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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Dignan
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Dignan » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:36 pm

Geneva wrote:How important is it to visit during ASW as opposed to some other weekend?

I felt like ASW gave me a good sense of what Boalt was about. I think you should try to go if you can.


How do employers outside of CA look at the grading system?

I don't think that employers outside of California view the grading system any differently than the employers in California. Boalt has had a non-traditional grading system for decades, and Boalt grads work all over the country. If, however, you target small firms that don't come to OCI and that rarely interview Boalties, you might have to explain the grading system in an interview.

By the way, Boalties who target firms in NY and DC appear to do very well. If our grading system has created problems for those students, I haven't heard about it.


Is having straight Ps truly equivalent to being a median student at a peer school?

No. Employers will treat a student with straight P's as below median. The firms that participate in OCI seem to have a pretty good idea of what mix of H's and P's constitutes "median" at Boalt.

The main benefit of the HH/H/P system is that you don't have to worry about bombing an exam and having a B- on your transcript. The main drawback, of course, is that you can score above median and yet still have the same grade as someone who finished near the bottom of the class. I think it generally evens out over the course of a year, but—as with any grading system—some students will get lucky and some will get unlucky.

Geneva
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Geneva » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:17 pm

Dignan wrote:
Geneva wrote:How important is it to visit during ASW as opposed to some other weekend?

I felt like ASW gave me a good sense of what Boalt was about. I think you should try to go if you can.


How do employers outside of CA look at the grading system?

I don't think that employers outside of California view the grading system any differently than the employers in California. Boalt has had a non-traditional grading system for decades, and Boalt grads work all over the country. If, however, you target small firms that don't come to OCI and that rarely interview Boalties, you might have to explain the grading system in an interview.

By the way, Boalties who target firms in NY and DC appear to do very well. If our grading system has created problems for those students, I haven't heard about it.


Is having straight Ps truly equivalent to being a median student at a peer school?

No. Employers will treat a student with straight P's as below median. The firms that participate in OCI seem to have a pretty good idea of what mix of H's and P's constitutes "median" at Boalt.

The main benefit of the HH/H/P system is that you don't have to worry about bombing an exam and having a B- on your transcript. The main drawback, of course, is that you can score above median and yet still have the same grade as someone who finished near the bottom of the class. I think it generally evens out over the course of a year, but—as with any grading system—some students will get lucky and some will get unlucky.

Thank you!

Geneva
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Geneva » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:09 am

How does the LRAP compare to that of other schools? How important/strict is the requirement that the work uses legal skills?

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bilbobaggins
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby bilbobaggins » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:13 pm

commerceclause wrote:Hi all - I apologize in advance if these have been asked and answered. Boalt is one of the places where I have been admitted and I am planning to visit within the next month (can't make ASW unfortunately). But before the visit, was hoping to run through a few questions. They might seem minor, but these are some of the things that matter to me especially when it comes to the 'happiness' factor.

1. What's the story on the gym? I could not find too much about it on the website. Is it any good? Also, are there outdoor and/or indoor basketball courts?

2. It is kind of important to me to live within walking distance of campus. How is the housing in the area? Anything in particular regarded as being "the best"?

3. What is the dating/social scene like?

4. How involved are the FedSoc and ACS? I love the debate over interpretive philosophy, but I am hoping that it won't be lopsided on campus.

5. Is it easy to own a car there? Would it be feasible to be like, "I'm going to drive to San Fran once or twice a month for dinner," or will I have no time?

Thanks!


1. It's a pretty nice gym and there are a fair amount of courts and fields around the school.

2. Housing within walking distance can be hit or miss. It sort of depends on your idea of walking distance. Within 10 minutes there isn't much (unless you live in a grad dorm, which has always seemed weird to me), but within 30 minutes there's a lot. However, you'll either be paying a lot or getting something shitty compared to places within bus/bike/driving distance.

3. Like the rest of Earth, it sort of depends on you and what types of things you like to do and what type of people you like. There is a vibrant party scene in every class and there seems to be a fair amount of dating. People are pretty friendly despite a lot of cliques that form your 1L year. If you don't like your 1L friends people are generally open to making new friends as 2Ls and 3Ls as well. There are more women at Boalt than men and so there seems to be more awesome girls at Boalt than awesome guys.

4. You are out of the ordinary if you love to debate interpretive philosophy, but there's nothing wrong with that. This week they're debating the Constitutionality of Obama's recess appointments.

