Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
ikari_ningen
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby ikari_ningen » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:16 am

solidsnake wrote:Can the current Boalties please chime in and list the "can't miss" profs for 2L and 3L classes? I don't mean famous as much as great and rigorous teachers (although hopefully those aren't mutually exclusive). Thanks.


I really want to have a class with John Yoo, since so many people go apeshit about him.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:34 am

Island Girl wrote:Hi! I'm super excited to be joining and hopefully meeting you all in the Fall! I have a question that may seem strange but I've been very curious. Are there a lot of geeks at Boalt, i.e. gamers, chess players, die-hard Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars fans?


YES

solidsnake wrote:Can the current Boalties please chime in and list the "can't miss" profs for 2L and 3L classes? I don't mean famous as much as great and rigorous teachers (although hopefully those aren't mutually exclusive). Thanks.


This would depend most on what you're interested in and what kind of teaching style you enjoy. I think you'd find as many answers as there are students here. I would suggest waiting until 1L year and seeing what kind of professors and teaching styles you enjoy, as well as what kind of classes you enjoy, and go from there.

solidsnake
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby solidsnake » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:43 am

worldtraveler wrote:
solidsnake wrote:Can the current Boalties please chime in and list the "can't miss" profs for 2L and 3L classes? I don't mean famous as much as great and rigorous teachers (although hopefully those aren't mutually exclusive). Thanks.


This would depend most on what you're interested in and what kind of teaching style you enjoy. I think you'd find as many answers as there are students here. I would suggest waiting until 1L year and seeing what kind of professors and teaching styles you enjoy, as well as what kind of classes you enjoy, and go from there.


Sorry for not being clear in my OP. I am a rising 2L; I was admitted as a transfer student to Berkeley Law last week. I am interested in seeking out those professors who have a reputation for being extremely rigorous and academically demanding, theory-rich, and do so in the context of a doctrinal class. The subject matter of the courses themselves is less important to me than studying under great professors. Can you please point me in the right direction? Thanks.

solidsnake
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby solidsnake » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:04 am

amyLAchemist wrote:
solidsnake wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:
solidsnake wrote:Can the current Boalties please chime in and list the "can't miss" profs for 2L and 3L classes? I don't mean famous as much as great and rigorous teachers (although hopefully those aren't mutually exclusive). Thanks.


This would depend most on what you're interested in and what kind of teaching style you enjoy. I think you'd find as many answers as there are students here. I would suggest waiting until 1L year and seeing what kind of professors and teaching styles you enjoy, as well as what kind of classes you enjoy, and go from there.


Sorry for not being clear in my OP. I am a rising 2L; I was admitted as a transfer student to Berkeley Law last week. I am interested in seeking out those professors who have a reputation for being extremely rigorous and academically demanding, theory-rich, and do so in the context of a doctrinal class. The subject matter of the courses themselves is less important to me than studying under great professors. Can you please point me in the right direction? Thanks.


You do want to focus on something, right? If so, what? Are you firm or PI focused, have interest in a particular area of the law?

i.e. I hear Fed Courts and Patent Lit are amazing classes at Boalt, but it's hard to say what you might like without knowing more about you. :)


I'm trying to be a little vague as to my identity so as not to totally out self. I'm interested in the standard soft-IP fare, media and internet law, and other manifestations of communication/privacy/free speech law generally. That being said, if there were a certain amazing con law, bankruptcy, or tax prof at Boalt, I would take the class just to have my mind blown. I have the rest of my life to pursue interests, and interests are typically fleeting, anyway.

With which profs should I take Fed Courts and Patent Lit? Thank you again for your help.

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Rotor
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Rotor » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:24 am

Fed Courts with Judge Fletcher (9th Cir) (offered only in the fall). Any IP class with Van Houwling, I hear. This upcoming term, Evidence with Sklansky is one of the must takefor the prof type classes but many are waiting for spring to take it with Swift for the same reason. For tax, Gergen is extremely rigorous and theoretical. I had him for property, but tax is his specialty. However, he was so rigorous/theoretical to the point many didn't like the class (I really enjoyed it). Have heard good things about the other tax profs too (Rakowski and Gamage).

