KiltedKicker wrote:Hey, I'm a 0L considering my options and am hoping those with some insights into the Bay Area market can give some advice. I was born and raised in SV, and my dad was an IP litigator and GC here for 30 years (it's been awhile since he was at a firm, so his knowledge on all this is a bit dated). I went to school out of state, but worked for the past year at a tech start up and have a good amount of entrepreneurship related experiences on my resume. I'm keeping an open mind, but I love startups and entrepreneurship and am thinking that I'd like to do general corporate tech law at a firm like WSGR, Cooley, MoFo, etc.
Because of my career interests and personal preferences (and financial aid offers I've received thus far), I'm probably most seriously considering Berkeley, NYU, and Duke. Would my chances of getting into Bay Area biglaw be much worse at Duke (I would also have an LLM in entrepreneurship) than at other T-10 schools? Would my chances be as good or better at Berkeley than at any of CCN? So far the advice I have received is that these firms hire from all of these schools and I just have to do well, but that it would be a bit easier from NYU than Duke, and slightly easier from Berkeley than NYU.
If you want more details send a PM. Any advice that might help me with this decision would certainly be much appreciated. Thanks!
You can take my advice with a grain of salt (and with knowledge of potential bias), I'm only a 2L (who wasn't born in California and is at Duke). But if you were born and raised in NorCal, that would seem to be a pretty strong connection, and if people know your dad, that might be even stronger. With that kind of connection to the area, plus your having worked in the area, I think NYU and Duke may be at less of a disadvantage (if any) compared to Berkeley in terms of getting you to NorCal than they might have been for other people without those connections. However, I don't know how things work at Berkeley, but it seems possible that some firms that go to OCI at Berkeley may not travel to NY or Durham. Though I don't know if there any big firms that would go to Berkeley OCI and skip NYU and Duke.
I guess it depends quite a bit on how attractive the financial aid offers are from NYU and Duke compared to Berkeley. I suspect the reason you're considering Duke over Berkeley and NYU for the Bay Area is the aid offer is attractive (though quite a few people seem to think Duke is a quality school that has had some nice employment numbers)? To be honest, how attractive each school's offer is is something that can differ based on how risk/debt averse you are, but I would also note that if you like Duke's offer I think it warrants serious consideration.
Also, as a Duke 2L I may be biased, but it might be worth noting that Durham can be a very cheap place to live (whereas NorCal and NY seem not so cheap). Might be the cheapest COL in the T14. Maybe not as much stuff going on as Berkeley or New York, but I pay less than 500 bucks a month in rent (though that may be a good deal even by Durham standards). Maybe that's why 1-2k a month for a place in San Francisco seems so expensive...