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.
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airwrecka
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby airwrecka » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:35 pm

Finch123 wrote:
NotAGolfer wrote:
Finch123 wrote:
NotAGolfer wrote:Anyone have experience with CDO's clerkship support? It seemed like Eric Stern had his stuff together from what I saw at Admitted Students Weekend, but I was wondering what current students thought.


Hi! 3L here. I've decided to practice for a year or two before applying to clerkships, but I've had some contact with Eric over the years and have friends who went the clerkship route. He has a GREAT reputation around school for being super available, super helpful, super POSITIVE (which can be huge sometimes), and just generally being a badass. I can't speak to other schools' clerkship support, but Eric does a great job. Note: I would not necessarily say the same thing re: the rest of the career services office, so take that for what it's worth.

Thanks so much for replying! Glad to hear he's as great as he seems. Would you say the Berkeley students who want federal clerkships tend to get them if they're willing to put in the work?


I would say yes, based on my friends' experiences, although I would ask for clerkship data from the career services office if you want something more fact-based. However, you may have to go outside your ideal geographic area; for example, California clerkships are notoriously competitive. When I talked to Eric after my 1L year when I was considering applying for clerkships during school, I think I was ranked within the top 25%. Eric was very positive about my chances, but I was also flexible geographically so that likely played a role in his assessment. I will also say that professors here are extremely good about giving recommendations -- almost all of my 1L profs made a point of saying early in 1L that part of their job is to help us with jobs/clerkship applications so you have a great support system for that. There are also a lot of opportunities to develop your writing sample in classes so that's not something you have to be super proactive about doing on your own. Again, this might be similar to other schools but I figured I would mention it. Oh, and Eric also has crazy contacts with former clerks of various judges which can be super helpful in designing your apps and deciding where to apply so that is a plus.


This is so helpful! I was wondering the same things as NotAGolfer re: clerkships. ASW really got me excited about the idea of clerking, and I really liked Eric and the info he had to give.

Since you said your experience with the rest of the CDO was not so good, could you elaborate a little more on that? And just generally--are you glad you went to Berkeley or do you think somewhere might have been better? Pretty much anything and everything you'd like to say about your experience is interesting/relevant to me (feel free to PM me if you'd rather keep it more private) :)

Finch123
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Finch123 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:49 pm

airwrecka wrote:
Finch123 wrote:
NotAGolfer wrote:
Finch123 wrote:
NotAGolfer wrote:Anyone have experience with CDO's clerkship support? It seemed like Eric Stern had his stuff together from what I saw at Admitted Students Weekend, but I was wondering what current students thought.


Hi! 3L here. I've decided to practice for a year or two before applying to clerkships, but I've had some contact with Eric over the years and have friends who went the clerkship route. He has a GREAT reputation around school for being super available, super helpful, super POSITIVE (which can be huge sometimes), and just generally being a badass. I can't speak to other schools' clerkship support, but Eric does a great job. Note: I would not necessarily say the same thing re: the rest of the career services office, so take that for what it's worth.

Thanks so much for replying! Glad to hear he's as great as he seems. Would you say the Berkeley students who want federal clerkships tend to get them if they're willing to put in the work?


I would say yes, based on my friends' experiences, although I would ask for clerkship data from the career services office if you want something more fact-based. However, you may have to go outside your ideal geographic area; for example, California clerkships are notoriously competitive. When I talked to Eric after my 1L year when I was considering applying for clerkships during school, I think I was ranked within the top 25%. Eric was very positive about my chances, but I was also flexible geographically so that likely played a role in his assessment. I will also say that professors here are extremely good about giving recommendations -- almost all of my 1L profs made a point of saying early in 1L that part of their job is to help us with jobs/clerkship applications so you have a great support system for that. There are also a lot of opportunities to develop your writing sample in classes so that's not something you have to be super proactive about doing on your own. Again, this might be similar to other schools but I figured I would mention it. Oh, and Eric also has crazy contacts with former clerks of various judges which can be super helpful in designing your apps and deciding where to apply so that is a plus.


This is so helpful! I was wondering the same things as NotAGolfer re: clerkships. ASW really got me excited about the idea of clerking, and I really liked Eric and the info he had to give.