This is just scratching the surface. WT is right. The question is far too open ended for an effective answer-- I just picked on the couple of things you mentioned for specifics.

solidsnake
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby solidsnake » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:34 am

Rotor wrote:Fed Courts with Judge Fletcher (9th Cir) (offered only in the fall). Any IP class with Van Houwling, I hear. This upcoming term, Evidence with Sklansky is one of the must takefor the prof type classes but many are waiting for spring to take it with Swift for the same reason. For tax, Gergen is extremely rigorous and theoretical. I had him for property, but tax is his specialty. However, he was so rigorous/theoretical to the point many didn't like the class (I really enjoyed it). Have heard good things about the other tax profs too (Rakowski and Gamage).

This is just scratching the surface. WT is right. The question is far too open ended for an effective answer-- I just picked on the couple of things you mentioned for specifics.


Thanks. These are the type of recs I'm looking for -- the legends on campus that every student talks, or at least knows, about. The profs that are so rigorous/theoretical to the point many didn't like the class tended to be my favorite profs during 1L since those profs offer so much of themselves, profiling them becomes more interesting than the actual subject matter of the class. The subject matter merely provides a context in which to observe (and emulate? and challenge?) that prof's legal mind at work (within her pet specialty, no less). I absolutely LOVE that shite. Thanks again.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:50 am

I'm having trouble finding good info on the campus gym. Do any of you use it often, and if so, can you comment on it?

I just want a place where I can do some simple exercise on a regular basis, but I don't know how accessible it is (i.e. how crowded it gets, where it even is, and if parking is available or if you must walk/bus there). I would consider getting a membership at a private gym if it would make my 1L life easier.

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Rotor
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Rotor » Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:08 am

Tangerine Gleam wrote:I'm having trouble finding good info on the campus gym. Do any of you use it often, and if so, can you comment on it?

I just want a place where I can do some simple exercise on a regular basis, but I don't know how accessible it is (i.e. how crowded it gets, where it even is, and if parking is available or if you must walk/bus there). I would consider getting a membership at a private gym if it would make my 1L life easier.

Look online for the recreational sports facility better known simply as the RSF. Lots of folks use it and seem happy with it. They even run fitness programs you can join. A bunch from my mod did a "bootcamp" every day before class and loved it. (may have been an extra fee)

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Island Girl
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Island Girl » Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:24 am

Tangerine Gleam wrote:I'm having trouble finding good info on the campus gym. Do any of you use it often, and if so, can you comment on it?

I just want a place where I can do some simple exercise on a regular basis, but I don't know how accessible it is (i.e. how crowded it gets, where it even is, and if parking is available or if you must walk/bus there). I would consider getting a membership at a private gym if it would make my 1L life easier.

Based on my personal experience, I've never had any real problems with access to equipment at the gym. I would usually go late afternoon to early evening on the weekdays, and even though the RSF (gym name) would "look" full, I'd always be able to access a treadmill or eliptical almost immediately. I may have just been lucky those times but mornings, I'm assuming, are the slow times. There are rooms where all sorts of activities, sports and classes are held. There is a set schedule posted for each of these activities. I recommend circuit training. That was fun. I'm looking into taking ballet classes myself in the Fall.


The RSF is on Bancroft, a little ways down the Bancroft and Telegraph intersection. Very walkable from Boalt. And since it's downhill to the RSF from our building, I'm sure you wouldn't mind. ;) There is a parking lot across the way from the RSF but walking is much better and more convenient.

My final recommendation: Use the RSF. It's only $10 per semester for access to a facility that's on par if not better than other private gyms. Hope this helps!

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:18 am

OK, great to hear. I wouldn't mind walking from Boalt at all (as it looks like RSF is on my way home anyways). Perfect -- thanks both for the info!

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Island Girl
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Island Girl » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:59 am

worldtraveler wrote:
Island Girl wrote:Hi! I'm super excited to be joining and hopefully meeting you all in the Fall! I have a question that may seem strange but I've been very curious. Are there a lot of geeks at Boalt, i.e. gamers, chess players, die-hard Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars fans?


YES


Aaah. Good to know that my geekiness is going to have a home at Boalt. Thanks worldtraveler. :D

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Island Girl
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Island Girl » Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:21 pm

amyLAchemist wrote:
Island Girl wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:
Island Girl wrote:Hi! I'm super excited to be joining and hopefully meeting you all in the Fall! I have a question that may seem strange but I've been very curious. Are there a lot of geeks at Boalt, i.e. gamers, chess players, die-hard Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars fans?


