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.
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Billy Blanks
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Billy Blanks » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:51 pm

doomswitched wrote:
Billy Blanks wrote:Although I'm interested in practicing public interest law, I'd like to ground that in an academic study of constitutional law and policy. Can you comment on the quality of constitutional (federal or state) classes that you or your classmates have taken? How do you feel these classes compare to the other classes offered (namely, do you feel that this is a strength at Boalt)?

I already was interested in ConLaw, so I have some bias, but I really liked those classes. I took California ConLaw and Federal Courts this past semester. Both were good. The state class is team taught in a seminar style format. They cover a wide range of topics, so at least a few classes should be interesting to you. Most were for me. Judge Fletcher, on the 9th Circuit, teaches FedCts and both he and it are fantastic. Goodwin Liu teaches the basic ConLaw course and is well regarded by students. Jesse Choper teaches a 1st Amendment class, and is a noted authority. Ian Haney Lopez also teaches ConLaw but does so from a critical race theory perspective. I've heard good things. I took ConLaw with a visiting professor--Calvin Massey. He is a repeat visitor and teaches normally at Hastings. He was good. So, in sum, yeah, I think we have a good ConLaw program. ConLaw comes up all over the place in other classes, so your exposure will not be limited to just the stock courses.


Great, thanks!

crossingforHYS
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby crossingforHYS » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:30 pm

Boalt1L wrote:I mean overall Boalt is liberal, but I mean I honestly don't hear too much about politics. There are people from all parts of the country with various political views. I'm pretty apathetic so I try avoid these conversations, which I never find to be productive, and most other people don't really seem to care that much either. The only real thing is the fire John Yoo people, but honestly I got law school work to do, and I'm able to easily ignore.


Thank you for answering!

LSlobbyist
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby LSlobbyist » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:14 pm

Any concerns on how the state budget is going to affect the school from current students? How is the administration addressing these oncoming issues?

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doomswitched
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby doomswitched » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:07 pm

LSlobbyist wrote:Any concerns on how the state budget is going to affect the school from current students? How is the administration addressing these oncoming issues?

The effects are fairly limited because the law school is relatively insulated from the main campus. The main campus budget problems affect law school staff, like custodial staff. So there are problems with keeping the building clean. Otherwise, no real effects. I'm not too concerned with what will happen at the law school. I am concerned about undergrads and humanities grads, however.

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CoutureChiq
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby CoutureChiq » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:15 pm

Can anyone weigh in on dog-friendly housing? Are there any apartment complexes close to campus that are dog friendly? I have a 50 pound furball that I will be bringing with me.

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23fulltimecowboys
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby 23fulltimecowboys » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:23 pm

do you know anyone who has done a joint degree? how did that go? is it any leg up in admissions being in at boalt already?

jimmyd11011
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby jimmyd11011 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:17 am

Is there a general feeling of panic because of the decreasing number of firms at OCI and the tuition increases? Are high achieving students routinely getting nothing at OCI?

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doomswitched
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby doomswitched » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:32 am

Sorry, for the delay in getting to questions. The semester has started and I'm already fairly busy. I'll keep responding several times a week, but bear with me.

CoutureChiq wrote:Can anyone weigh in on dog-friendly housing? Are there any apartment complexes close to campus that are dog friendly? I have a 50 pound furball that I will be bringing with me.

I would be surprised if there weren't a few. I think a site like padmapper.com could help in the search. It's a mashup of Craigslist postings, so you can see how far from Boalt the apartment would be.

23fulltimecowboys wrote:do you know anyone who has done a joint degree? how did that go? is it any leg up in admissions being in at boalt already?

I know of a few. I'm not sure what your second question means, but I haven't heard complaints about doing two degrees from any of them. I think any advantage depends on the program and whether they think that's a good thing.

jimmyd11011 wrote:Is there a general feeling of panic because of the decreasing number of firms at OCI and the tuition increases? Are high achieving students routinely getting nothing at OCI?