Since you said your experience with the rest of the CDO was not so good, could you elaborate a little more on that? And just generally--are you glad you went to Berkeley or do you think somewhere might have been better? Pretty much anything and everything you'd like to say about your experience is interesting/relevant to me (feel free to PM me if you'd rather keep it more private) :)


Sure! Re: the CDO, I think they do a good job with the lunch-time presentations and info sessions and such. They bring in a lot of different firms and have a lot of how-to guides available on line, so I think they get the basics done. I had two main complaints. 1) They sort of discouraged people from applying to private firm jobs for 1L summer; the message I got was that those positions are too competitive to really bother with. Now, certainly they're competitive. However, I regretted not applying when a bunch of my (obviously smarter) classmates DID apply and were accepted. I really enjoyed my 1L summer position (DA's office) so I can't complain too much, but it would have been really nice to a) get paid and b) have a better feeling for what working at a private firm looks like before OCI. So. That irritated me. 2) The CDO did a good job of arranging networking events and such at law firms, but I thought the sort of advice I got on places like TLS was SO much more helpful for preparing for OCI than anything I got from the CDO. Their advice was very "get good grades, do your online research, dress appropriately and show up for the interview." In contrast, I think the absolutely most helpful thing I did was actually speak on the phone with people who worked at most of the firms that I interviewed with -- it gave me good info on the firm, and it gave me a way of clearly demonstrating interest in my interview. That was not the sort of thing that I was getting from the CDO. But I'm sure other people had different experiences so take this all with a grain of salt.

Re: Berkeley overall... I am really happy I came here. 1) The people are awesome -- a lot of smart, super passionate people. It definitely lives up to its reputation for being public-interest focused (although obviously people can still get biglaw jobs), and I think that is what makes the school so awesome. Everyone CARES about something, you know? Everyone has a story. This isn't to say that other schools don't also have smart, interesting people, but I've been happy with the people here. 2) The professors have also been impressively friendly and willing to step up to help. When I applied to one biglaw firm that was a bit of a stretch for me, one of my 1L profs actually emailed a friend of his who is a partner there to put in a good word for me. All my 1L profs made a point of saying at the beginning of the year that part of their job is helping us - I've never been too intimidated or turned off to go into office hours or email a prof to ask a question. They're also typically really smart, interesting, passionate people. 3) The grading system is HUGE. I didn't really pay that much attention to it when I was deciding btw schools, but knowing that the worst you can do is a P (bottom 60%) is a huge stress reliever, especially 1L year when no one knows what they're doing. I definitely think it impacts the culture too -- super non-competitive, in my experience. Lots of willingness to share notes and such. None of that mutilation of library book nonsense you hear about. 4) The Bay Area is very nice. It's expensive though, so keep that in mind. I definitely took out more loans than I anticipated on living expenses. BUT, the food is awesome, there's lots to do, etc. etc. You might think law school will eat your life (and it will, to an extent), but being in a nice place really helps. 5) Berkeley passed some sort of ordinance that got rid of the food trucks, so that sucks.

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NotAGolfer
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby NotAGolfer » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:57 pm

Finch123 wrote:
airwrecka wrote:
Finch123 wrote:
NotAGolfer wrote:
Finch123 wrote:
NotAGolfer wrote:Anyone have experience with CDO's clerkship support? It seemed like Eric Stern had his stuff together from what I saw at Admitted Students Weekend, but I was wondering what current students thought.


Hi! 3L here. I've decided to practice for a year or two before applying to clerkships, but I've had some contact with Eric over the years and have friends who went the clerkship route. He has a GREAT reputation around school for being super available, super helpful, super POSITIVE (which can be huge sometimes), and just generally being a badass. I can't speak to other schools' clerkship support, but Eric does a great job. Note: I would not necessarily say the same thing re: the rest of the career services office, so take that for what it's worth.

Thanks so much for replying! Glad to hear he's as great as he seems. Would you say the Berkeley students who want federal clerkships tend to get them if they're willing to put in the work?


I would say yes, based on my friends' experiences, although I would ask for clerkship data from the career services office if you want something more fact-based. However, you may have to go outside your ideal geographic area; for example, California clerkships are notoriously competitive. When I talked to Eric after my 1L year when I was considering applying for clerkships during school, I think I was ranked within the top 25%. Eric was very positive about my chances, but I was also flexible geographically so that likely played a role in his assessment. I will also say that professors here are extremely good about giving recommendations -- almost all of my 1L profs made a point of saying early in 1L that part of their job is to help us with jobs/clerkship applications so you have a great support system for that. There are also a lot of opportunities to develop your writing sample in classes so that's not something you have to be super proactive about doing on your own. Again, this might be similar to other schools but I figured I would mention it. Oh, and Eric also has crazy contacts with former clerks of various judges which can be super helpful in designing your apps and deciding where to apply so that is a plus.


