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.
obxt
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:45 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby obxt » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:38 am

could any 2Ls or 3Ls speak to what the employment hunt has been like for you? i'm in at berkeley and nyu and had coffee with a friend at nyu who said that people she knows at berkeley really really struggled this year to find jobs-- like although most people ended up employed, many people didn't get their top picks for firms and anyone looking to go into elite PI type stuff didn't have a lot of success-- she generally made it seem like NYU 2Ls comparatively were having a way better time of the hiring process, and that made me really nervous. Would love some more first-hand perspective!

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7662
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:20 pm

Jordan Catalano wrote:Are there any Boalt 1L parents in this thread?

I am wondering what public/private high schools located around BLS (within 30-ish minutes) that you would recommended. I have made a list by Googling, but it would be great to get some recommendations!

How long is the wait-list for family housing?

I've read for single 1L's you get housing the first year, then you have to find housing elsewhere. Is this true for the family housing?

Any other parent-related tips or advice? Thanks!


Apply for family housing yesterday. The waitlist depends on what kind of unit you need but the earlier you apply, the better.

User avatar
Applesauce11
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:38 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Applesauce11 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:39 pm

Hi,

Can someone talk about the journal system at Berkeley? If anyone can join any journal other than the California Law Review, does that make being on one less meaningful on resumes? It seems to me that the law review process would be much more competitive with this system. Also, I read that 1ls can join journals- does that generally happen first or second semester, and do people ever tend to join more than one? Thanks!

blackacre10
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:04 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby blackacre10 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:43 pm

Jordan Catalano wrote:Are there any Boalt 1L parents in this thread?

I am wondering what public/private high schools located around BLS (within 30-ish minutes) that you would recommended. I have made a list by Googling, but it would be great to get some recommendations!

How long is the wait-list for family housing?

I've read for single 1L's you get housing the first year, then you have to find housing elsewhere. Is this true for the family housing?

Any other parent-related tips or advice? Thanks!


Albany has a solid public education system, so try to get into family housing. I'd say your odds there are pretty good if you have kids, but I know many people who've been placed on the waitlist for months (but they didn't have kids). There's a hierarchy, and parents with kids are pretty close to the top. Apply ASAP! It doesn't matter whether you've committed or not to Berkeley.

blackacre10
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:04 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby blackacre10 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:49 pm

obxt wrote:could any 2Ls or 3Ls speak to what the employment hunt has been like for you? i'm in at berkeley and nyu and had coffee with a friend at nyu who said that people she knows at berkeley really really struggled this year to find jobs-- like although most people ended up employed, many people didn't get their top picks for firms and anyone looking to go into elite PI type stuff didn't have a lot of success-- she generally made it seem like NYU 2Ls comparatively were having a way better time of the hiring process, and that made me really nervous. Would love some more first-hand perspective!


I chose Berkeley over CCN. Most people I know who wanted to firms got it, and I'm talking from all grade profiles (including straight-Ps and close to it). Seriously. I'd say it was very far from "really really struggling." I think I may have heard from someone/somewhere that Berkeley's OCI success rate was about 60-70% in years past, but personally I think that number is higher. And you'd be surprised by the sheer number of students who put absolutely no thought into creating an effective bidlist. NYU likely has a higher placement rate, but you have to take into account that Berkeley is placing most of its students into SF and SV, and it's pretty damn good to be able to get these out-of-state kids into SF with no other ties. That said, I've noticed that people with work experience outperformed their grades, and, just as importantly, those who were excellent interviewers with a smart bidlist outperformed their grades. All to say, if you work on interviewing and you put together a smart list of firms for OCI, I'd be very surprised if you struck out, even if you were closer to the bottom of the barrel regarding grades.

blackacre10
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:04 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby blackacre10 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:54 pm

Applesauce11 wrote:Hi,

Can someone talk about the journal system at Berkeley? If anyone can join any journal other than the California Law Review, does that make being on one less meaningful on resumes? It seems to me that the law review process would be much more competitive with this system. Also, I read that 1ls can join journals- does that generally happen first or second semester, and do people ever tend to join more than one? Thanks!


