would be much happier at Berkeley, and people often tend to do better when they're happier. Hopefully a Harvard student will be able to give you a better idea of what options there would be for her versus just stereotypes.

pop_pop_pop
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:57 am

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:28 am

IAFG wrote:I am giving you insight into the actual topic, but maybe I am being obtuse. Whatever she wished the case to be, legal hiring is very prestige-obsessed. Recommend that she contact someone who is involved with legal hiring at whatever NGO/public interest/bleeding heart org that is her dream job and ask them, all else held equal, which they would rather have: a median student from HLS or a median student at Boalt.


Thank you. If your previous comments were meant to indicate that Harvard is preferable to Berkeley because of its greater prestige, I am sorry for not recognizing this - it seemed as though you were questioning my friend's general decision/goals, rather than providing insight about the topic on hand. Career prospects are obviously one factor that she is considering in making this decision, so I appreciate your insight.

worldtraveler wrote:I go to Berkeley, and your friend sounds like she would really fit in at the school. I wouldn't describe it as super laid back, but as laid back as law school can get.

Obviously, Harvard is better in terms of reputation and there could be some definite career advantages, but your friend sounds like she would be much happier at Berkeley, and people often tend to do better when they're happier. Hopefully a Harvard student will be able to give you a better idea of what options there would be for her versus just stereotypes.


Thanks! This is exactly the sort of information I was hoping for - to hear directly from either Harvard or Berkeley students regarding my statements/assumptions of the two schools. Of course no law school is going to be completely laid back, relaxed, or uncompetitive, but Berkeley's reputation in that department is certainly different from Harvard's, so thank you for assessing that. It's especially great hearing from a current student that another potential student would fit in well - I think determining which school is the best "fit" is the single biggest factor for my friend in deciding between the two.

DreamShake
Posts: 366
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:03 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby DreamShake » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:00 pm

pop_pop_pop wrote:My friend was accepted to both Berkeley and Harvard recently.

I was wondering if someone would be able to elaborate on the major differences between the two, and any general advice that could contribute to making a decision between them.

Thanks.


also a boaltie here. i have a difficult time imagining a law school more laid back than boalt, though i visited only a couple others informally (NYU & Columbia). some comments relating specifically to your request to validate some assertions about boalt:

1. yes, many boalties are extremely liberal, and she'd probably find quite a few similarly-minded people here. we have a vegan eating club, the oldest environmental law journal in the country(world?), a ton of environmental law classes/profs, a ton of clinics/journals working with immigrants, and animal legal defense fund (ALDF). ALDF might not be much of a consideration since it is probably also at harvard. i wish the boalt chapter were a bit more active, but it does provide research opportunities during 2L/3L. animal law is a very, very small niche, but we do have a great animal law prof in bruce wagman (there may also be others i'm unaware of). she's probably not going to find much animal law presence anywhere, except maybe lewis & clark.

2. as another posted commented, if she dislikes prestige, she will dislike the legal hiring process in general. prestige matters--whether it's related to the institution, one's grades, prior WE, etc. on the other hand, berkeley is probably about as laid back about prestige as any law school. our grading system, the fact that we don't really do class rankings, and our students in general are probably the main causes. i think harvard has a very similar system, though i don't know if it has produced the same effects there.

3. California is a way nicer place to live, but she ought to consider that the economy is better pretty much everywhere else. This bears considering because the worse the economy is, the more T-10 grads will trickle down into competing for PI/PS jobs.

4. although the person in question might not be interested in a lucrative job, she should probably take into account other financial factors that will have a bearing on her future financial flexibility. so, unless her parents are footing the bill, and if she might one day wish to own a house or a car, scholly $, LRAP's, and cost of attendance should all be considerations.

5. she should absolutely visit both, but she should take it all in with the caveat that the schools are intentionally providing a show. FWIW, berkeley's admitted student day last year gave a pretty good representation of what the school was really like.

apollo2015
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:13 am

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby apollo2015 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:03 pm

pop_pop_pop wrote:Regarding where she would want to settle/practice: I'm not sure, but I think a permanent move to California is more likely than a move to Boston/NYC (she is from outside Philly). However, it is also possible that she may choose to remain in the PA-DE-MD area.


If she isn't 100% sure that she wants to live in California, definitely go with Harvard.