This is so helpful! I was wondering the same things as NotAGolfer re: clerkships. ASW really got me excited about the idea of clerking, and I really liked Eric and the info he had to give.

Since you said your experience with the rest of the CDO was not so good, could you elaborate a little more on that? And just generally--are you glad you went to Berkeley or do you think somewhere might have been better? Pretty much anything and everything you'd like to say about your experience is interesting/relevant to me (feel free to PM me if you'd rather keep it more private) :)


Sure! Re: the CDO, I think they do a good job with the lunch-time presentations and info sessions and such. They bring in a lot of different firms and have a lot of how-to guides available on line, so I think they get the basics done. I had two main complaints. 1) They sort of discouraged people from applying to private firm jobs for 1L summer; the message I got was that those positions are too competitive to really bother with. Now, certainly they're competitive. However, I regretted not applying when a bunch of my (obviously smarter) classmates DID apply and were accepted. I really enjoyed my 1L summer position (DA's office) so I can't complain too much, but it would have been really nice to a) get paid and b) have a better feeling for what working at a private firm looks like before OCI. So. That irritated me. 2) The CDO did a good job of arranging networking events and such at law firms, but I thought the sort of advice I got on places like TLS was SO much more helpful for preparing for OCI than anything I got from the CDO. Their advice was very "get good grades, do your online research, dress appropriately and show up for the interview." In contrast, I think the absolutely most helpful thing I did was actually speak on the phone with people who worked at most of the firms that I interviewed with -- it gave me good info on the firm, and it gave me a way of clearly demonstrating interest in my interview. That was not the sort of thing that I was getting from the CDO. But I'm sure other people had different experiences so take this all with a grain of salt.

Re: Berkeley overall... I am really happy I came here. 1) The people are awesome -- a lot of smart, super passionate people. It definitely lives up to its reputation for being public-interest focused (although obviously people can still get biglaw jobs), and I think that is what makes the school so awesome. Everyone CARES about something, you know? Everyone has a story. This isn't to say that other schools don't also have smart, interesting people, but I've been happy with the people here. 2) The professors have also been impressively friendly and willing to step up to help. When I applied to one biglaw firm that was a bit of a stretch for me, one of my 1L profs actually emailed a friend of his who is a partner there to put in a good word for me. All my 1L profs made a point of saying at the beginning of the year that part of their job is helping us - I've never been too intimidated or turned off to go into office hours or email a prof to ask a question. They're also typically really smart, interesting, passionate people. 3) The grading system is HUGE. I didn't really pay that much attention to it when I was deciding btw schools, but knowing that the worst you can do is a P (bottom 60%) is a huge stress reliever, especially 1L year when no one knows what they're doing. I definitely think it impacts the culture too -- super non-competitive, in my experience. Lots of willingness to share notes and such. None of that mutilation of library book nonsense you hear about. 4) The Bay Area is very nice. It's expensive though, so keep that in mind. I definitely took out more loans than I anticipated on living expenses. BUT, the food is awesome, there's lots to do, etc. etc. You might think law school will eat your life (and it will, to an extent), but being in a nice place really helps. 5) Berkeley passed some sort of ordinance that got rid of the food trucks, so that sucks.

Thank you for sharing all of this! I'm feeling really torn between Berkeley and another school so hearing about your experience is incredibly helpful.

badlefthook
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby badlefthook » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:05 pm

Couple questions--sorry if they have been addressed extensively.

1) Does anybody feel like the unique grading system at Boalt poses a disadvantage when it comes to hiring?

2) After visiting Boalt and Columbia and sitting in on classes at each school, I was amazed at how different the vibes were. Students at Columbia seemed to take themselves super seriously, and seemed incredibly engaged and professional in the class I attended. In contrast, the vibe at Berkeley was far more laid back and casual. While the atmosphere at Boalt was far more in line with my personality and seems like a much more enjoyable lifestyle, I am concerned that it might be hard to focus and buckle down in such a chill, laid back environment. Can anybody speak to this? Sorry if that seems like a totally dumb question or if I'm way off base in my interpretation.

arose928
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby arose928 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:55 am

badlefthook wrote:Couple questions--sorry if they have been addressed extensively.

1) Does anybody feel like the unique grading system at Boalt poses a disadvantage when it comes to hiring?

2) After visiting Boalt and Columbia and sitting in on classes at each school, I was amazed at how different the vibes were. Students at Columbia seemed to take themselves super seriously, and seemed incredibly engaged and professional in the class I attended. In contrast, the vibe at Berkeley was far more laid back and casual. While the atmosphere at Boalt was far more in line with my personality and seems like a much more enjoyable lifestyle, I am concerned that it might be hard to focus and buckle down in such a chill, laid back environment. Can anybody speak to this? Sorry if that seems like a totally dumb question or if I'm way off base in my interpretation.


1) I don't really know about the grading system. The school has a guide you can send to employers who are not familiar with it. (https://www.law.berkeley.edu/careers/fo ... ng-policy/) But I would think most employers recruiting at the school are familiar with it by now.

FWIW I'm a 2L and I haven't once been asked to provide my grades, for either summer jobs or externships. A little annoying, because I got good ones. And for sure because I'm not going for a firm, or anything approaching prestige. :P

2) People certainly buckle down and focus when necessary. People here are smart and they take school seriously. It's just not cutthroat or competitive. My social group is one that tends towards not taking law school that seriously but come finals you will still find us all ensconced in the library.

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calpolisci2016
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby calpolisci2016 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:54 am

.
Last edited by calpolisci2016 on Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

badlefthook
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby badlefthook » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:05 pm

For any Boalt students/alums who feel like answering, would love to know what you like most about attending Berkeley and what you like least. TIA

arose928
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby arose928 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:11 pm

badlefthook wrote:For any Boalt students/alums who feel like answering, would love to know what you like most about attending Berkeley and what you like least. TIA


For me, probably the students and the chill/collegial atmosphere. While people here are generally bright, focused, ambitious, etc, they're not cutthroat or competitive. The lack of real grades probably has something to do with it (and in fact maybe that's what I like most about attending Berkeley, but it's not top of my list because I don't even have to think about grades!) but the people I know freely share outlines, are willing to help and generally don't take themselves too seriously. That could just be the social niche I found and maybe there's ultra gunners around here somewhere, idk. It's also valuable to me because I am not competitive, I'm not gunning for big law or prestige or law review or a clerkship or top of my class. If those are things you're super into maybe the people and atmosphere isn't the most important thing for you, but for me it's what made law school bearable.

As for what I like least, probably the lip service paid to progressivism and 'public service' and 'we're a public institution' when tuition is $50k and the priority for the administration seems to just be creating programs to appeal to people who will go into private practice and have deep pockets when there aren't even enough spots for students who want to do legal services clinics. BUT who knows if that will change since we're on the hunt for a permanent dean.

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SilverSurfer2020
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby SilverSurfer2020 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:37 am

How difficult/desirable is it to live in Ida Jackson or Manville apartments? The rent seems really cheap.

msperception
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby msperception » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:46 am

How supportive is Berkeley if you want to go into academia? Do you have a chance to do publishable writing?

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HarveySpecterr
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby HarveySpecterr » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:17 am

Is there any way to live there without paying several G's a month for under 1,000 sq. ft.? I really want to attend Boalt as my first choice, but so far it seems like I wouldn't be able to live there for 3 years without taking another hundred grand in loans just to pay rent! (I have a wife and a baby, so a 1 BR is not an option). How does anyone who isn't wealthy afford to live there?

arose928
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby arose928 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:57 pm

HarveySpecterr wrote:Is there any way to live there without paying several G's a month for under 1,000 sq. ft.? I really want to attend Boalt as my first choice, but so far it seems like I wouldn't be able to live there for 3 years without taking another hundred grand in loans just to pay rent! (I have a wife and a baby, so a 1 BR is not an option). How does anyone who isn't wealthy afford to live there?


I'd check out both University Village (housing for students with families) and the Boalt Parents Network (student group for Boalt students who are parents, obvs) who may be able to help steer you to the right place.

https://housing.berkeley.edu/universityvillage
http://www.boaltparents.com/

I afford it by moving here 5 years ago before the bubble and being in a rent-controlled apartment ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Most people have roommates. Or they have a 1BR.

arose928
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby arose928 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:00 pm

msperception wrote:How supportive is Berkeley if you want to go into academia? Do you have a chance to do publishable writing?