All journals are walk on, and most 1Ls are a part of them. They join first semester and generally stay for the entire year, though it's possible to leave one and join another one second semester (but it's not recommended). It's also fine if it's the only extracurricular that you do. To be honest, being on a journal is going to be one of the least important things on your resume, regardless of whether they're walk on or not. My participation in my non-LR journal never came up once in either my 1L summer search or during OCI.

deant286
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:14 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby deant286 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:05 pm

How attainable is east coast big law from Berkeley? LST puts Berkeley employment for NYC at about 9% and DC 6% - how much of this is self selection out of the east coast vs. not being able to find employment there?

Is Chicago a real possibility?

Is going to Berkeley with non west coast, big law goals a poor decision?

sdancer89
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:40 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby sdancer89 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:02 pm

I'm a Boalt 2L, but not on the big law train so speaking from what I've heard. I have a friend going to Chicago, and I believe a few others will be joining him. He has Midwest ties. It seems there are a fair amount of people headed to NY and DC, but a good portion of Berkeley students self-select to CA.

User avatar
Redamon1
Posts: 460
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Redamon1 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:21 am

obxt wrote:could any 2Ls or 3Ls speak to what the employment hunt has been like for you? i'm in at berkeley and nyu and had coffee with a friend at nyu who said that people she knows at berkeley really really struggled this year to find jobs-- like although most people ended up employed, many people didn't get their top picks for firms and anyone looking to go into elite PI type stuff didn't have a lot of success-- she generally made it seem like NYU 2Ls comparatively were having a way better time of the hiring process, and that made me really nervous. Would love some more first-hand perspective!


Personally I'd take with a grain of salt advice from someone at NYU who heard stuff through the grapevine and is trying to sell you on their school. I went through OCI not long ago, and it was definitely not the kind of struggle you describe. It went well for me and the people I know. Certainly, there is never any guarantee of success at Berkeley or NYU, or any school, so people do strike out. But unless there's been a drastic change very recently for some reason––which I doubt––your best bet is to consult schools' employment statistics, which show that employment outcomes in big law and PI at NYU and Berkeley are roughly equivalent.

User avatar
Redamon1
Posts: 460
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Redamon1 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:29 am

deant286 wrote:How attainable is east coast big law from Berkeley? LST puts Berkeley employment for NYC at about 9% and DC 6% - how much of this is self selection out of the east coast vs. not being able to find employment there?

Is Chicago a real possibility?

Is going to Berkeley with non west coast, big law goals a poor decision?


You should do some forum searches on this question. Various threads have gone into detail on this with stats to back thins up. But in short, there is a heavy self section towards CA jobs. I know it sounds like an excuse for what superficially looks like poor placement on the East Coast, but this is real. Berkeley places as well as any school on the West Coast, so people who know they want to work in CA tend to come here. Others come here with plans to leave but end up loving the area and stay. Others choose to head East and do fine. There is a strong network of alumni on the East Coast in the big cities, and the East Coast offices of big firms recruit at Boalt. Those who don't come here will be happy to hear from you via email and conduct phone screeners or straight up invite you for a call back based on your transcript.

In a sense, the competition among your peers at Boalt for East Coast jobs is less intense than West Coast jobs, so if that's what you want, you're possibly in a better position than most, especially for NYC. DC tends to be more competitive, but I think Berkeley does as well as peer schools, in relative terms.

I'm not as knowledgeable about Chicago, though the friends I know wanted to work there are now working there, FWIW.

deant286
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:14 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby deant286 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:32 pm

thanks for the responses

fed clerk + big law amounts to about 60% at Berkeley - are a significant portion of the other 40% really gunning more for PI, based on what you guys can tell?

It seems like everywhere you look people unconvincingly defend their school's big law numbers by claiming that its only that way because the students self select out of it toward PI or fed gov pipe dreams or whatever it is. I would tend to believe that for Berkeley more than for other non-HYS t14s, because of the PI leaning impression I've always gotten from it, but is this actually true? Or are Berk students just "failing" in similar proportions to UVA, NU, etc. students, who attend schools with identical big law placement?