User avatar
bilbobaggins
Posts: 686
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:41 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby bilbobaggins » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:27 pm

IAFG regularly trolls Berkeley.

During my three years at Boalt, I have met students with some regularity who decided to come to Boalt over Stanford, Harvard and even Yale.

Law schools are not a completely stress free environment, but Boalt is extremely collegial and fun. The classes are extremely diverse for a law school (in both background and ideology) and you will find that many students are not prestige obsessed.

Having lived in Cambridge and not coming from either coast, I would always pick the bay area over Boston.

Harvard's class size is about double that of Boalt's, which probably makes it less friendly as a whole.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:28 pm

Harvard & Berkeley have a third year exchange/visiting program so your friend can experience both law schools.

acrossthelake
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:33 pm

DreamShake wrote:
pop_pop_pop wrote:My friend was accepted to both Berkeley and Harvard recently.

I was wondering if someone would be able to elaborate on the major differences between the two, and any general advice that could contribute to making a decision between them.

Thanks.


also a boaltie here. i have a difficult time imagining a law school more laid back than boalt, though i visited only a couple others informally (NYU & Columbia). some comments relating specifically to your request to validate some assertions about boalt:

1. yes, many boalties are extremely liberal, and she'd probably find quite a few similarly-minded people here. we have a vegan eating club, the oldest environmental law journal in the country(world?), a ton of environmental law classes/profs, a ton of clinics/journals working with immigrants, and animal legal defense fund (ALDF). ALDF might not be much of a consideration since it is probably also at harvard. i wish the boalt chapter were a bit more active, but it does provide research opportunities during 2L/3L. animal law is a very, very small niche, but we do have a great animal law prof in bruce wagman (there may also be others i'm unaware of). she's probably not going to find much animal law presence anywhere, except maybe lewis & clark.

2. as another posted commented, if she dislikes prestige, she will dislike the legal hiring process in general. prestige matters--whether it's related to the institution, one's grades, prior WE, etc. on the other hand, berkeley is probably about as laid back about prestige as any law school. our grading system, the fact that we don't really do class rankings, and our students in general are probably the main causes. i think harvard has a very similar system, though i don't know if it has produced the same effects there.

3. California is a way nicer place to live, but she ought to consider that the economy is better pretty much everywhere else. This bears considering because the worse the economy is, the more T-10 grads will trickle down into competing for PI/PS jobs.

4. although the person in question might not be interested in a lucrative job, she should probably take into account other financial factors that will have a bearing on her future financial flexibility. so, unless her parents are footing the bill, and if she might one day wish to own a house or a car, scholly $, LRAP's, and cost of attendance should all be considerations.

5. she should absolutely visit both, but she should take it all in with the caveat that the schools are intentionally providing a show. FWIW, berkeley's admitted student day last year gave a pretty good representation of what the school was really like.


I'll pop in as an HLS student.

The undergrads are more pretentious than the law students from my experience.
Our grading system is similar:
Discretionary top 0-5% Dean's Scholar
Top 33% that isn't a DS: High Pass (or is it Honors? Whatever same thing).
Every grade that isn't a DS, HP/H, or LP: P
Bottom 0-8%: Low Pass.

I think Berkeley has an HH/H/P/LP system? Not sure about the LP, nor the percentage breakdown.

Because legal hiring is prestige-obsessed, HLS has the leg up on Berkeley for employment opportunities--not just in biglaw, but in public interest as well. Even if she's not obsessed with prestige, coming from HLS will help her get the jobs she wants. Note: This is probably not true in California. Depending on the employer, some will favor Berkeley grads cuz they're local, while others will still favor HLS, while others will be balanced. So if she's deadset on Cali afterwards, then Boalt's not a bad choice. Harvard also has an amazing LIPP program--if you take a lower-paying job, then Harvard will help pay you with payments. It's stronger than IBR and one of the best programs out there. So if she's going into public interest, and isn't independently wealthy(thus money not being an issue?), then Harvard's LIPP program will make it a lot easier to balance loans vs. the lower pay. I don't know how Berkeley's LRAP compares.

I have respect for Berkeley, and I envy the warmer weather. I made the choice too, but for me employment prospects were the most important factor(esp. since I wasn't, and still am not, sure about what I wanted to do after law school or where I wanted to go), and HLS seemed too obviously stronger.

bruss
Posts: 470
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 3:58 am

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby bruss » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:34 pm

To op's friend, in her case the only reason she should not go to Harvard is if she can't stand the weather and doesn't want to be away from family or something. Harvard's name is enough, and there are always gonna be unavoidable dbags.