Guess I'm not sure what qualifies as publishable writing but there's several opportunities to write notes for different journals, including CLR (and what I learned in law school is that note actually = 30+ page paper). There was also just an info session on the academia track as I think they're trying to get more students to think about that direction. If that's something you're interested in you would definitely be able to find some professors who would help mentor you in that.

badlefthook
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby badlefthook » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:48 am

Can any Boalt students/alums speak to any connections between Boalt faculty and U.S. Attorney's Offices in California? Is there some sort of pipeline that exists between Boalt and any of these offices? Courses/externships? This is definitely my goal within a few years of graduating and I'm curious if Berkeley has any sort of infrastructure set up to help make this possible. Thanks in advance.

rhino180
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby rhino180 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:45 pm

Thanks to everyone still answering on this thread.

I've never been to Berkeley and I was wondering how life was like in Berkeley. I hear that Berkeley is pretty grungy. How's the food/cultural/social scene? How often do law students go out to San Francisco?

Also, does the limited (and decreasing) funding for UC schools (and more specifically UC Berkeley) affect the law students?

arose928
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby arose928 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:57 pm

rhino180 wrote:Thanks to everyone still answering on this thread.

I've never been to Berkeley and I was wondering how life was like in Berkeley. I hear that Berkeley is pretty grungy. How's the food/cultural/social scene? How often do law students go out to San Francisco?

Also, does the limited (and decreasing) funding for UC schools (and more specifically UC Berkeley) affect the law students?


Berkeley and Oakland (together, the East Bay) are pretty great. Great food, culture, bars, social scene. I personally - and most people I know - don't go out to SF that often because 1) don't really need to; 2) BART sucks (stops running at midnight) and it takes like an hour. It feels further away then it is. But then some people live in SF and some people do go fairly often. It's up to you. Telegraph Ave in Berkeley is maybe what people are referring to when they say Berkeley is 'grungy'; it's where a lot of the cheap restaurants (for college students) are, as well as some of the homeless population. There's a lot more to the area than Telegraph Ave though. Oakland has a better scene than Berkeley, in terms of bars, nightlife, music venues, etc. Berkeley to me is mostly for families or college students rather than 20somethings. It's a pretty town though.

The limited funding for UC schools affect law students because it means tuition has gone up and up and up. The law school is supposed to be cutting programs, or its budget, or something. And yet there's already not enough space in the clinics for all students who want to do a clinic. But I dunno I haven't felt much of a budget crunch, maybe I'm not paying attention though.

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dietcoke1
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby dietcoke1 » Tue May 16, 2017 4:32 pm

any news/updates on the new dean?

himanhi
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby himanhi » Wed May 17, 2017 11:54 am

Chemerinsky confirmed as of this morning

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NotAGolfer
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby NotAGolfer » Wed May 17, 2017 12:07 pm

himanhi wrote:Chemerinsky confirmed as of this morning

:!: :D

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dietcoke1
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby dietcoke1 » Wed May 17, 2017 12:21 pm

NotAGolfer wrote:
himanhi wrote:Chemerinsky confirmed as of this morning

:!: :D


lol. thanks !

Veil of Ignorance
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Veil of Ignorance » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:53 pm

is 35k/year the maximum non-need based scholarship available at Berkeley? Anyone get more than that?

staypuff
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby staypuff » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:59 am

Veil of Ignorance wrote:is 35k/year the maximum non-need based scholarship available at Berkeley? Anyone get more than that?


I'm aware of someone with 40k/yr in merit.

Veil of Ignorance
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Veil of Ignorance » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:26 am

staypuff wrote:
Veil of Ignorance wrote:is 35k/year the maximum non-need based scholarship available at Berkeley? Anyone get more than that?


I'm aware of someone with 40k/yr in merit.


That'd be soooo sweet. Thanks for the info :D

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dietcoke1
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby dietcoke1 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:15 pm

Bumping for new admits

sash
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby sash » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:32 am

This might sound odd but does anyone know if Boalt has any sort of "motto" or core causes or something like that?

I read the 2006 interview with former Dean Berring and he said "Boalt’s “weltanschauung,” or worldview/philosophy of life, makes learning a joint enterprise where students work together toward the common goal of inquiring and then gaining knowledge." Mentioning this worldview could really nicely fit into the conclusion of my PS, but I think citing a 10+ year old quote would not be the best idea. I can't find anything online recent or otherwise reiterating what Berring said.




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