Also, do Berkeley students get "sexier" PI jobs? Or is it really no different than PI from other t14s?

I do appreciate any anecdotal input.

User avatar
Jordan Catalano
Posts: 98
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Jordan Catalano » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:08 pm

blackacre10 wrote:
Jordan Catalano wrote:Are there any Boalt 1L parents in this thread?

I am wondering what public/private high schools located around BLS (within 30-ish minutes) that you would recommended. I have made a list by Googling, but it would be great to get some recommendations!

How long is the wait-list for family housing?

I've read for single 1L's you get housing the first year, then you have to find housing elsewhere. Is this true for the family housing?

Any other parent-related tips or advice? Thanks!


Albany has a solid public education system, so try to get into family housing. I'd say your odds there are pretty good if you have kids, but I know many people who've been placed on the waitlist for months (but they didn't have kids). There's a hierarchy, and parents with kids are pretty close to the top. Apply ASAP! It doesn't matter whether you've committed or not to Berkeley.


Thanks! I appreciate this feedback, from you and others. Super helpful : )

User avatar
Rotor
Posts: 917
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:06 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Rotor » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:50 am

deant286 wrote:How attainable is east coast big law from Berkeley? LST puts Berkeley employment for NYC at about 9% and DC 6% - how much of this is self selection out of the east coast vs. not being able to find employment there?

Is Chicago a real possibility?

Is going to Berkeley with non west coast, big law goals a poor decision?

It is attainable and in many ways, being from Berkeley and having a sincere interest in an East Coast office can make you stand out. I'm indirectly involved in recruiting at my DC office and we actively are trying to improve our Berkeley and Stanford numbers. For the upcoming summer we offered multiple SA positions (exact number confidential) but landed zero. Don't know where they landed but it was either East Coast or self selected elsewhere.

User avatar
Applesauce11
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:38 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Applesauce11 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:46 pm

Hi,

Could someone post a sample 1l schedule? I've been trying to piece together one from the schedule of classes on the Berkeley website, but it doesn't say what modules everything belongs to. Thanks!

blueberryoatmeal
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:38 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby blueberryoatmeal » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:20 pm

Hi - I'm hoping someone can give a bit of insight about where in Berkeley students live, rent prices, etc. I've browsed online and found a lot of info, but would like to know where most law students live, how accessible the BART and buses are and so forth. Ideally I'd like a studio or 1br away from undergrads/campus a bit

sdancer89
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:40 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby sdancer89 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:00 pm

blueberryoatmeal wrote:Hi - I'm hoping someone can give a bit of insight about where in Berkeley students live, rent prices, etc. I've browsed online and found a lot of info, but would like to know where most law students live, how accessible the BART and buses are and so forth. Ideally I'd like a studio or 1br away from undergrads/campus a bit


The Bay Area is expensive. I would say most 1Ls live in Berkeley. There are always a handful of people that live in SF, and more are starting to gravitate toward Oakland as it is a bit less expensive. I live in Oakland and love it, as I was able to find a 1 BR for less than I could find anything in Berkeley and am away from the undergrad craziness. The law school is semi-surrounded by frats, and I've heard complaints from people who live really close about loud parties at night. I do have a car, though, and drive to school. The apartment buildings in Berkeley are super expensive and generally have pretty small apartments. Fine Arts is the one I'm thinking of off the top of my head and studios/1Brs are well over $2000/mo. Craigslist can be a pain because of the housing crisis and huge number of applicants for each apartment, but often can still be the way to go.

Boalt is up on top of a hill at a corner of campus, so BART is about a 15-20 min walk uphill. The buses are ok. You get a free bus pass from Cal, but at least from where I live, I don't find buses to be particularly timely or reliable so I don't put too much faith in them. It seems like they are better in Berkeley where more students use them.

