Berkeley vs. Harvard

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Blessedassurance
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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:41 pm

bilbobaggins wrote: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.


I'm curious, how did you ascertain the truthfulness of their assertion? Did they produce an admission letter from YHS?

pop_pop_pop
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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:42 pm

Curious1 wrote:
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.


If you're a Harvard student and don't like meeting people described as generous, loving, and passionate, then Berkeley probably is a better fit for her.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby spek » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:02 pm

Curious1 wrote:
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.


?

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bilbobaggins
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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby bilbobaggins » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:18 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:
bilbobaggins wrote: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.


I'm curious, how did you ascertain the truthfulness of their assertion? Did they produce an admission letter from YHS?



Yes, every time one of my friends related their "choosing a law school" experience to me I demanded they prove that they got into higher ranked schools than Boalt. :roll:

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:22 pm

pop_pop_pop wrote:
If you're a Harvard student and don't like meeting people described as generous, loving, and passionate, then Berkeley probably is a better fit for her.


I think judging a school by the behavior of a handful of students is fairly unwise. I think one of the most pretentious individuals I've met at HLS went to Berkeley for undergrad, but I won't conclude from there anything about Berkeley (undergrad or law school).

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:15 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
pop_pop_pop wrote:
If you're a Harvard student and don't like meeting people described as generous, loving, and passionate, then Berkeley probably is a better fit for her.


I think judging a school by the behavior of a handful of students is fairly unwise. I think one of the most pretentious individuals I've met at HLS went to Berkeley for undergrad, but I won't conclude from there anything about Berkeley (undergrad or law school).


Of course; I was joking. I was providing a snarky reply to someone else's snarky (and strange?) comment. I don't think anyone would judge an entire student body off of a singular comment, especially on an Internet message board. (Still, the comment certainly didn't debunk any stereotypes.)

target
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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby target » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:23 pm

Didn't read through the thread and don't think I need to. Harvard is million times a credited response in this case. Also, make a poll if you want.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby IAFG » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:36 pm

bilbobaggins wrote:IAFG regularly trolls Berkeley.

lol wtf are you talking about

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:42 pm

target wrote:Didn't read through the thread and don't think I need to. Harvard is million times a credited response in this case. Also, make a poll if you want.


Forgot about polls (I don't frequent this forum much). I'm sure it would be very much in favor of Harvard though, especially if people didn't read the description of my friend. However, the responses from the Berkeley students who think she would mesh well at Boalt were really helpful and affirmed what my friend had already been thinking. Would still love to hear from more Harvard people about the culture there.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:43 pm

pop_pop_pop wrote:
target wrote:Didn't read through the thread and don't think I need to. Harvard is million times a credited response in this case. Also, make a poll if you want.


Forgot about polls (I don't frequent this forum much). I'm sure it would be very much in favor of Harvard though, especially if people didn't read the description of my friend. However, the responses from the Berkeley students who think she would mesh well at Boalt were really helpful and affirmed what my friend had already been thinking. Would still love to hear from more Harvard people about the culture there.


I don't think there's really one cohesive culture, particularly considering its size. Fairly diverse. It's rather easy to find a group of people who match up with what you're looking for, but not everyone is going to be that.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:50 pm

acrossthelake wrote:I don't think there's really one cohesive culture, particularly considering its size. Fairly diverse. It's rather easy to find a group of people who match up with what you're looking for, but not everyone is going to be that.


Okay, thanks! That actually sounds similar to our Ivy undergrad experience, so if HLS is similar in that respect, she may very well enjoy it and be able to find her niche.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby Kimberly » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:51 pm

pop_pop_pop wrote:
target wrote:Didn't read through the thread and don't think I need to. Harvard is million times a credited response in this case. Also, make a poll if you want.


Forgot about polls (I don't frequent this forum much). I'm sure it would be very much in favor of Harvard though, especially if people didn't read the description of my friend. However, the responses from the Berkeley students who think she would mesh well at Boalt were really helpful and affirmed what my friend had already been thinking. Would still love to hear from more Harvard people about the culture there.


