Transfer to Berkeley or stay at TTT

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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Transfer to Berkeley or stay at TTT

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:36 pm

I am currently ranked #1 with a 3.84 GPA at a school ranked in the 130's on USNWR. I have been accepted as a transfer at UC Berkeley. At issue is whether I should transfer to Berkeley at full sticker or stay at my current school with minimal debt.

I intend to practice IP law, specifically patent preparation and prosecution. I am a registered patent agent with an undergraduate degree in Biology and I made the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Ct team at my current law school. Further, I earned an automatic write on position to our international law journal. If I attend Berkeley I may not be able to check both those boxes on future employers lists. I like the idea of big law and eye popping salaries, but I am not married to big law. I would be perfectly happy working at a well respected boutique patent firm.

I spoke with the Dean after I received acceptance letters from Georgetown and GW and the Dean only offered a scholarship increase of $3,000.

Total debt at graduation: Berkeley- $200,000; Current School: $40,000 (historically I have tended to be risk/debt averse)


Thoughts? Stay. Go.

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Vincent

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Re: Transfer to Berkeley or stay at TTT

Postby Vincent » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:07 pm

Berkeley's going to cost you $200,000 in two years? Or does that include existing debt obligations from your current school (which is how much)? What are your estimated chances at your preferred career, in your preferred market, coming out of your current school?

Boalt doesn't advertise it, but if you can find a GSI position (what Berkeley calls graduate student TAs) somewhere on campus, you can significantly cut your tuition costs each semester. If I recall correctly, a 50% GSI for an academic year will pay you ~$20k in salary, and knock off the student service fee, graduate tuition, health insurance fee, nonresident tuition, and a couple other miscellaneous things (except for the professional school fee). That means you go from paying $25k-30k a semester to <10k. The positions were pretty competitive to grab at the law school from what I hear, but other departments on campus (e.g. in the sciences; e.g. Statistics when I was there) were often looking for GSIs from outside their department.

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Re: Transfer to Berkeley or stay at TTT

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:23 pm

Berkeley tuition ($52,575)+ school estimated COL ($24,324)+ current debt (20k) + accrued interest = about 200k
I did add a little extra $ for unexpected expenses in my estimation.

Chances of getting into patent prep and pros in preferred market (WA) is prob 35-40% out of school. Life sciences is just not that marketable in patent prosecution.

dracula

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Re: Transfer to Berkeley or stay at TTT

Postby dracula » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am currently ranked #1 with a 3.84 GPA at a school ranked in the 130's on USNWR. I have been accepted as a transfer at UC Berkeley. At issue is whether I should transfer to Berkeley at full sticker or stay at my current school with minimal debt.

I intend to practice IP law, specifically patent preparation and prosecution. I am a registered patent agent with an undergraduate degree in Biology and I made the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Ct team at my current law school. Further, I earned an automatic write on position to our international law journal. If I attend Berkeley I may not be able to check both those boxes on future employers lists. I like the idea of big law and eye popping salaries, but I am not married to big law. I would be perfectly happy working at a well respected boutique patent firm.

I spoke with the Dean after I received acceptance letters from Georgetown and GW and the Dean only offered a scholarship increase of $3,000.

Total debt at graduation: Berkeley- $200,000; Current School: $40,000 (historically I have tended to be risk/debt averse)


Thoughts? Stay. Go.


Congrats on the acceptance! If you dont mind, could you PM me some tips on how your conversation with the dean went? I would like to use my transfer acceptances for scholarship negotiation as well but have no idea how to begin. Thanks :)

And I also got into Berkeley! Not sure if I'll go yet, I'm also on a scholly and on law review at my T20 school so there is a big tradeoff..

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Vincent

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Re: Transfer to Berkeley or stay at TTT

Postby Vincent » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Berkeley tuition ($52,575)+ school estimated COL ($24,324)+ current debt (20k) + accrued interest = about 200k
I did add a little extra $ for unexpected expenses in my estimation.

Chances of getting into patent prep and pros in preferred market (WA) is prob 35-40% out of school. Life sciences is just not that marketable in patent prosecution.


I made an edit above that might change your calculus a little bit. Of course, I cannot tell you what your chances are of getting a GSI position (I think it's safe to say that if it were on the table, this decision becomes very easy).

You addressed a few other things, namely preferred practice and market. I assume you have ties to Washington state? It may marginally help if you're at Seattle U. Moot court and journal are nice to have, though journal closer to your preferred practice area (or Law Review) would be better.

Personally, I would go to Berkeley, but I'm almost certainly less debt averse than you. My decision would come from the facts that I do not think I would be okay with my alternatives, and in looking at $200k, that I believe i can lower my cost of attendance significantly via teaching positions. Please keep in mind that this is the perspective of someone who attended Berkeley as an undergraduate, and later as a master's student, was able to help teach a wonderful class that I looked forward to attending every two days, though.



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