User avatar
Applesauce11
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:38 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Applesauce11 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:10 pm

sdancer89 wrote:
blueberryoatmeal wrote:Hi - I'm hoping someone can give a bit of insight about where in Berkeley students live, rent prices, etc. I've browsed online and found a lot of info, but would like to know where most law students live, how accessible the BART and buses are and so forth. Ideally I'd like a studio or 1br away from undergrads/campus a bit


The Bay Area is expensive. I would say most 1Ls live in Berkeley. There are always a handful of people that live in SF, and more are starting to gravitate toward Oakland as it is a bit less expensive. I live in Oakland and love it, as I was able to find a 1 BR for less than I could find anything in Berkeley and am away from the undergrad craziness. The law school is semi-surrounded by frats, and I've heard complaints from people who live really close about loud parties at night. I do have a car, though, and drive to school. The apartment buildings in Berkeley are super expensive and generally have pretty small apartments. Fine Arts is the one I'm thinking of off the top of my head and studios/1Brs are well over $2000/mo. Craigslist can be a pain because of the housing crisis and huge number of applicants for each apartment, but often can still be the way to go.

Boalt is up on top of a hill at a corner of campus, so BART is about a 15-20 min walk uphill. The buses are ok. You get a free bus pass from Cal, but at least from where I live, I don't find buses to be particularly timely or reliable so I don't put too much faith in them. It seems like they are better in Berkeley where more students use them.


How doable do you think a commute from Marin would be? I have family there and could potentially live rent-free there. Would you say that's too far for 1L year?

sdancer89
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:40 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby sdancer89 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:19 pm

I'm biased because I commuted from SF to Marin and vice versa for undergrad, so it doesn't seem that bad to me, especially if you miss commute traffic and provided that you have a car. Without a car it would probably be a huge pain and make your life pretty miserable.

The benefits of living rent-free probably outweigh the negatives of the commute. Possible negatives include the lack of BART in Marin (for nights you want to go to bar review or stay in the East Bay or SF drinking with friends) and obviously it being more effort to hang out with classmates in Berkeley.

User avatar
MrR10
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:07 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby MrR10 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:58 pm

Can somebody give their opinion on graduate housing? My take on it is that it sounds like a pretty good deal in terms of price, location, as well as the inclusion of utilities. However, I don't know whether the size of the apartment, for example, would be worth the price, or the added stress from apartment hunting, especially for someone out of state.

I am thinking about bringing my car, so distance is not that big of an issue for me, but I would like to stay as close to the law school as possible for convenience sake. Thoughts?

User avatar
Applesauce11
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:38 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Applesauce11 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:25 pm

sdancer89 wrote:I'm biased because I commuted from SF to Marin and vice versa for undergrad, so it doesn't seem that bad to me, especially if you miss commute traffic and provided that you have a car. Without a car it would probably be a huge pain and make your life pretty miserable.

The benefits of living rent-free probably outweigh the negatives of the commute. Possible negatives include the lack of BART in Marin (for nights you want to go to bar review or stay in the East Bay or SF drinking with friends) and obviously it being more effort to hang out with classmates in Berkeley.


Thanks for answering! How is the parking situation around Boalt?

sdancer89
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:40 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby sdancer89 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:35 pm

You can buy a semester parking pass for like $300ish and park in a garage that is 2 blocks from campus. Otherwise, there is limited 2 hr parking in the area, but it can be a pain to find it/move your car every 2 hours.

Applesauce11 wrote:
Thanks for answering! How is the parking situation around Boalt?

User avatar
180kickflip
Posts: 377
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:45 pm

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby 180kickflip » Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:18 pm

MrR10 wrote:Can somebody give their opinion on graduate housing? My take on it is that it sounds like a pretty good deal in terms of price, location, as well as the inclusion of utilities. However, I don't know whether the size of the apartment, for example, would be worth the price, or the added stress from apartment hunting, especially for someone out of state.

I am thinking about bringing my car, so distance is not that big of an issue for me, but I would like to stay as close to the law school as possible for convenience sake. Thoughts?