5. It is easy to own a car and it's easy to drive to SF. My 2L year I was in SF a ton and some people live over there and commute to school.

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canon
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby canon » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:53 pm

bilbobaggins wrote:
commerceclause wrote:Hi all - I apologize in advance if these have been asked and answered. Boalt is one of the places where I have been admitted and I am planning to visit within the next month (can't make ASW unfortunately). But before the visit, was hoping to run through a few questions. They might seem minor, but these are some of the things that matter to me especially when it comes to the 'happiness' factor.

1. What's the story on the gym? I could not find too much about it on the website. Is it any good? Also, are there outdoor and/or indoor basketball courts?

2. It is kind of important to me to live within walking distance of campus. How is the housing in the area? Anything in particular regarded as being "the best"?

3. What is the dating/social scene like?

4. How involved are the FedSoc and ACS? I love the debate over interpretive philosophy, but I am hoping that it won't be lopsided on campus.

5. Is it easy to own a car there? Would it be feasible to be like, "I'm going to drive to San Fran once or twice a month for dinner," or will I have no time?

Thanks!


1. People like RSF.
2. Housing is not the best, but there are definitely great options. I think North Berkeley has the nicest units, at least from what I've seen. Pricey everywhere though.
3. Lots of dating. Social scene is top notch. The weekends are clutch, and usually everyone (most people I mean) goes out at least once or twice a week.
4. Federalist Society has a presence and puts on events covering controversial issues -- though it seems it's focused on critical race theory as of late. I personally don't know anyone in the org, but from what I hear it's a great opportunity to get to know John Yoo, who is a badass yet super friendly.
5. A lot of my friends have cars here. I used to go to SF every weekend, but stopped once things got crazy busy. Getting to SF is cake.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby worldtraveler » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:20 am

I have to disagree with everyone about the gym quality. It's probably one of the worst college gyms I've seen. However, if you're really, really into working out there are tons of affordable gyms and yoga/spinning places in the area.

thebigspoon
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby thebigspoon » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:49 pm

What do you think of Boalt's reputation as being stingy with scholarship money? Boalt's my top choice and is basically a perfect fit for me (IP, SV) but I've gotten some decent offers from peer schools and it'd be hard to justify going to Boalt at sticker.

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Tanicius
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Tanicius » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:09 pm

thebigspoon wrote:What do you think of Boalt's reputation as being stingy with scholarship money? Boalt's my top choice and is basically a perfect fit for me (IP, SV) but I've gotten some decent offers from peer schools and it'd be hard to justify going to Boalt at sticker.


Take the scholarship unless there's something about the region of California, public interest law, or IP law that especially draws you here.

lblelalr
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby lblelalr » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:43 pm

What do you think is the longest reasonable commute? I have family who live really close to the Fremont BART station. I definitely wouldn't use those living arrangements during 1L, but does anyone think it's feasible as a 2L or 3L?

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Tanicius
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Tanicius » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:03 pm

lblelalr wrote:What do you think is the longest reasonable commute? I have family who live really close to the Fremont BART station. I definitely wouldn't use those living arrangements during 1L, but does anyone think it's feasible as a 2L or 3L?


Depends how much money you want to spend. BART gets expensive when you start wracking up that many stops there and back every day.

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bilbobaggins
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby bilbobaggins » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:19 pm

lblelalr wrote:What do you think is the longest reasonable commute? I have family who live really close to the Fremont BART station. I definitely wouldn't use those living arrangements during 1L, but does anyone think it's feasible as a 2L or 3L?


It is totally feasible.

Geneva
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Geneva » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:35 pm

Does the Admissions Office make offers for need based aid as well as merit based aid? Do ppl associated w/ Dean Tom decide on need based offers and take merit offers into account when calculating "need"? Do the people tend to consider your overall situation/contribution to the school when calculating offers, or is need based distributed on a blind basis (strictly according to the numbers, w/o knowledge of the information that qualifies a person for need?)

Thanks! Very curious as to how the mysterious aid process works.

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canon
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby canon » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:58 pm

thebigspoon wrote:What do you think of Boalt's reputation as being stingy with scholarship money? Boalt's my top choice and is basically a perfect fit for me (IP, SV) but I've gotten some decent offers from peer schools and it'd be hard to justify going to Boalt at sticker.


If Boalt is the perfect fit for you ... how much are you willing to give up to go to your perfect fit? I know many people who opted out of money because they wanted to be 1) warm 2) in California 3) in an awesome, relatively relaxed academic environment. There are plenty of justifications to attend Boalt at sticker IMO.

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canon
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby canon » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:02 pm

Geneva wrote:Does the Admissions Office make offers for need based aid as well as merit based aid? Do ppl associated w/ Dean Tom decide on need based offers and take merit offers into account when calculating "need"? Do the people tend to consider your overall situation/contribution to the school when calculating offers, or is need based distributed on a blind basis (strictly according to the numbers, w/o knowledge of the information that qualifies a person for need?)

Thanks! Very curious as to how the mysterious aid process works.


Based on the cycle last year I knew of some people getting plenty of merit aid (~$75K to full ride) if they applied early in the cycle. These applicants typically had very high LSAT scores or really impressive/notable backgrounds. Anecdotal of course. I would say don't count on merit aid if you have median stats, but that's the case most everywhere. Try to match though!

Pretty sure they calculate your merit aid into your need based aid. For the blind basis you're referring to, I would just contact the FinAid office for the best, most accurate answer.

jim-green
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby jim-green » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:52 am

If my wife were a post-doc at the engineering school, would she be counted as an employee, and would I then get a tuition break from the law school? That may be worth more to us than her potential salary from a job at a tech company in the Bay Area. We are trying to decide what she should pursue here.

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Kronk
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Kronk » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:55 pm

jim-green wrote:If my wife were a post-doc at the engineering school, would she be counted as an employee, and would I then get a tuition break from the law school? That may be worth more to us than her potential salary from a job at a tech company in the Bay Area. We are trying to decide what she should pursue here.


This does not sound like a question for us.

jim-green
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby jim-green » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:14 pm

I guess you are right. Probably a question for the financial aid office.
Kronk wrote:
jim-green wrote:If my wife were a post-doc at the engineering school, would she be counted as an employee, and would I then get a tuition break from the law school? That may be worth more to us than her potential salary from a job at a tech company in the Bay Area. We are trying to decide what she should pursue here.
This does not sound like a question for us.

oakinwind
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby oakinwind » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:58 am

Does anyone know how many international students are enrolled in Boalt each year? I am an international student (had my graduate school in the U.S.), and really want to attend Boalt, but need to figure out a way to finance myself. I 'd greatly appreciately it if someone could introduce me to his/her internation classmates in boalt. thanks,

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Redamon1
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Redamon1 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:47 pm

Hi all - I'm wondering what type of paperwork is needed to sign a lease in the Bay Area. In particular, I'm wondering what types of financial guarantees landlords ask for given that most students have no income.

Will they ask for a co-signer (my parents live overseas and I wonder if that will be a problem)? Will they accept bank statements showing sufficient savings to pay rent for say, two years?

Any other documents I should be prepared to present?

Thanks!

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bilbobaggins
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby bilbobaggins » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:51 pm

Redamon1 wrote:Hi all - I'm wondering what type of paperwork is needed to sign a lease in the Bay Area. In particular, I'm wondering what types of financial guarantees landlords ask for given that most students have no income.

Will they ask for a co-signer (my parents live overseas and I wonder if that will be a problem)? Will they accept bank statements showing sufficient savings to pay rent for say, two years?

Any other documents I should be prepared to present?

Thanks!


It depends on the landlord, but it's important to remember that you do have income (your loans) and landlords in this area tend to love grad students.

Also - this is in response to another question - there are a ton of international students, but most of them seem rich.

Geneva
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Geneva » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:26 pm

Assuming equal cost, why would one choose Berkeley over Stanford? I have been accepted to both and am trying to look at the pros and cons of each school. Thanks in advace! :)

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Dignan
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Dignan » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:30 pm

Geneva wrote:Assuming equal cost, why would one choose Berkeley over Stanford? I have been accepted to both and am trying to look at the pros and cons of each school. Thanks in advace! :)

I love Boalt. And if I had the chance to make my decision again, and if I had gotten into SLS, I might still go with Boalt because I think this school has been such a great fit for me personally. BUT....Stanford will give you more opportunities in practically every area of the law. Stanford places better in big law, clerkships, government, and probably any other category you can think of.

