1. Do I expect tuition/living to hit $80k:
No. As a 2L/3L almost everyone gets in-state tuition, so that's a nice break (although not as it used to be, obviously). Boalt is comparable to its peer schools - I don't see what all the hubbub is about. I wouldn't pay UPenn's tuition to go there (see: weather). But I'd pay UPenn tuition to go to Boalt (see: SF).
2. Slight stat lag:
I don't think Boalt has the big scholarship dollars to throw around to bag big numbers to come here. People come here because they want to come here.
Ahhhh, no. It isn't much different than any other college town. Only we're next to SF and amazing opportunities for outdoor activities.
4. Foggy all the time:
No, though it does roll in during the late evening. It's been a very sunny September. We're still swimming (especially on the other side of the hill).
5. Deciding between:
so so many - I applied to lots of schools and was bowling for dollars. Had some great choices, usual suspects in terms of Berkeley's peer schools. Although I didn't apply to Yale, Penn, Georgetown, NYU, or Stanford. I had no interest in going any of those places. Also, in my bowling for dollars I got some full rides, but none in the top 20. If it makes sense, of everyone I know there's a good mix of people who *chose* Berkeley over higher ranked & peer & top 10 schools, and those for whom Berkeley was their top get.
6. Am I happy here?
YES. The kind of person who chooses to come here is very likely to be grounded, authentic, and genuinely nice. I was slightly pessimistic about the nature of the people who would go to law school, so I have been thrilled to be proven wrong. We share notes, we hang out, our "small mod" has done things together (I've heard of other "small mods" going to Napa for wine tasting, going to their small-mod-professor's house for dinner, and another small mod is having a series of 2-3 person lunches with their small-mod-professor). There are so many clinical offerings in which 1Ls can take part - lots of people are doing a worker's rights clinic, or CARC (asylum representation clinic), or advocates for youth justice - among many others. Also, the efforts the school is putting into bringing firms to campus is obvious. We've had *a lot* of firm-sponsored mixers on campus in which 1Ls have been allowed to participate. There's free food and booze, so we're there.
They've also brought a lot of public interest groups to campus - we just had a big public interest forum with tons of booths with everyone from the SF DA's office and the US Attorney's office to Legal Aid and the PD's office (and tons more). The 2Ls are having their callback week right now and the buzz I hear is that it's going very well. I know more than a few 2Ls with 6+ and 9+ callbacks. Quite a few seem to already have offers. They've been careful to do any talking about this away from Boalt because the general vibe absolutely discourages showing off. Word on the street, however, is very good. 2Ls/3Ls have been very generous with their advice about outlining, notes, exams, interviewing.
Can you tell I love Boalt? I'm not alone, either. The 1Ls have been pretty boisterous in their enthusiasm for Boalt.
(edited to be easier to read)