Boalt 1Ls taking questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
gymboree
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:48 am

Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby gymboree » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:25 pm

Hey all -
we're on fall break so I might have some time to answer questions. We might even get Shaggier and Tintin to pipe in... you never know.

Ask away.

d34d9823
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby d34d9823 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:28 pm

Do you expect tuition/living expenses to hit $80K by the time you graduate?

Why do you think Boalt's hiring numbers lag behind similarly ranked schools?

Why do you think Boalt's LSAT/GPA stats lag behind similarly ranked schools?

Is Berkeley really as crazy as advertised?

Is it true that it's foggy all the time?

005618502
Posts: 2577
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:56 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby 005618502 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:33 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:Do you expect tuition/living expenses to hit $80K by the time you graduate?

Why do you think Boalt's hiring numbers lag behind similarly ranked schools?

Why do you think Boalt's LSAT/GPA stats lag behind similarly ranked schools?

Is Berkeley really as crazy as advertised?

Is it true that it's foggy all the time?


+1

Also what schools were you deciding between, why did you pick Berkeley, are you happy with your choice

User avatar
aguacaliente
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:44 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby aguacaliente » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:41 pm

would you be willing to obtain outlines for a student at another school now taking a class with a former boalt prof?

if so, let's pm. i need an insider at boalt!

User avatar
gymboree
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:48 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby gymboree » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:26 pm

aguacaliente wrote:would you be willing to obtain outlines for a student at another school now taking a class with a former boalt prof?

if so, let's pm. i need an insider at boalt!


pm'd you.

User avatar
gymboree
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:48 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby gymboree » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:49 pm

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.

3. Berzerkely: 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)
Last edited by gymboree on Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
heyyitskatie
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby heyyitskatie » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:47 pm

gymboree is a lot more tuned in than I am in regards to how the 2Ls and 3Ls are doing, but in terms of the fluffy stuff:

1) Boalt is nowhere near as crazy as the "Bezerkeley" stereotype would lead you to believe. We're definitely to the left of center as a student body, but politics comes up very infrequently an it's not often what we talk about amongst ourselves.
2) I am very glad I chose Boalt. I'm sure other schools are great, too, but as a whole, people are very naturally unassuming, engaged, and interesting. There are people who like to talk in class more than others, but I haven't gotten the impression that they think they are smarter than others...just more talkative. In general, it's a pretty drama free, gunner free environment.
3) I'm not sure if this is standard (i'm really just differentiating this from undergrad), but the professors are surprisingly available. All of our professors have at least one set of office hours each week that people with your class schedule are guaranteed to be able to attend, they have about 6 office hours weekly, and they actually want you to come talk to them (about the material or just to talk). They also ask you for feedback about how you feel the class is going, how well you think they are explaining things, and even ideas to improve the class.

User avatar
Dignan
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:52 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Dignan » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:44 pm

Another Boalt 1L here.
d34dluk3 wrote:Do you expect tuition/living expenses to hit $80K by the time you graduate?

No. As others have said, overall cost is going to be similar to other T14 schools, give or take a couple thousand.

Why do you think Boalt's hiring numbers lag behind similarly ranked schools?

I'll defer to 3Ls on this one. I'm not even sure the premise of your question is valid, as the Vault 250 placement stats (which is what I assume you're talking about) don't take into account PI and academic positions, two areas where Berkeley places quite well.

Why do you think Boalt's LSAT/GPA stats lag behind similarly ranked schools?

Some of it has to do with admissions philosophy. The admissions office here claims that it doesn't track GPA and LSAT medians during the admissions cycle, and I believe them. Many (most?) other T14 schools are very conscious of their medians as they review applications.

On TLS last year, several UVA admits mentioned talking to UVA's admissions office about whether updated transcripts should be sent to LSAC once final semester grades were in. According to these posters, UVA flat-out told them not to update if their GPA fell below 3.85, which was the median UVA was shooting for with its incoming class. I don't think that kind of shit goes on here.