YES


Aaah. Good to know that my geekiness is going to have a home at Boalt. Thanks worldtraveler. :D


I am one of said geeks. worldtraveler (or any other Boalt student) can attest to that. :)

May I join the club? How much for membership fees? :D

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Island Girl
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Island Girl » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:02 am

amyLAchemist wrote:
Island Girl wrote:quote]
May I join the club? How much for membership fees? :D


Completely free. :) Do you happen to be an IP law person?

You know, that's a very good question. I'm very interested in IP but I heard that if you can't pursue Patent Law, it'll be a big disadvantage. I don't have a science degree and I didn't take enough science, engineering, etc. units in undergrad for me to qualify to take the Patent Bar. I obviously can't count IP out immediately without doing more research but it seems like an uphill battle from here on out if I really want to pursue it. The one comfort I have is that I used to enjoy a sort of fluency in the sciences until my undergrad years came along when I focused solely on the liberal arts. Did excellent in my AP exams, especially Chemistry. I wish I hadn't completely abandoned Physics, Chem and Bio....Amy, do you mind sharing your thoughts regarding this? Do you think it's still doable for someone like me to do IP? Are there many successful, non-Patent IP Boalties out there? Is there some sort of program for Boalties without a science degree to assist them in getting qualified for the Patent Bar? Hah. So many questions. I think you may have opened up a can of worms, my dear. :) Oh and thank you kindly in advance.

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Island Girl
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Island Girl » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:49 pm

Thank you amyLAchemist! Your response and article are very helpful. And happy to know that there are people I can talk to who are in the same boat as I am. I will let you know if anything else comes to mind! :)

entertainme
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby entertainme » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:19 pm

I'm curious about the car situation. I have a car but am considering selling it and doing Zipcar or City CarShare. Does anyone use one of these car sharing services? I don't have a burning desire to drive all over the place but would like to have the freedom to go where I want. Should I just bring my car? Thanks in advance!

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screwsandboalts
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby screwsandboalts » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:58 pm

I was wondering about the car situation as well. For residency purposes, I was thinking it would be a good idea to get my CA driver's license and plates for my car in August. If anyone else is on board, maybe we could all set up a time to go to the DMV together to make it less paunful.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:02 pm

screwsandboalts wrote:I was wondering about the car situation as well. For residency purposes, I was thinking it would be a good idea to get my CA driver's license and plates for my car in August. If anyone else is on board, maybe we could all set up a time to go to the DMV together to make it less paunful.


If you make an appointment online a few weeks in advance, the CA DMV isn't too painful. The two times I've done it have taken less than 30 minutes of waiting. Reservations = highly recommended.

ikari_ningen
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby ikari_ningen » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:29 pm

When should I accept my loans? When does financial aid usually disperse?

Also my aid keeps fluctuating, so I'm hesitant to accept any loans until I know where I'm living and when financial aid has set my aid for good.

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23fulltimecowboys
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby 23fulltimecowboys » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:59 am

amyLAchemist wrote:
Tangerine Gleam wrote:
screwsandboalts wrote:I was wondering about the car situation as well. For residency purposes, I was thinking it would be a good idea to get my CA driver's license and plates for my car in August. If anyone else is on board, maybe we could all set up a time to go to the DMV together to make it less paunful.


If you make an appointment online a few weeks in advance, the CA DMV isn't too painful. The two times I've done it have taken less than 30 minutes of waiting. Reservations = highly recommended.


I would also suggest making an early morning appointment. Less chance of delay.


I'm in the Bay area now and was thinking of doing this.

1) For the SF DMV, the first appointment I could get (as of a few days ago) was AUGUST 3rd (and they would only book as far out as the 5th...). So you might want to make your appointment very soon indeed. The Oakland DMV was much better, early-mid July.

2) For those of you who have already done this, what advice can you give for the following situation: I'm living at my girlfriend's apartment for part of the summer, off-lease, and can't use what will be my own permanent CA address (in Berkeley) until mid-August (can't even have mail sent there). Do I therefore need to wait until August to deal with the DMV and a license, or can I put down her address without issue? (and then maybe change it after getting my license?) How about voter reg?

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:32 pm

23fulltimecowboys wrote:2) For those of you who have already done this, what advice can you give for the following situation: I'm living at my girlfriend's apartment for part of the summer, off-lease, and can't use what will be my own permanent CA address (in Berkeley) until mid-August (can't even have mail sent there). Do I therefore need to wait until August to deal with the DMV and a license, or can I put down her address without issue? (and then maybe change it after getting my license?) How about voter reg?