But, the questions are:

1. Is culture more important that job prospects?
2. Regardless of your answer to question 1, with the exception of weather and recreational activities, is the "culture" of studying your ass off really going to be that drastically different between Boalt and Harvard? I mean, you are talking about a very small group of people, most of whom have likely applied to BOTH schools and are at least considering BOTH. So, I would conjecture that the difference in personalities between the people attending either is likely not statistically significant.
3. Are her job prospects different from either- this is the most important question if money is not an issue, I would imagine.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:02 am

pop_pop_pop wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:I don't think there's really one cohesive culture, particularly considering its size. Fairly diverse. It's rather easy to find a group of people who match up with what you're looking for, but not everyone is going to be that.


Okay, thanks! That actually sounds similar to our Ivy undergrad experience, so if HLS is similar in that respect, she may very well enjoy it and be able to find her niche.


Brown?

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ebeth
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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby ebeth » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:04 am

HLS 1L here, just wanted to say that my classmates are neither pretentious nor ultra competitive. I only know about my section, but I can't say enough about how awesome the people are.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:07 am

Kimberly wrote:
pop_pop_pop wrote:
target wrote:Didn't read through the thread and don't think I need to. Harvard is million times a credited response in this case. Also, make a poll if you want.


Forgot about polls (I don't frequent this forum much). I'm sure it would be very much in favor of Harvard though, especially if people didn't read the description of my friend. However, the responses from the Berkeley students who think she would mesh well at Boalt were really helpful and affirmed what my friend had already been thinking. Would still love to hear from more Harvard people about the culture there.


But, the questions are:

1. Is culture more important that job prospects?
2. Regardless of your answer to question 1, with the exception of weather and recreational activities, is the "culture" of studying your ass off really going to be that drastically different between Boalt and Harvard? I mean, you are talking about a very small group of people, most of whom have likely applied to BOTH schools and are at least considering BOTH. So, I would conjecture that the difference in personalities between the people attending either is likely not statistically significant.
3. Are her job prospects different from either- this is the most important question if money is not an issue, I would imagine.


1. I'm not sure which is more important for her, but I do know that the school's culture is a major factor in her decision. Of course, different schools have different "flavors" or personalities, so a lot of what I'm asking is whether it is true that Berkeley has a more laid back atmosphere (relative to other schools, if this comparison can be accurately gauged) or whether HLS tends to be "stuffier" or more pretentious. Having one poster comment that s/he wouldn't like my friend (who I have described as generous and passionate) to attend Harvard with him/her certainly reinforces the snooty Harvard stereotype to some degree, though obviously one person's comments are not indicative of an entire student body.

2. I'm not sure whether the cultures of the two schools are going to be "drastically different", as you say, but even slight differences may tip the scale in favor of one over another. As I wrote in #1, the school's environment is a major factor in her decision (even if it may not be/may not have been for many others commenting here).

3. I would imagine that job prospects from both schools are excellent, with Harvard perhaps winning out somewhat over Berkeley. However, I described her partially in order to indicate that she is not and never will be interested in a biglaw job. This is not to say that Harvard students are only interested in such jobs - they are obviously not - but she would like to attend a school in which biglaw prospects are less dominant (relatively) and "alternative" options are more prevalent. That is mostly why I described her as unconcerned with prestige - she is not looking to choose the best "name brand" in order to secure one of those high-paying, biglaw jobs. We went to an Ivy undergrad together, so she is (we are) perfectly fine with being around others who are very "prestige hungry" - and I think someone who attends an Ivy or is even considering Harvard Law School values prestige to at least an extent - but it is certainly not the only, or even the most important, factor in her mind.
Last edited by pop_pop_pop on Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:09 am

ebeth wrote:HLS 1L here, just wanted to say that my classmates are neither pretentious nor ultra competitive. I only know about my section, but I can't say enough about how awesome the people are.


Great! I think the more she talks to HLS students, the more her preconceived notions may be debunked. I think she may be conflating Harvard undergrads (many of whom she knows, and almost all of whom are pretentious and arrogant), but of course graduate and undergraduate student bodies can be significantly different. I will probably accompany her on a trip to Harvard in the spring and hopefully by talking to HLS students, she/we will be able to get a better feel for what they are like.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby IAFG » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:15 am

pop_pop_pop wrote:
1. I'm not sure which is more important for her, but I do know that the school's culture is a major factor in her decision. Of course, different schools have different "flavors" or personalities, so a lot of what I'm asking is whether it is true that Berkeley has a more laid back atmosphere (relative to other schools, if this comparison can be accurately gauged) or whether HLS tends to be "stuffier" or more pretentious. Having one poster comment that s/he wouldn't like my friend (who I have described as generous and passionate) to attend Harvard with him/her certainly reinforces the snooty Harvard stereotype to some degree, though obviously one person's comments are not indicative of an entire student body.

I wouldn't want to attend with your friend because what you call "generous and passionate" sounds naive and unrealistic to me. You have to understand that people with some vague interest in social issues show up here a lot proclaiming their disinterest in biglaw or money, and well, I just can't help rolling my eyes, because it sounds so damned uninformed.

Which is why I originally said that she might not want to go to law school, but as you already pointed out, I don't know her personally, so I can only go on what you've said.
3. I would imagine that job prospects from both schools are excellent, with Harvard perhaps winning out somewhat over Berkeley. However, I described her partially in order to indicate that she is not and never will be interested in a biglaw job. This is not to say that Harvard students are only interested in such jobs - they are obviously not - but she would like to attend a school in which biglaw prospects are less dominant (relatively) and "alternative" options are more prevalent. That is mostly why I described her as unconcerned with prestige - she is not looking to choose the best "name brand" in order to secure one of those high-paying, biglaw jobs. We went to an Ivy undergrad together, so she is (we are) perfectly fine with being around others who are very "prestige hungry" - and I think someone who attends an Ivy or is even considering Harvard Law School values prestige to at least an extent - but it is certainly not the only, or even the most important, factor in her mind.

It's harder to get permanent, full-time public interest jobs than biglaw. Which is why I said above that your friend sounds naive. It is a mistake to think that one's non-biglaw interests mean they have more flexibility in selecting a school. IMO it's quite the opposite.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby bk1 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:30 am

IAFG wrote:
bilbobaggins wrote:IAFG regularly trolls Berkeley.

lol wtf are you talking about


Apparently it's easy to confuse you and DF.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:37 am

bk1 wrote:
IAFG wrote:
bilbobaggins wrote:IAFG regularly trolls Berkeley.

lol wtf are you talking about


Apparently it's easy to confuse you and DF.

:lol:

Yeah, I wasn't getting that either. But that would explain it.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:53 am

IAFG wrote:I wouldn't want to attend with your friend because what you call "generous and passionate" sounds naive and unrealistic to me. You have to understand that people with some vague interest in social issues show up here a lot proclaiming their disinterest in biglaw or money, and well, I just can't help rolling my eyes, because it sounds so damned uninformed.


You just can't help "rolling your eyes" because of people proclaiming a disinterest in biglaw and a preference for other fields of law (e.g. involving social issues)? How is that evidence of being naive or "so damned uninformed"? I never said she will make career decisions without any regard to money; only that biglaw is not something she is interested in, and so Harvard is not a draw for that specific reason.

It's harder to get permanent, full-time public interest jobs than biglaw. Which is why I said above that your friend sounds naive. It is a mistake to think that one's non-biglaw interests mean they have more flexibility in selecting a school. IMO it's quite the opposite.