Also, I've noticed that the overwhelming majority of students here have at least a year or two of work experience. If you're fresh out of undergrad with great numbers and haven't done something pretty special (besides get excellent grades) in undergrad, you're probably going to have a tough time getting in.

Is Berkeley really as crazy as advertised?

I'm more conservative--both politically and socially--than the average Berkeley student/resident, but I don't think it's as crazy as the stereotype. The law school seems pretty sane, notwithstanding the occasional John Yoo protest.

Is it true that it's foggy all the time?

No. It's usually sunny and warm from about 10 to 6. It's not like living in SF. But if you love warm summer evenings, you'll be disappointed with the weather here. Most evenings, the temperature is in the low 60s by 7 or 8 o'clock.

User avatar
Shaggier1
Posts: 721
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:57 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Shaggier1 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:24 am

Why do you think Boalt's LSAT/GPA stats lag behind similarly ranked schools?


GPA "lags" only behind HYS...

As for the LSAT... Dean Tom spent a lot of time talking to us about his admissions philosophy. He spoke at length about the characteristics of our class and what he looks for in a student. At the end of the day, our LSAT median is "low" ( :roll: I mean comeon, it is 95th percentile...) because Berkeley is one of the (very) few law schools that isn't full of shit when it claims to be truly holistic in its admissions practices.

One thing you realize very quickly is that your law school experience law school will be greatly affected by the quality of your classmates--and mine continue to impress me. When I am studying with and interacting with my classmates, I don't stop and say to myself "shucks, I wish she had scored 4 more points on that standardized test that no one cares about anymore once you get here." Instead, I think about how cool it is that they are multi-lingual peace corps volunteers, and frighteningly smart biochemistry PhD's. I am inspired by thoughts of the great things they will do with their law degrees.

b1ue
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:42 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby b1ue » Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:47 am

Shaggier1 wrote:GPA "lags" only behind HYS...

(the only schools placing well ITE...)

Shaggier1 wrote:As for the LSAT... Dean Tom spent a lot of time talking to us about his admissions philosophy.

READ: Stroking our 0L egos and justifying his own work...

Shaggier1 wrote:I think about how cool it is that they are multi-lingual peace corps volunteers...

READ: Entitled, self-righteous trustafarians....

Shaggier1 wrote:and frighteningly smart biochemistry PhD's.

READ: And some asians...

Shaggier1 wrote:I am inspired by thoughts of the great things they will do with their law degrees.

Such as post on JDU, and volunteer at Legal Aid.

HTH

User avatar
gymboree
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:48 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby gymboree » Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:52 am

You had to expect the trolls, right? Don't feed him guys. He's obviously never visited Boalt, known anyone at Boalt, nor engaged with humans much outside of trolling here and JDU.

On another note, Boalt Class of 2013 is 59% women and 54% people of color. So, yes, Dean Tom can congratulate himself on a job well done all he wants. Those numbers are unprecedented.

User avatar
Shaggier1
Posts: 721
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:57 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Shaggier1 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:14 am

Shaggier1 wrote:
and frighteningly smart biochemistry PhD's.

READ: And some asians...


Have to admit that I lol'ed at this one.

But seriously, I don't get why people on TLS hate on Boalt...

005618502
Posts: 2577
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:56 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby 005618502 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:28 pm

Well i will be goin to UVA next year, but i will admit i am a huge berkeley fan. It was one of the schools i was admitted to for undergrad, so i visited and also visited the law school since it was my #2 choice.

I loved it there, though it was a little dirty and very diverse, i felt that people were nice and very intelligent. No one can say Berkeley is not a great school, its the best public undergrad in the country as well as the best public law school at the moment. There are insanely smart people there, though i didnt like walking around feeling like a minority without getting a boost for it :p (im white lol)

Anyways people hate on Berkeley because most people on this forum are people with high LSAT and medicore GPA, and Berkeley wouldnt take them even with their LSAT in the 99th percentile. Do i think Berkeley deserves to be #7? i dont know, but i think it should stay a T14 for sure.