I don't even c how this is even a question really. It's not like she is choosing between hys.

This has to be epic flame.

Curious1
Posts: 964
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:54 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby Curious1 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:38 pm

Why are you feeding the troll...

pop_pop_pop
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:57 am

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:48 pm

lol, no, I'm not a "flame"/"troll". This may seem like a really easy question for almost everyone (Harvard, obviously!), but as a previous Berkeley student even said, s/he has met numerous Berkeley students who chose it over HYS, so it does happen. Believe it or not - whether this is important to others here or not - a significant factor in my friend's decision is the "fit" of the school, and not solely career prospects afterwards. So, if she feels like she "meshes" better with the student body of one, then that would really tip the scale in favor of that school. "Fit" is probably her number one factor, which is why I wanted to post here to see if students from Berkeley felt that it is indeed a laid back environment (relative to other law schools), or if Harvard students felt that the statements I made about about it were true/false. (So far, I really appreciate everyone's insight! The Berkeley posters especially have helped to show that is really is the type of place my friend would probably love.) Obviously Harvard's "name" is stronger, so the fact that she isn't automatically choosing Harvard should indicate that she is very interested in factors besides "name brand" and how far that may take her.
Last edited by pop_pop_pop on Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
bilbobaggins
Posts: 686
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:41 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby bilbobaggins » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:52 pm

pop_pop_pop wrote:lol, no, I'm not a "flame"/"troll". This may seem like a really easy question for almost everyone (Harvard, obviously!), but as a previous Berkeley student even said, s/he has met numerous Berkeley students who chose it over HYS, so it does happen. Believe it or not - whether this is important to others here or not - a significant factor in my friend's decision is the "fit" of the school, and not solely career prospects afterwards. So, if she feels like she "meshes" better with the student body of one, or prefers the setting/location, or things like that, then those would really tip the scale in favor of that school. Obviously Harvard's "name" is stronger, so the fact that she isn't automatically choosing Harvard should indicate that she is very interested in factors besides "name brand" and how far that may take her.


It's also likely that if she can get into Harvard she can also excel in school and in externships (which is what counts more than grades in PI). She'll be successful wherever she goes, so she should go where she think she'll be happiest. This goes against conventional TLS wisdom, but I would say it's the wiser way to look at things.

pop_pop_pop
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:57 am

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:57 pm

bilbobaggins wrote:It's also likely that if she can get into Harvard she can also excel in school and in externships (which is what counts more than grades in PI). She'll be successful wherever she goes, so she should go where she think she'll be happiest. This goes against conventional TLS wisdom, but I would say it's the wiser way to look at things.


Exactly, thanks! I think this is her mentality too. Again, it probably goes against most people on these forums, but she would choose a slightly less prestigious school if the student body, environment, resources, etc. are more in line with her interests, personality, and goals. Again, I know people here may think those are strange considerations, but for her, those are important factors in making this choice.

Curious1
Posts: 964
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:54 pm

Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby Curious1 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:26 pm

pop_pop_pop wrote:lol, no, I'm not a "flame"/"troll". This may seem like a really easy question for almost everyone (Harvard, obviously!), but as a previous Berkeley student even said, s/he has met numerous Berkeley students who chose it over HYS, so it does happen. Believe it or not - whether this is important to others here or not - a significant factor in my friend's decision is the "fit" of the school, and not solely career prospects afterwards. So, if she feels like she "meshes" better with the student body of one, then that would really tip the scale in favor of that school. "Fit" is probably her number one factor, which is why I wanted to post here to see if students from Berkeley felt that it is indeed a laid back environment (relative to other law schools), or if Harvard students felt that the statements I made about about it were true/false. (So far, I really appreciate everyone's insight! The Berkeley posters especially have helped to show that is really is the type of place my friend would probably love.) Obviously Harvard's "name" is stronger, so the fact that she isn't automatically choosing Harvard should indicate that she is very interested in factors besides "name brand" and how far that may take her.


I hope your friend goes to Berkeley. She doesn't sound like the kind of person I want to meet.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: blueapron115, Yahoo [Bot] and 9 guests