This is a very fair and valid point. Because the end goal of graduate school is to obtain employment, career prospects should obviously be one of the most important factors in one's decision of which school to attend, and this is indeed true for my friend. But keep in mind that she's not comparing Harvard with a "TTT". While Harvard would undeniably open "more doors" than Berkeley, the latter is certainly a great school with great opportunities attached. So the question for my friend does not solely rest on career prospects, but I'd say, more accurately, whether the net benefit of the "Harvard brand name" over that of Berkeley in terms of career prospects is greater than the net benefit of Berkeley's atmosphere, community, and student body over that of Harvard (if my friend would indeed "mesh" better at Berkeley). Because that is a significant factor for my friend, the decision is not solely about career prospects. If you think that is naive, so be it, but let's keep in mind the caliber of the two schools she is considering. After a certain point/ranking threshold, many people make college attendance decisions based on "fit" or various "soft" factors rather than simply the numbers regarding career advancement.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby IAFG » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:06 am

pop_pop_pop wrote:
You just can't help "rolling your eyes" because of people proclaiming a disinterest in biglaw and a preference for other fields of law (e.g. involving social issues)? How is that evidence of being naive or "so damned uninformed"?

For the reasons mentioned above: those jobs are scarce and hard to come by, not to mention one of the most ass-backwards, roundabout ways you can actually "help" someone.

Maybe Berkeley isn't a TTT, but honestly, good PI jobs are damned hard to get from Harvard.

acrossthelake
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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:10 am

This really really old thread might be helpful. http://www.top-law-schools.com/archives ... =1&t=51939

It's slightly out of date. They scrapped the third year thing.

pop_pop_pop
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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby pop_pop_pop » Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:08 am

IAFG wrote:
pop_pop_pop wrote:
You just can't help "rolling your eyes" because of people proclaiming a disinterest in biglaw and a preference for other fields of law (e.g. involving social issues)? How is that evidence of being naive or "so damned uninformed"?

For the reasons mentioned above: those jobs are scarce and hard to come by, not to mention one of the most ass-backwards, roundabout ways you can actually "help" someone.

Maybe Berkeley isn't a TTT, but honestly, good PI jobs are damned hard to get from Harvard.


This is fair, though I think you are sort of generalizing about all fields of law that relate to social issues. While you may not be passionate about them or think that they are poor ways of "helping" disadvantaged groups, those individuals who devote their lives to these fields of work certainly think differently. My friend has worked with such individuals, and so is not naive about what is possible, but is merely motivated - as she has been her entire life, as a result of the circumstances of her upbringing - to work in this context.

acrossthelake wrote:This really really old thread might be helpful. http://www.top-law-schools.com/archives ... =1&t=51939

It's slightly out of date. They scrapped the third year thing.


Thanks! That has some helpful info - I'll be sure to forward it to my friend.

target
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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby target » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:29 am

pop_pop_pop wrote:
ebeth wrote:HLS 1L here, just wanted to say that my classmates are neither pretentious nor ultra competitive. I only know about my section, but I can't say enough about how awesome the people are.


Great! I think the more she talks to HLS students, the more her preconceived notions may be debunked. I think she may be conflating Harvard undergrads (many of whom she knows, and almost all of whom are pretentious and arrogant), but of course graduate and undergraduate student bodies can be significantly different. I will probably accompany her on a trip to Harvard in the spring and hopefully by talking to HLS students, she/we will be able to get a better feel for what they are like.


Trust me when I say this, there are many more pretentious douchebag at berkeley thanone may think. Now, there are many cool, down to earth people there too.

So my point is both Harvard and Berkeley are big schools (Berkeley law is still relatively large even though it's smaller than Harvard), and you friend may not have to worry about the pretentious culture. Someone brought up the weather issue. My advice is to look hard at that. Berkeley's weather is no sunshine 365 days per year. But, I'd pick Berkeley's breezy weather over a possibility of a Nor'easter every damn time.

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Re: Berkeley vs. Harvard

Postby worldtraveler » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:00 am

acrossthelake wrote:This really really old thread might be helpful. http://www.top-law-schools.com/archives ... =1&t=51939

It's slightly out of date. They scrapped the third year thing.


:?: Isn't there still a 3rd year exchange? I know Berkeley students who are at Harvard this year. That program is pretty competitive though so it's not something anyone should count on when making a decision, from what i understand.




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