One bad thing is that their career prospects in my book lag behing the other T10, and im not sure exactly why this is.... maybe because its so far from NYC, chicago, DC...

thisguy456
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:42 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby thisguy456 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:38 pm

Is it wise to choose Boalt at sticker over similarly ranked east cost schools at sticker if you want to end up on the east cost?

User avatar
Dignan
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:52 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Dignan » Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:13 pm

thisguy456 wrote:Is it wise to choose Boalt at sticker over similarly ranked east cost schools at sticker if you want to end up on the east cost?

I don't think that a bunch of 1Ls are going to be able to provide a meaningful answer to your question.

I suggest talking to East Coast lawyers who do a lot of recruiting/hiring of 2Ls and 3Ls. When I did this last spring, here are the answers I got:

1. If you know you want to work in NYC, definitely go with NYU or CLS over Boalt.
2. Opinion was divided on whether Penn or UVA would give one an advantage over Boalt in NYC. A couple attorneys said it would; most said it wouldn't.
3. If you want to work in DC, and you're not in at Harvard or Yale, it probably won't matter which T10 school you go to, but an East Coast school gives you the significant logistical advantage of being a relatively short train ride away for networking and interviews.

FWIW, the few Boalt 3Ls I know who have targeted the East Coast market have done very well. All of them already have firm jobs lined up in NYC, Philly, or DC. But it's a small sample size, and self-selection is probably a factor--i.e., students who go to Boalt knowing that they want an East Coast job might have better focus and better grades.

005618502
Posts: 2577
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:56 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby 005618502 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:48 pm

thisguy456 wrote:Is it wise to choose Boalt at sticker over similarly ranked east cost schools at sticker if you want to end up on the east cost?


No, UVA, Penn, and Mich will all place better east coast then Berkeley. Though it does all depend on grades. If you are in the top 25% at Berk but barely above median at MVP, then Berkeley will do much better almost anywhere.

Oh and ^^ Berkeley is not a peer school of columbia, you would have to be nuts to take berkeley sticker over columbia.

User avatar
Shaggier1
Posts: 721
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:57 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Shaggier1 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:40 pm

No, UVA, Penn, and Mich will all place better east coast then Berkeley.


Mich places better East Coast than Berkeley?

(Not being snarky, btw. Legitimately asking...)

As for UVA and Penn... you cannot discount self-selection. A lot (a large majority actually) of the students I know at Boalt want to stay in CA (if not the Bay Area) specifically.

005618502
Posts: 2577
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:56 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby 005618502 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:26 pm

Shaggier1 wrote:
No, UVA, Penn, and Mich will all place better east coast then Berkeley.


Mich places better East Coast than Berkeley?

(Not being snarky, btw. Legitimately asking...)

As for UVA and Penn... you cannot discount self-selection. A lot (a large majority actually) of the students I know at Boalt want to stay in CA (if not the Bay Area) specifically.


Well they have more east coast firms come to their OCI, i have no idea if that means anything

User avatar
clintonius
Posts: 1239
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:50 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby clintonius » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:04 am

Dignan wrote:On TLS last year, several UVA admits mentioned talking to UVA's admissions office about whether updated transcripts should be sent to LSAC once final semester grades were in. According to these posters, UVA flat-out told them not to update if their GPA fell below 3.85, which was the median UVA was shooting for with its incoming class. I don't think that kind of shit goes on here.
Did you mean that non-admitted candidates were told this? Otherwise this doesn't really make sense (it doesn't actually make sense then, either, unless UVA takes a whole bunch of people in June or something). UVA is forced only to report the GPA of matriculating students, and I think it's safe to assume that they have to get a final transcript from the undergrad of each incoming student. The fact that your GPA dropped during the last semester doesn't matter if you're already admitted.

User avatar
Dignan
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:52 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Dignan » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:42 am

clintonius wrote:
Dignan wrote:On TLS last year, several UVA admits mentioned talking to UVA's admissions office about whether updated transcripts should be sent to LSAC once final semester grades were in. According to these posters, UVA flat-out told them not to update if their GPA fell below 3.85, which was the median UVA was shooting for with its incoming class. I don't think that kind of shit goes on here.
Did you mean that non-admitted candidates were told this? Otherwise this doesn't really make sense (it doesn't actually make sense then, either, unless UVA takes a whole bunch of people in June or something). UVA is forced only to report the GPA of matriculating students, and I think it's safe to assume that they have to get a final transcript from the undergrad of each incoming student. The fact that your GPA dropped during the last semester doesn't matter if you're already admitted.