Does anyone know anything about the university village family housing? I'll be coming with a fiancee and kid in tow, and the price (like 1350 utilities included) for a 1br sounds great. I saw online the apartments are like 3 miles away from campus, but I have no idea how that commute will be. If at all possible, I'd be trying to use public transportation or bike in (coming from the east coast, so bringing a car is a hassle). Would love to hear any impressions of the place. Thanks!

arose928
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:05 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby arose928 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:22 pm

Applesauce11 wrote:Hi,

Can someone talk about the journal system at Berkeley? If anyone can join any journal other than the California Law Review, does that make being on one less meaningful on resumes? It seems to me that the law review process would be much more competitive with this system. Also, I read that 1ls can join journals- does that generally happen first or second semester, and do people ever tend to join more than one? Thanks!


There's basically a journal for any interest you can shake a stick at (tech, sports, business, crim law, gender journal, African American, La Raza, Middle Eastern, Asian, international law, etc etc). I believe they're all walk-on. I have no idea how meaningful any of them are really. I joined my journal for the community (b/c alums of the journal are in the jobs that I want), not for the resume builder. You can join first or second semester, although I think most people join first. You can join more than one, if you want. They vary in the amount of work that they are. My journal is not much work so it could be easily combined with being on another journal, but some are more work so be cognizant of that before you sign up for a bunch.

arose928
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:05 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby arose928 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:24 pm

deant286 wrote:thanks for the responses

fed clerk + big law amounts to about 60% at Berkeley - are a significant portion of the other 40% really gunning more for PI, based on what you guys can tell?

It seems like everywhere you look people unconvincingly defend their school's big law numbers by claiming that its only that way because the students self select out of it toward PI or fed gov pipe dreams or whatever it is. I would tend to believe that for Berkeley more than for other non-HYS t14s, because of the PI leaning impression I've always gotten from it, but is this actually true? Or are Berk students just "failing" in similar proportions to UVA, NU, etc. students, who attend schools with identical big law placement?

Also, do Berkeley students get "sexier" PI jobs? Or is it really no different than PI from other t14s?

I do appreciate any anecdotal input.


This is anecdata but within my social circle I don't know a single person who wants to go to a firm. Obviously I don't know the entire class but it doesnt seem crazy to me that 40% are going for PI. Seems crazier to me that 60% will end up at a firm, but that's law school for you.

For first year students who are anxious to get started on PI work outside the doctrinal 1L curriculum, Berkeley has SLPs - student-initiated legal services projects (acronym makes no sense, yes). They are what the name says they are - students start projects to meet legal needs in underserved communities. You can find a list of them here: https://www.law.berkeley.edu/experienti ... -projects/. This year, for apparently the first time, so many people wanted to do SLPs that they maxed out capacity and people were rejected from SLPs because there wasn't enough room for everyone. Eventually I think most people who wanted to do something got into one, although it might not have been their first choice. I believe they're working on this for next year so that there will be more capacity and more SLPs available for students who want them. But there's another bit of anecdata for you.
Last edited by arose928 on Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

arose928
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:05 am

Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby arose928 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:30 pm

Applesauce11 wrote:Hi,

Could someone post a sample 1l schedule? I've been trying to piece together one from the schedule of classes on the Berkeley website, but it doesn't say what modules everything belongs to. Thanks!


Its hard to give a sample schedule b/c its pretty different for each supermod. Last semester I had class 5 days a week, but other mods only had class 4 days a week. This semester I only have class 3 days a week (which is kind of brutal, I have class M/T/W from 10am-5pm), and the other mods have class 4-5 days a week. First semester you'll have Legal Research and Writing (LRW) 2x/week for about an hour, Civil Procedure 3-4x/week for an hour or so (frequency of classes depends on how long they are. So you could have CivPro 3x week for 1.5 hours, or 4x week for 1 hour). Then you'll have either Contracts and Property, for 3-4x/week, or Crim Law and Torts, for 3-4x/week.

All in all you'll take what they give you so it doesn't really matter




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests