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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bilbobaggins
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby bilbobaggins » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:53 pm

d34dluk3 wrote: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.


Acting ethically is generally not the same as simply following the rules/the law.

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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby d34d9823 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:55 pm

bilbobaggins wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote: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.


Acting ethically is generally not the same as simply following the rules/the law.

Well sure, but everyone's ethics are different, so trying to paint someone else's actions as unethical when there's not a clear guideline to follow is pointless.

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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby 005618502 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:59 pm

d34dluk3 wrote: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.


+100

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bilbobaggins
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby bilbobaggins » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:02 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:
bilbobaggins wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote: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.


Acting ethically is generally not the same as simply following the rules/the law.

Well sure, but everyone's ethics are different, so trying to paint someone else's actions as unethical when there's not a clear guideline to follow is pointless.


This sentiment embodies all sorts of fail. I guess everyone's ethics are different in that there may be minor variations among even the most like-minded of people. It's sort of like how I might like vanilla ice cream and you might like chocolate. Still, neither of us would order up a big scoop of shit ice cream (well, you might). The great thing about ethics (and any subject where one can make a cogent argument for one's position) is that we can have a discussion about them. So, if I think you're acting unethically, I can explain to you why that's the case (unlike explaining why I like vanilla as opposed to chocolate). You may choose to disagree, but we can certainly reach a conclusion about whether we think acting in a deceptive manner towards LSAC may or may not be a good/bad idea.

At this point I'd like to simply invoke Godwin's law to preempt some horrible attempt to rationalize the proto-relativistic views you've been writing.

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Dignan
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Dignan » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:03 pm

d34dluk3 wrote: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.

For the record, I did not raise the issue because of its ethical implications. Near the beginning of this thread, a poster asked why Berkeley's LSAT and GPA medians were lower than the medians of some peer schools. I replied that, in contrast to some of its peer schools, Berkeley does not track its medians during the application cycle. (I don't think this completely explains the number differences between Boalt and other T10 schools, but I think it's a factor.) I used UVA as an example of a school that is obviously very conscious of its medians while it admits students.

UVA was telling admitted students not to send updated transcripts to LSAC if the applicant's cumulative GPA was going to drop below 3.85. Whatever you think of the propriety of that kind of instruction, it clearly shows that UVA had a target median in mind that it was trying very hard to maintain. I don't think anyone--including UVA--would dispute that.

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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby d34d9823 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:30 pm

bilbobaggins wrote:This sentiment embodies all sorts of fail. I guess everyone's ethics are different in that there may be minor variations among even the most like-minded of people. It's sort of like how I might like vanilla ice cream and you might like chocolate. Still, neither of us would order up a big scoop of shit ice cream (well, you might). The great thing about ethics (and any subject where one can make a cogent argument for one's position) is that we can have a discussion about them. So, if I think you're acting unethically, I can explain to you why that's the case (unlike explaining why I like vanilla as opposed to chocolate). You may choose to disagree, but we can certainly reach a conclusion about whether we think acting in a deceptive manner towards LSAC may or may not be a good/bad idea.

At this point I'd like to simply invoke Godwin's law to preempt some horrible attempt to rationalize the proto-relativistic views you've been writing.

Well, aside from all the ad homs, I find all sorts of problems with your views as well. The differences between logically consistent ethical views run quite a bit deeper than chocolate and vanilla. There are quite a few different viewpoints that I think are complete bullshit, but are internally consistent and thus immune to criticism.

Aside from that, "explaining to me why that's the case" is pointless because you likely don't have an ethical imperative that is meaningful to me and rude because I didn't ask for your thoughts on how I'm doing it wrong.

As far as this example goes, "deceptive" is a weasel word on your part in an attempt to appeal to popular ethical consensus. Correct me if I'm wrong, but no one states to LSAC that they will update their transcript when new grades come in. If that is indeed correct, I'm at a loss as to how not updating it could be described as "deceptive."

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Shaggier1
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Shaggier1 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:19 pm

bilbobaggins wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:
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.


Acting ethically is generally not the same as simply following the rules/the law.

Well sure, but everyone's ethics are different, so trying to paint someone else's actions as unethical when there's not a clear guideline to follow is pointless.


Lol wut? Think for a second about the consequences of that statement...

And I don't care what your standards are, asking for the transcripts of only those students that have the numbers you wish to report is misrepresentative and highly unethical. I would be just as emphatic (probably more so, actually) about this if it were Berkeley.

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Shaggier1
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Shaggier1 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:22 pm

Anyway, let's just get back to the OP.

If anyone has questions about what it is like getting started at Berkeley, fire away.

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gymboree
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby gymboree » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:09 pm

Here's an idea of just one week of events at Boalt (open to all students, including 1Ls) - and this is just through the Center for Law & Technology & Tech Law Journal:

STEP Science Policy Journal Club is hosting a presentation by Walter Valdivia on Wednesday (9/22) at 521 Stanley Hall about The Problem of Science Policy: How Social Organization Can Catch Up With Innovation.

The BCLT / BTLJ Fall Speaker Series continues on Tuesday (9/28) with Winston & Strawn LLP then Thursday (9/30) with Morrison & Foerster.

Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP hosts a Law & Tech reception on Wednesday (9/29). Covington & Burling LLP will be here Thursday (9/30.

BERC is sposnoring a lunch talk with Tesla General Counsel Craig Harding on Wednesday (9/29).

Chadbourne & Parke LLP and BCLT will host the interactive workshop, Berkeley Open Innovation Forum, on Wednesday (9/29) at the Bancroft Hotel. RSVP here.

The CA Public Utilities Commission is offering a legal internship to assist on the full range of energy, telecommunications, water, and rail matters.

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tintin
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby tintin » Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:06 pm

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

No idea. What I've learned from the economy in the past few years is that you never know wtf might happen.

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

I'm not really up on the #s of this, and I'm a 1L so I can't really speak to the hiring process. I plan on going into public interest also so I don't really follow biglaw hiring and whatever anyways.

Why do you think Boalt's LSAT/GPA stats lag behind similarly ranked schools?
I think the admissions folks are more concerned with getting interesting and well rounded people in the class than just people with high #s. Our class is one of the most diverse and accomplished groups of people I've ever encountered. I truly believe that Dean Tom looks deeper than the #s and this is why Boalt has slightly lower stats than other similar schools. I can tell you that the people here are incredible- we also have one of the highest percentages of people of color and women in our class as well.

Is Berkeley really as crazy as advertised?
Berkeley is about as crazy as you want it to be. If you want drum circles, drugs, etc, you will find it. There is a definite flavor of weird hippiness that permeates the town for sure, but unless you actively seek out craziness then it's not THAT crazy. But I went to UC Santa Cruz for undergrad so I may have a skewed perspective on this.

Is it true that it's foggy all the time?
No. It has been pretty sunny much of the time since I moved up in August. In the winter months it does get foggy and cold and rainy but it isn't all the time. Obviously the weather here is much nicer than east coast schools anyways!!


All in all, I love Berkeley. It was my first choice since I love the Bay Area and I chose it over Penn, NYU, UVA, and Chicago. The people here are amazing, the school has a insanely diverse class (and is very LGBT friendly!! wooo!!) and this part of CA is the best.

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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby charliebrownwn » Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:11 pm

Thanks for all your answers. I had already started to single out berkeley and everything you've said has only reinforced my belief.

Given the high diversity #s, what's your impression of the non-diverse (white) part of boalt's class? Have they all done mind-blowingly exceptional things, or are they similar for the most part with the class as a whole?

EDIT: Sorry I'm new here. Took out a question that belongs in a different forum.
Last edited by charliebrownwn on Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

d34d9823
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby d34d9823 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:13 pm

charliebrownwn wrote:Thanks for all your answers. I had already started to single out berkeley and everything you've said has only reinforced my belief.

Given the high diversity #s, whats your impression of the non-diverse (white) part of boalt's class? As in, do white males who haven't done anything mind-blowingly exceptional, but who otherwise have a strong GPA, very strong LSAT and a few unique experiences here and there have a reasonable chance of getting in? I am thinking about writing a additional "Why Boalt" in addition to my PS.

Along with this, do white men feel uncomfortable or discriminated against at all?

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Shaggier1
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Shaggier1 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:56 pm

charliebrownwn wrote:
Thanks for all your answers. I had already started to single out berkeley and everything you've said has only reinforced my belief.

Given the high diversity #s, whats your impression of the non-diverse (white) part of boalt's class? As in, do white males who haven't done anything mind-blowingly exceptional, but who otherwise have a strong GPA, very strong LSAT and a few unique experiences here and there have a reasonable chance of getting in? I am thinking about writing a additional "Why Boalt" in addition to my PS.


First, I just want to say that I don't recommend writing a "why Boalt." I think if you want to incorporate some specifics into your PS, that'd be great--but only if such details will be a natural extension of the rest of your essay. Boalt knows itself well enough to decide "why you." They donb't need you to convince them why you want to attend. They already know you want to come to Berkeley; why else would you apply?