In my view, the only real "con" for Stanford is that it's located in Palo Alto. But that's probably not reason alone to pick Stanford over Berkeley, particularly if the cost of attendance is the same. I've also heard, anecdotally, that the environment at Boalt is a little more relaxed and a little more collegial, but it's not like Stanford is known for being full of insufferable gunners. I imagine that it's a pleasant place to attend law school.

For what it's worth, I know one person here who chose Boalt over Harvard and Stanford; and I know of one who chose Boalt over Yale. Both of these students have done very well and neither appears to regret their decision at all. Still, if you're going to sacrifice the superior opportunities that Stanford likely offers, you've got to be really, really sure that Boalt would be a much better fit.

Geneva
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Geneva » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:37 pm

Dignan wrote:
Geneva wrote:Assuming equal cost, why would one choose Berkeley over Stanford? I have been accepted to both and am trying to look at the pros and cons of each school. Thanks in advace! :)

I love Boalt. And if I had the chance to make my decision again, and if I had gotten into SLS, I might still go with Boalt because I think this school has been such a great fit for me personally. BUT....Stanford will give you more opportunities in practically every area of the law. Stanford places better in big law, clerkships, government, and probably any other category you can think of.

In my view, the only real "con" for Stanford is that it's located in Palo Alto. But that's probably not reason alone to pick Stanford over Berkeley, particularly if the cost of attendance is the same. I've also heard, anecdotally, that the environment at Boalt is a little more relaxed and a little more collegial, but it's not like Stanford is known for being full of insufferable gunners. I imagine that it's a pleasant place to attend law school.

For what it's worth, I know one person here who chose Boalt over Harvard and Stanford; and I know of one who chose Boalt over Yale. Both of these students have done very well and neither appears to regret their decision at all. Still, if you're going to sacrifice the superior opportunities that Stanford likely offers, you've got to be really, really sure that Boalt would be a much better fit.

Right! I remember reading about the former Dean that transferred from Boalt to Harvard and back to Boalt! Hopefully ASW +financial aid differences will help clear up my uncertainty here. Thanks for the thorough response! When I applied, I thought both Boalt/SLS were big reaches, so I am thrilled to have this decision to make. I feel like there is almost no "wrong" decision here, so it will probably come down to "fit" and "cost". Given that I have not visited SLS or Boalt, I am really counting on ASWs to help answer the question of "fit".

boaltbear
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby boaltbear » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:42 am

Geneva wrote:How important is it to visit during ASW as opposed to some other weekend? How do employers outside of CA look at the grading system? Is having straight Ps truly equivalent to being a median student at a peer school?


Hey Geneva,

I am a 1L at Boalt and I had all P's first semester but was still able to land a Biglaw 1L SA. That might not be typical but the truth is that with the HH/H/P grading system employers seemed to care a little less about grades and much more about my extra curriculars and work experience.

The firms I interviewed with outside CA were still familiar with our grading system but gave more leeway because of the indefiniteness of the rank. However, I ultimately decided to summer in a California firm.

For me, ASW was fun but it wasn't the deciding event that led me to choose Boalt. I would recommend going but if you can't make it don't sweat it.

I am happy to answer anymore questions you may have.

-Boalt Bear

Geneva
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Geneva » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:23 am

boaltbear wrote:
Geneva wrote:How important is it to visit during ASW as opposed to some other weekend? How do employers outside of CA look at the grading system? Is having straight Ps truly equivalent to being a median student at a peer school?


Hey Geneva,

I am a 1L at Boalt and I had all P's first semester but was still able to land a Biglaw 1L SA. That might not be typical but the truth is that with the HH/H/P grading system employers seemed to care a little less about grades and much more about my extra curriculars and work experience.

The firms I interviewed with outside CA were still familiar with our grading system but gave more leeway because of the indefiniteness of the rank. However, I ultimately decided to summer in a California firm.

For me, ASW was fun but it wasn't the deciding event that led me to choose Boalt. I would recommend going but if you can't make it don't sweat it.

I am happy to answer anymore questions you may have.

-Boalt Bear

Thanks for sharing! This makes me feel SOOOOO MUUUUUUCH BETTER! I would much rather rely on interviews/soft factors for job acceptances than on law school grades, which seem to be somewhat arbitrary. I also love the fact that Boalt refuses to rank students unless they are applying to clerkships. I hate the idea of "competing" for grades. Just curious, what work experience did you have? Also, how many hours/week on average (outside of finals) do you study/do you feel your peers study?
Thanks again for taking questions:-)




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