There was some panic over the tuition increases, but that panic was from students who were unaware that the increase was part of an overall plan to raise tuition. Certainly last fall around OCI there was panic. Now, I don't get that sense. I think most people have found something. The CDO was pretty blunt with us in preparing us for a bloodbath at OCI. Next fall should be significantly better, but not "back to normal." One can't really say that high achieving students "routinely" get nothing on the basis of one OCI in the midst of the biggest economic downturn post-Great Depression. Friends who did really well grade-wise did well at OCI. Lots of people, whether high achieving or not, got call back interviews, but the offer rate was not the usual rate, so there was less "success" from OCI. Based on anecdotal evidence, students who targeted NY and DC faired better than those who targeted the Bay Area, which was the majority.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:55 am

23fulltimecowboys wrote:do you know anyone who has done a joint degree? how did that go? is it any leg up in admissions being in at boalt already?


I'm doing one. As far as I know, there is no benefit to admissions, especially since the majority or joint degree people apply to the other program once they are a 1L.

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Rotor
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Rotor » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:53 am

CoutureChiq wrote:Can anyone weigh in on dog-friendly housing? Are there any apartment complexes close to campus that are dog friendly? I have a 50 pound furball that I will be bringing with me.

I have a 100 lb dog and didn't have much of a problem. Found the place through Craigslist. I am a nontrad and needed a bigger place for family/furniture so wasn't looking for big complex apts. IzziesGal has a dog in an apt in Emeryville and I know of two other 1Ls with dogs in Berk.

It will limit your choices, but it won't be impossible to find a place that takes pets.

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kumba84
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby kumba84 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:41 am

Can any of you comment on the married student housing? Is it near campus, a good value, and are there tons of kids running around? I don't really want to be surrounded by families.

Second, a question about establishing residency: I know I'd have to stay in CA during my 1L summer, but what about 2L? At that point I'm hoping to get something in D.C. Also, I've heard some people say that when you're trying to establish residency, you can't even go back to your home state to visit your family over Christmas for a week or two. True or not?

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Rotor
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Rotor » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:46 pm

kumba84 wrote:Can any of you comment on the married student housing? Is it near campus, a good value, and are there tons of kids running around? I don't really want to be surrounded by families.

Second, a question about establishing residency: I know I'd have to stay in CA during my 1L summer, but what about 2L? At that point I'm hoping to get something in D.C. Also, I've heard some people say that when you're trying to establish residency, you can't even go back to your home state to visit your family over Christmas for a week or two. True or not?

I am a 1L and haven't yet been through the process, but I did go to the residency seminar at the beginning of the semester and can give you an idea what the registrar said.

The key determinant is to manifest an objective intent to remain in CA.

First, you can go home for short breaks and still qualify. However, the more you go home the less manifest that intent. Fall or spring break should be OK. A couple weeks at Christmas would probably be OK. But to for every holiday period might send the wrong signal. Since they do a largely day-for-day accounting of your presence, if you work in Ca over the summer, they don't ask many questions about the other periods. Even if you show that you made a good faith effort to get a job here but don't get picked up, you can show them the letters declining your applications to get some credit for trying to stay here.

Going to DC shouldn't be much of a problem for residency unless you happen to be from the greater DC area. They know that's where many of the jobs are for the summer
and there's the whole UCDC program where students go for an entire semester without risking their residency. Basically, the registrar made it sound like if you are from Kansas but work in NY/DC/overseas it wouldn't be that big a deal. Go to Witchita for the summer though, you'll have trouble.

We 1Ls should be starting the process soon. We can let you know how it goes when we go through it.

I would recommend getting here a week or so before orientation. Go to the DMV (DL, plates, register to vote), get a bank account here, etc. It won't take long, but you'll want a few days to get it done before classes start.

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saradsun
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby saradsun » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:49 pm

kumba84 wrote:Can any of you comment on the married student housing? Is it near campus, a good value, and are there tons of kids running around? I don't really want to be surrounded by families.


I live at University Village and if you really don't want to be surrounded by families, don't live here. There are some non-child couples here, but I know there are over 900 children in the village (from a staff member during a discussion in November).

Near campus? No. It's a 30 min bus ride.

Good value? For a 3 br, yes, absolutely. For a 1 bedroom, I don't know, but my gut says maybe not.

Also, I established residency. I had no trouble but I did stay for T-giving, Xmas, and spring break (went back for fall break for a funeral). I also worked in CA during the summer. They did ask for a full 8 weeks proof on my CA work (i.e. the 1st stub was not enough, I had to turn in enough pay stubs for 8 weeks). Because of the funeral, I didn't get my Driver's License until the 1st week in October, but I did have that funeral excuse. I registered to vote in September, and switched my bank account in time for the September statement.

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gymboree
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby gymboree » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:15 pm

Rotor - or anyone else - do you have any advice about where to live? I'm a non-trad, married, kids, the whole bit. I'm thinking North Berkeley, Berkeley Hills, Kensington Hills, but my husband is set on Walnut Creek.

So, #1: ideas for neighborhoods with good elementary schools?

#2: Anyone have thoughts on commuting as a 1L? Anyone doing this/know of anyone else doing this successfully?

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Rotor
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Rotor » Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:06 am

gymboree wrote:Rotor - or anyone else - do you have any advice about where to live? I'm a non-trad, married, kids, the whole bit. I'm thinking North Berkeley, Berkeley Hills, Kensington Hills, but my husband is set on Walnut Creek.

So, #1: ideas for neighborhoods with good elementary schools?

#2: Anyone have thoughts on commuting as a 1L? Anyone doing this/know of anyone else doing this successfully?

I live in North Berk and enjoy it, though my wife and I don't have kids, so can't vouch for the schools. The only classmate I know who has kids commutes from Menlo Park. (not recommending, just saying I don't have any source for school info). I would certainly say if you're looking at Berkeley, North is more family friendly in general. I also wouldn't go further west than Sacramento Ave without getting eyes on the specific neighborhood.

I do have a friend who lives in Orinda (just the other side of the hill on the way to Walnut Creek) and she a) likes it and b) doesn't mind the commute. She normally takes BART from Orinda to Rockridge then the AC Transit (bus) into school. Think it takes her about 45 minutes including the transfer. You do have to pay for BART, but part of your school fees includes a bus pass to ride AC for free. Another option closer than Walnut Creek is Lafayette-- sorta small town-y/less cookie-cutter suburbia than Walnut Creek. Your rents will be lower on the other side of the hill, but don't forget to factor in BART and your time. Parking is extremely tight around campus and IIRC, the parking pass was ~$600/semester.

Not much help, I know. Sorry. I would really recommend when you are here for ASD, come for the full time that the paid tic allows and spend time driving around the Berkeley neighborhoods to get a good sense of where you might like to live so that through May/June you can be looking on Craigslist and avoiding the not so nice areas. (if you decide you want to stay closer)

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T14_Scholly
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby T14_Scholly » Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:23 am

How many classes can you skip before it affects your grade at Berkeley?

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gymboree
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby gymboree » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:25 pm

Rotor wrote:
gymboree wrote:Rotor - or anyone else - do you have any advice about where to live? I'm a non-trad, married, kids, the whole bit. I'm thinking North Berkeley, Berkeley Hills, Kensington Hills, but my husband is set on Walnut Creek.

So, #1: ideas for neighborhoods with good elementary schools?

#2: Anyone have thoughts on commuting as a 1L? Anyone doing this/know of anyone else doing this successfully?

I live in North Berk and enjoy it, though my wife and I don't have kids, so can't vouch for the schools. The only classmate I know who has kids commutes from Menlo Park. (not recommending, just saying I don't have any source for school info). I would certainly say if you're looking at Berkeley, North is more family friendly in general. I also wouldn't go further west than Sacramento Ave without getting eyes on the specific neighborhood.

I do have a friend who lives in Orinda (just the other side of the hill on the way to Walnut Creek) and she a) likes it and b) doesn't mind the commute. She normally takes BART from Orinda to Rockridge then the AC Transit (bus) into school. Think it takes her about 45 minutes including the transfer. You do have to pay for BART, but part of your school fees includes a bus pass to ride AC for free. Another option closer than Walnut Creek is Lafayette-- sorta small town-y/less cookie-cutter suburbia than Walnut Creek. Your rents will be lower on the other side of the hill, but don't forget to factor in BART and your time. Parking is extremely tight around campus and IIRC, the parking pass was ~$600/semester.

Not much help, I know. Sorry. I would really recommend when you are here for ASD, come for the full time that the paid tic allows and spend time driving around the Berkeley neighborhoods to get a good sense of where you might like to live so that through May/June you can be looking on Craigslist and avoiding the not so nice areas. (if you decide you want to stay closer)


Do any law students live in University Village? Heard anything about living there? It sounds like it has a great family atmosphere, it's relatively close to campus, and would be a way to feel more involved and close to Berk than commuting.

I appreciate your help!

edit: for detail

Neelio
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Neelio » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:34 pm

Thank you for taking questions! I was waitlisted this past week at Berkeley and was wondering if that is just a polite rejection? Or should I send a LOCI and hold on to hope?

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Rotor
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Rotor » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:50 pm

Neelio wrote:Thank you for taking questions! I was waitlisted this past week at Berkeley and was wondering if that is just a polite rejection? Or should I send a LOCI and hold on to hope?

Last year, I didn't get the sense that Boalt used the WL as a soft reject like some other schools do. And does it really matter what they do? If you really want Boalt, write the LOCI. That's one of the few things that's in your control.

That said, I'm not sure how active the WL was last year. The 1L class is pretty big this year, but I don't know whether that is from a higher than expected yield or pulling from the WL to generate a little more revenue.

P.S. Don't thank us. Thank you all for posting questions so we have a rationalization to procrastinate writing our court briefs.

Edits: to add the PS and fix a typo.
Last edited by Rotor on Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Neelio
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Neelio » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:51 pm

Rotor wrote:
Neelio wrote:Thank you for taking questions! I was waitlisted this past week at Berkeley and was wondering if that is just a polite rejection? Or should I send a LOCI and hold on to hope?

Last year, I didn't get the sense that Boalt used the WL as a soft reject like some other schools do. And does it really matter what they do? If you really want Boalt, write the LOCI. That's one of the few things that's in your control.

That said, I'm not sure how active the WL was last year. The 1L class is pretty big this year, but I don't know whether that is from a higher than expected yield or pulling from the WL to generate a little more revenue.


Thanks for the response, I'll definitely be sending in a LOCI.

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Rotor
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Rotor » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:06 pm

Gymboree-- Saradsun has a post just a few up from here that talks about Univ Village. The only thing I'd reenforce is that it isn't really close. It's on the Albany/Berkeley border on the west end of town. It is closer than coming through the tunnel, but I wouldn't call it close.

Another resource: http://parents.berkeley.edu/

It's geared towards parents, but there is some good info in there for housing in general and things to do, etc.

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sirchristaylor
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby sirchristaylor » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:20 pm

c
Last edited by sirchristaylor on Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

Boalt1L
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby Boalt1L » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:56 pm

sirchristaylor wrote:I'm still waiting on my admitted student packet, but need to plan for admitted students weekend asap. This year it will be held on the weekend of 9 April. Is the weekend generally just a weekend? Or is it longer than that in your experience? Also, does the school pay for a hotel, or is that something you'll arrange on your own?

In addition, I'm coming from the east coast. How do leases generally work? Is it like most other places where you wait until about a month before you need an apartment to really look, or do landlords offer leases a year in advance as they do in places like Boston?

Finally, while I don't mind selling most of my belongings, there are a few things that i'd like to bring over, including a chair and a piano. Does anyone here have experience in moving cross-country? If so, any advice? I'm not willing to drive a U-Haul the entire way, so I'm looking to ship things for under 1k if at all possible. My research has only returned very expensive options, even for shipping a small amount of stuff.

Thanks! :D


Theres stuff to do on thurs night fri night and saturday during the day, I regretted leaving Saturday morning because more stuff was goin on. The school will send you a request form for a student host, and you can just stay at some student's place for free. This is a great chance to answer questions about what being a student is like.
Leasing is generally done like a few days or so before maybe 10 days. Use craigslist, craigslist is the THE BEST source for housing. Don't make the mistake a lot of people make and SEE HOW FAR AWAY THE PLACE IS FROM CAMPUS. 1 MILE IS FAR, MORE THAN A MILE IS SUPER FAR. Berk's bus system takes forever, so while a place 1.5 miles away may seem close IT IS NOT, Berkeley's roads were not meant for vehicles.

General advice for housing. Don't go past MLK in that direction, Dont go past Ashby in the other direction, and not past Rose or so the other way. try make a square of that on mapquest. You don't wanna spend an hour of your free time on a bus!

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sirchristaylor
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby sirchristaylor » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:59 pm

Boalt1L wrote:
sirchristaylor wrote:I'm still waiting on my admitted student packet, but need to plan for admitted students weekend asap. This year it will be held on the weekend of 9 April. Is the weekend generally just a weekend? Or is it longer than that in your experience? Also, does the school pay for a hotel, or is that something you'll arrange on your own?

In addition, I'm coming from the east coast. How do leases generally work? Is it like most other places where you wait until about a month before you need an apartment to really look, or do landlords offer leases a year in advance as they do in places like Boston?

Finally, while I don't mind selling most of my belongings, there are a few things that i'd like to bring over, including a chair and a piano. Does anyone here have experience in moving cross-country? If so, any advice? I'm not willing to drive a U-Haul the entire way, so I'm looking to ship things for under 1k if at all possible. My research has only returned very expensive options, even for shipping a small amount of stuff.

Thanks! :D


Theres stuff to do on thurs night fri night and saturday during the day, I regretted leaving Saturday morning because more stuff was goin on. The school will send you a request form for a student host, and you can just stay at some student's place for free. This is a great chance to answer questions about what being a student is like.
Leasing is generally done like a few days or so before maybe 10 days. Use craigslist, craigslist is the THE BEST source for housing. Don't make the mistake a lot of people make and SEE HOW FAR AWAY THE PLACE IS FROM CAMPUS. 1 MILE IS FAR, MORE THAN A MILE IS SUPER FAR. Berk's bus system takes forever, so while a place 1.5 miles away may seem close IT IS NOT, Berkeley's roads were not meant for vehicles.

General advice for housing. Don't go past MLK in that direction, Dont go past Ashby in the other direction, and not past Rose or so the other way. try make a square of that on mapquest. You don't wanna spend an hour of your free time on a bus!



Thanks!

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doomswitched
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Re: Berkeley Students (Boalties) Taking Questions

Postby doomswitched » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:01 pm

gymboree wrote:
Rotor wrote:
gymboree wrote:Rotor - or anyone else - do you have any advice about where to live? I'm a non-trad, married, kids, the whole bit. I'm thinking North Berkeley, Berkeley Hills, Kensington Hills, but my husband is set on Walnut Creek.

So, #1: ideas for neighborhoods with good elementary schools?

#2: Anyone have thoughts on commuting as a 1L? Anyone doing this/know of anyone else doing this successfully?

I live in North Berk and enjoy it, though my wife and I don't have kids, so can't vouch for the schools. The only classmate I know who has kids commutes from Menlo Park. (not recommending, just saying I don't have any source for school info). I would certainly say if you're looking at Berkeley, North is more family friendly in general. I also wouldn't go further west than Sacramento Ave without getting eyes on the specific neighborhood.

I do have a friend who lives in Orinda (just the other side of the hill on the way to Walnut Creek) and she a) likes it and b) doesn't mind the commute. She normally takes BART from Orinda to Rockridge then the AC Transit (bus) into school. Think it takes her about 45 minutes including the transfer. You do have to pay for BART, but part of your school fees includes a bus pass to ride AC for free. Another option closer than Walnut Creek is Lafayette-- sorta small town-y/less cookie-cutter suburbia than Walnut Creek. Your rents will be lower on the other side of the hill, but don't forget to factor in BART and your time. Parking is extremely tight around campus and IIRC, the parking pass was ~$600/semester.

Not much help, I know. Sorry. I would really recommend when you are here for ASD, come for the full time that the paid tic allows and spend time driving around the Berkeley neighborhoods to get a good sense of where you might like to live so that through May/June you can be looking on Craigslist and avoiding the not so nice areas. (if you decide you want to stay closer)


Do any law students live in University Village? Heard anything about living there? It sounds like it has a great family atmosphere, it's relatively close to campus, and would be a way to feel more involved and close to Berk than commuting.

I appreciate your help!

edit: for detail


I will echo Sara's comments on the Village--3 bedroom is way below market, 2 bedroom is slightly below market.

Albany has highly regarded public schools, which is why the rents in the private sector are higher than in Berkeley. So, there's an added bonus for living at the Village. The commute is a half hour, but the Village is fairly early in the bus route, so you can usually get a seat and then you've got a half hour to read without your children asking you for something to eat or drink or to show you the picture they just drew. The bus drops you off in front of Boalt near the end of the route. You can also read on the trip home.

The Village is laid out nicely. There are numerous courtyards and kids can play in the courtyard with all their friends, while you take care of whatever needs to get done inside. The grounds are well-maintained and the units are not bad. In addition, there's the community support here, as most of the residents are grad students with children, so everyone knows how hard this is and will help out when needed.




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