Are you already a CA resident and license holder? I think you can change address really easily via mail if so. If you're new to CA, however, you'll have to have many documents proving your residence at that address. I.e. usually several of the following: lease, utility bill, bank statement, etc. I can't remember quite how it worked, but I do know that if you Google "California drivers license requirements", etc., there is lots of info online so that you know you'll be going in prepared.

Aggiegrad2011
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:03 pm

Hey Boalties!

I have a couple of questions as an October-applier.

As I'm taking the LSAT in October, I am going to be behind the 8-ball in applying (compared to all the June LSAT folks) and I am trying to get my ducks in a row in terms of the credentialing service. To that end, I'm working with professors to square away my LoRs and I am preparing a first draft of my PS.

I know the value of targeted letters (I have been consuming TLS media voraciously now for 2 1/2 weeks, it's close to information overload but what can you do?) and so I asked my number one recommender (3 classes, all A+, and she is also my Honors Thesis PoI) if she would mind writing targeted letters for SLS and Berkeley Law. She said she would not mind, so here I am.

I have visited the campus writ-large and Boalt Hall proper once each, I have the Berkeley Law viewbook, and have read everything there is to read about Berkeley Law on TLS (Including the Dean Tom interviews AND podcasts) and so I have a fairly decent grounding for what I want to say about my contribution to Berkeley Law in my PS. However, I am flummoxed as to what I should suggest my letter writer "hone in" on to target the letter at Boalt. Perhaps I misunderstand the way targeted letters are meant to be, so let me elucidate my understanding and you all can smash me down if I'm terribly mistaken.

It is my understanding that a targeted letter serves the purpose of declaring to School X that prospective law student Y would be a specifically good fit for their program because of reasons A, B, C, and so on. Therefore, it would help that the professor know prospective law student was interested in School X's Environmental Law, or Social Justice program, right?

Perhaps this seems choppy, but it reads OK to me. Please help, I am totally at a loss as to how to properly get my LoR targeted to Berkeley Law!

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Rotor
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Rotor » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:09 am

I just asked my recommenders to write a specific letter for each school so it reads "Dear Berkeley Law admissions" instead of "To whom it may concern". As to how they tailored it after that, I can't really say since I didn't see the letters. But even that speaks a lot to your interest in a particular school. (profs aren't likely to personalize if you are applying to tons of schools. And even if they do, they must really like you and isn't that the point?)

If they know what you want to specialize in that could be a bonus, but I don't think it's essential.

Also--targeted letters aren't Boalt specific. You may want to ask the broader TLS for advice.

Aggiegrad2011
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:17 pm

Rotor wrote:I just asked my recommenders to write a specific letter for each school so it reads "Dear Berkeley Law admissions" instead of "To whom it may concern". As to how they tailored it after that, I can't really say since I didn't see the letters. But even that speaks a lot to your interest in a particular school. (profs aren't likely to personalize if you are applying to tons of schools. And even if they do, they must really like you and isn't that the point?)

If they know what you want to specialize in that could be a bonus, but I don't think it's essential.

Also--targeted letters aren't Boalt specific. You may want to ask the broader TLS for advice.


Right - You can also target them to "IP" programs, or "Enviromental Law" programs. However, I wanted my letters specifically targeted to what program(s) I find most interesting at the two schools at the top of my list. The remainder of my applications will get the "for all law schools" recommendation. For MY purposes, the targeted letters will be Boalt- and Stanford-specific.

Thanks for the advice! I'll make sure my recommenders change their addressing line from "To whom it may concern" to something more specific for the targeted letters.

MollyAlisa
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby MollyAlisa » Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:59 pm

I'm a 0L and, while I'm very excited to be starting next month, I'm also a bit worried about what my schedule is going to be like. I kind of hate that I won't find out what my days will look like until 4 days before classes start! What would a typical day/week look like in the first semester of 1L?

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TheTopBloke
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby TheTopBloke » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:08 pm

Is Berkeley genuinely a good place for free thinkers, or is it more a place for conformist liberal dogma?

Also, would the latest problems in Cali including the UC finance issues be a genuine reason, or merely an excuse, to cross Berkeley off the list?

I heard somewhere the law library is closed more than most people would like, and I do think that is a genuine concern for potential students. If you cant utilize it, what's the point, right?




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