As for your question regarding white admits... it varies. I am a white male and my softs are, without a doubt, what got me into Boalt. However, I know several students that, by their own admission, got in based on nothing more than their high numbers and a good PS. Stellar softs and high numbers are fairly evenly distributed throughout the class, as far as I can tell.

Along with this, do white men feel uncomfortable or discriminated against at all?


Not in any way whatsoever. Boalt is a uniquely diverse institution, yes; but it is not diverse in an exclusive manner (I know some of you may be scratching your heads saying "Diverse in an exclusive manner?" but I think that is possible and even common. Identity groups tend to be exclusive and people can feel like they don't belong if they don't "belong"). Boalt's diversity is truly inclusive. It is not "this group is exclusively for X race, or Y ethnicity" type diversity. It is more along the lines of "our focus is rooted in the issues typically faced by members of this community, but we encourage everyone to participate, contribute, and learn. La Raza is a great example. They host tons of lunches, events, and parties and everyone goes. In the past few weeks they hosted two events that were very popular: an immigration debate and a dance party at a local club. Everyone attended, latino or not.

Honestly, it is a very cool atmosphere.

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gymboree
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby gymboree » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:59 pm

There are plenty of white guys - the biggest lament I hear is that there aren't enough *single* guys, no matter their skin shade. So I think the guys feel pretty popular (and aren't complaining about the 59% women if you know what I mean).

For the most part, our classmates (no matter the shade of their skin) are along the spectrum of amazing things: from double Fulbrights, patent holders, news producers/journalists, award winners of various crazy awards, all the way to people coming right out of school (although my impression is that those kids have some high scores along with being active participants in their community).

If you're looking for the thread through the class, I would say admissions looked for good people, if that makes sense. I don't know how you make that come across in your essays, but I don't know one person who didn't crack themselves open to write an amazing essay.

edit: I just read Shaggier1's advice, and I disagree about the 'Why Boalt' - but that's me. I wrote a very detailed additional 1.5 page 'Why Boalt' essay. But if you're just going to say "I really, really want to come to Boalt" I would agree and say don't waste your time. But if you have something that's going to ring true and you honestly have two or three powerful reasons why you want to come to Boalt, then by all means, tell them!

edited again: examples on Shaggier's inclusiveness vibe. La Raza Journal has a Guac-fest or dance night - everyone's invited, it's not like it's just a latino thing; the Gender journal isn't just all women or LGBT, straight guys are in there too, it's not just a woman thing; Boalt women of color collective includes everyone... and I could go on and on. All the pre-term events were inclusive (and they made a point to tell everyone they were inclusive).

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gymboree
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby gymboree » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:11 pm

gymboree wrote:
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.


just pm'd you.

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Dignan
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Dignan » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:50 am

charliebrownwn wrote:Thanks for all your answers. I had already started to single out berkeley and everything you've said has only reinforced my belief.
Given the high diversity #s, what's your impression of the non-diverse (white) part of boalt's class? Have they all done mind-blowingly exceptional things, or are they similar for the most part with the class as a whole?

I am a white male, and I am neither exceptional nor mind-blowing. I do, however, have several years of work experience.

d34dluk3 wrote:Along with this, do white men feel uncomfortable or discriminated against at all?

Not in the slightest. I can speak only for myself, of course, but I've never felt the least bit uncomfortable because I am a white male. In fact, the idea never even occurred to me until you posed the question.

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clintonius
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby clintonius » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:01 am

Dignan wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:Along with this, do white men feel uncomfortable or discriminated against at all?
Not in the slightest. I can speak only for myself, of course, but I've never felt the least bit uncomfortable because I am a white male. In fact, the idea never even occurred to me until you posed the question.
I can't seriously be the only one who took that as a joke. Can I?

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Shaggier1
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Shaggier1 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:23 am

Dignan wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:
Along with this, do white men feel uncomfortable or discriminated against at all?
Not in the slightest. I can speak only for myself, of course, but I've never felt the least bit uncomfortable because I am a white male. In fact, the idea never even occurred to me until you posed the question.
I can't seriously be the only one who took that as a joke. Can I?


Lol, I think he was referring to the idea of being uncomfortable as a white male, not to being a white male.

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heyyitskatie
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby heyyitskatie » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:05 am

clintonius wrote:
Dignan wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:Along with this, do white men feel uncomfortable or discriminated against at all?
Not in the slightest. I can speak only for myself, of course, but I've never felt the least bit uncomfortable because I am a white male. In fact, the idea never even occurred to me until you posed the question.
I can't seriously be the only one who took that as a joke. Can I?


Depends on what you know... it's one of those things that sounds kind of silly on the surface, but in lots of spaces that tout themselves as "diverse," the energy is negative and about finger pointing rather than celebrating identity/creating solutions/fill-in-your-less-kumbaya-version here. At Boalt, there are a ton of identity groups and they are important to people, but the energy is very positive and inclusive.

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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby artichoke » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:26 am

heyyitskatie wrote:
Depends on what you know... it's one of those things that sounds kind of silly on the surface, but in lots of spaces that tout themselves as "diverse," the energy is negative and about finger pointing rather than celebrating identity/creating solutions/fill-in-your-less-kumbaya-version here. At Boalt, there are a ton of identity groups and they are important to people, but the energy is very positive and inclusive.


Off-topic, but I like your av. I just finished watching AHGTTG for the hundredth time.

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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby sarahh » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:19 pm

I have read a few articles in the paper about Berkeley reducing staff and services due to the budget crisis. Has that affected the law school?

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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby 005618502 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:58 pm

sarahhope82 wrote:I have read a few articles in the paper about Berkeley reducing staff and services due to the budget crisis. Has that affected the law school?


Yes it has affected all UC's and CSU's. This encompases all graduate programs as well, hence why so many people are shying away from UC's (Berkeley and UCLA) to go to peer schools.

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Shaggier1
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Shaggier1 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:56 pm

sarahhope82 wrote:
I have read a few articles in the paper about Berkeley reducing staff and services due to the budget crisis. Has that affected the law school?


Yes it has affected all UC's and CSU's. This encompases all graduate programs as well, hence why so many people are shying away from UC's (Berkeley and UCLA) to go to peer schools.


I think the argument can be made (and it has been made several times by our Dean, Chris Edley) that Berkeley Law is the least affected institution in all of California. In the last 5 years, the Berkeley faculty has increased by 40%; and at the end of the spring semester the new addition (which is pretty large) to the building will be finished. Financial aid has increased as well.

The 800 lb gorilla is obviously the increased tuition. It was super cheap before. It no longer is. Still a top-10 school and I am willing to pay market for it.

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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby 005618502 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:39 am

Shaggier1 wrote:
sarahhope82 wrote:
I have read a few articles in the paper about Berkeley reducing staff and services due to the budget crisis. Has that affected the law school?


Yes it has affected all UC's and CSU's. This encompases all graduate programs as well, hence why so many people are shying away from UC's (Berkeley and UCLA) to go to peer schools.


I think the argument can be made (and it has been made several times by our Dean, Chris Edley) that Berkeley Law is the least affected institution in all of California. In the last 5 years, the Berkeley faculty has increased by 40%; and at the end of the spring semester the new addition (which is pretty large) to the building will be finished. Financial aid has increased as well.

The 800 lb gorilla is obviously the increased tuition. It was super cheap before. It no longer is. Still a top-10 school and I am willing to pay market for it.


Bolded made me LOL. It may have been affected the least of UC's, but it was still affected more then its peer institutions

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gymboree
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby gymboree » Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:42 am

Our faculty ratio is fantastic (see Shaggier's info above), our new addition looks amazing, and the people who decide to come to Boalt understand they're coming to a state school, not a country club. Dean Edley likes to joke that Boalt used to be a publicly funded school, now it's a publicly encouraged school. The budget used to be 80% funded by the state and it's now at 25%. The fact that we have a huge addition and are adding faculty at a time when other Berkeley graduate departments are freezing hiring and laying off admin speaks volumes about how effective Boalt leadership and alumni are at fundraising. They're not slowing down. They have so many alumni events - there's another one this weekend. They bring alumni to the school to show them the building progress, solicit more financial support, and drag skads of students through these receptions for networking. I see the school working very hard to make sure we're successful on all fronts.

So, has the school been affected? Absolutely - but it's been in terms of budget concerns. I wouldn't want to be Dean Edley, that's for sure. Are we being shielded from that struggle as much as possible? In my opinion, yes.

I know there are others who are upset about the tuition. But I agree with Shaggier. I came here understanding what the tuition was, saw it in line with peer schools (which are the same schools we were all deciding between -- the whole T14). It's all the same so what's the big deal, I say. But everyone knows I'm a glass half full kind of person.




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