No, it was definitely admitted students who were told that. I don't feel like sifting through the 3,500+ post "UVA 2010, RD" thread to find the posts, but they're in there.

Anyway, I am reasonably certain that the law school has to submit GPAs as reported to the school by LSAC. Although schools require that admitted students submit final transcripts directly to the school, those final transcripts do not serve as the basis for the GPA figures that are reported to the bar (and, eventually, to USNWR). So there's definitely a logic to UVA asking its admitted students not to submit updated transcripts to LSAC in the event of a drop in cumulative GPA.

User avatar
clintonius
Posts: 1239
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:50 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby clintonius » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:47 am

I'd like a link for the italicized chunk of your post, but assuming it's true, that's pretty interesting.

User avatar
Dignan
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:52 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Dignan » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:50 am

clintonius wrote:I'd like a link for the italicized chunk of your post, but assuming it's true, that's pretty interesting.

Actually, it turned out to be pretty easy to find what I was referring to in the UVA thread. This definitely isn't the only example of it in the thread, but look about 10 posts down on this page:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=93412&start=3450

"I spoke with Jason Dugas [UVA Dean of Admissions] and this is what he said as well. If your gpa drops below 3.85 just don't send LSAC your transcript."

Nice.

005618502
Posts: 2577
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:56 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby 005618502 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:43 pm

Dignan wrote:
clintonius wrote:I'd like a link for the italicized chunk of your post, but assuming it's true, that's pretty interesting.

Actually, it turned out to be pretty easy to find what I was referring to in the UVA thread. This definitely isn't the only example of it in the thread, but look about 10 posts down on this page:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=93412&start=3450

"I spoke with Jason Dugas [UVA Dean of Admissions] and this is what he said as well. If your gpa drops below 3.85 just don't send LSAC your transcript."

Nice.


I think that person was a little off course. When i spoke with him, he told me i had to keep my cumulative GPA above a 3.85. I asked him if he ment by LSAC, and he said yes. He then told me i have to send them a final transcript, but have already done all i need to with LSAC, and dont have to deal with them anymore. I mean why send them another transcript when it will be of no benefit? I dont think its a judgement of moral character, but one of not being a d*mb*ss

User avatar
bilbobaggins
Posts: 686
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:41 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby bilbobaggins » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:01 pm

jt1341 wrote:Well i will be goin to UVA next year, but i will admit i am a huge berkeley fan. It was one of the schools i was admitted to for undergrad, so i visited and also visited the law school since it was my #2 choice.

I loved it there, though it was a little dirty and very diverse, i felt that people were nice and very intelligent. No one can say Berkeley is not a great school, its the best public undergrad in the country as well as the best public law school at the moment. There are insanely smart people there, though i didnt like walking around feeling like a minority without getting a boost for it :p (im white lol)

Anyways people hate on Berkeley because most people on this forum are people with high LSAT and medicore GPA, and Berkeley wouldnt take them even with their LSAT in the 99th percentile. Do i think Berkeley deserves to be #7? i dont know, but i think it should stay a T14 for sure.

One bad thing is that their career prospects in my book lag behing the other T10, and im not sure exactly why this is.... maybe because its so far from NYC, chicago, DC...


The career prospects don't "lag." Fewer Boalties apply, so fewer take jobs on the east coast. However, for those who do apply, they seem to be getting a good deal of callbacks. Firms want some diversity in their classes. People hate on the west coast in general on these forums and tend to be small-minded about people making choices that differ from the choices they would make.

d34d9823
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby d34d9823 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:51 pm

Not sending in an updated transcript to LSAC if your GPA drops is just common sense. Trying to frame stuff like that as unethical is pointless because it's not against the rules - people are relying on their own made-up ethics to say it's sketchy.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest