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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drmguy
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby drmguy » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:37 pm

Image

matrim
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby matrim » Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:49 pm

drmguy wrote:Image

Thanks drmguy - good info.

DreamShake
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby DreamShake » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:10 am

matrim wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
matrim wrote:So what is the rundown on weather for Berk? I have heard people say its always sunny and nice, others have told me its not regular "cali" weather (that its often cloudy etc)...i understand its nor cal..but whats the truth on weather?


The truth is honestly that there are four climates:

1.) Night (always cold, 40's-50's depending; take a jacket or sweatshirt with you whenever you're going to be out past sundown)
2.) Day + sunny (60's-70's depending)
3.) Day + cloudy (high 50's)
4.) Day + rainy (40's-50's depending; always carry an umbrella in whatever backpack you use, cause it can be unpredictable)


All in all, if you've ever experienced a real winter, Berkeley is awesome. The only thing that makes it seem cold is that there is almost never any humidity, so once the sun goes down it seems to get cold cold. I've learned to do a lot of silly things to avoid the temperature changes. For example, when I walk uphill, I try to walk in the shade so as not to get sweaty by the time I get to the law school, and when I bike downhill in the shade/at night I almost always to be wearing gloves. More generally I try to always have a long-sleeved shirt and an umbrella in my backpack no matter what time of day it is and no matter what the forecast is.



Thanks - I really appreciate it. Not to keep the thread "weather" focused, but how often is it rainy there? Not that this really affects my decision to go to Boalt or not - but I'd really like to know.


Something the averages above don't reveal--the winter rain tends to be of the steady, days-at-a-time variety, not the torrential downpour kind. Those 5" in January are probably spread out over at least a week on average. It can be a bit dreary, but the bright sides are obviously no rain in the summer and no thunderstorms (i.e., the rain won't stop you from getting where you need to go, even if walking, so long as you've got an umbrella and maybe a little rain gear).

(on a sidenote, I'm having a deja vu moment thinking this very subject has been discussed either in this thread or elsewhere on TLS...)

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twinkletoes16
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby twinkletoes16 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:42 pm

I'm looking at Craigslist for apartments now just to get a sense of prices/what's available. What neighborhoods should I be looking in for 1L? I'm guessing just exclusively Berkeley and Berkeley Hills/north Berkeley? Is it true we need to probably move in May/June since come August things are sparse?

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SemperLegal
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby SemperLegal » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:46 pm

twinkletoes16 wrote:I'm looking at Craigslist for apartments now just to get a sense of prices/what's available. What neighborhoods should I be looking in for 1L? I'm guessing just exclusively Berkeley and Berkeley Hills/north Berkeley? Is it true we need to probably move in May/June since come August things are sparse?



I moved in in the middle of June, it didnt seem like any later was possible.

1Ls live in Oakland, Emeryville, the Hills, and Albany. There are a lot of nice apartments at around MLK (the only nice on in the country) and University (Near the Trader Joe's). The go in price from a couple grand (the ones above the TJ) to ~800 a few blocks away.

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twinkletoes16
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby twinkletoes16 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:04 pm

SemperLegal wrote:
twinkletoes16 wrote:I'm looking at Craigslist for apartments now just to get a sense of prices/what's available. What neighborhoods should I be looking in for 1L? I'm guessing just exclusively Berkeley and Berkeley Hills/north Berkeley? Is it true we need to probably move in May/June since come August things are sparse?



I moved in in the middle of June, it didnt seem like any later was possible.

1Ls live in Oakland, Emeryville, the Hills, and Albany. There are a lot of nice apartments at around MLK (the only nice on in the country) and University (Near the Trader Joe's). The go in price from a couple grand (the ones above the TJ) to ~800 a few blocks away.



if i lived directly above a TJ's i'm pretty sure that would be the ultimate life goal achieved. those chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels... :shock:

i have a car but the street parking/campus parking sounds pretty shitty. is public transport from the places you said easy? i'm used to BART having lived in east bay but am not accustomed to using BART/buses exclusively. ideally i'd spend 1k/month on rent for a studio but i know i will have to move fast.

ETA: thank you! this was a much faster response that i could've anticipated. i'll expand my search out. hoping to be able to move in late may/early june and just nanny for a rich SF family for the summer for $.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby SemperLegal » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:08 pm

twinkletoes16 wrote:
SemperLegal wrote:
twinkletoes16 wrote:I'm looking at Craigslist for apartments now just to get a sense of prices/what's available. What neighborhoods should I be looking in for 1L? I'm guessing just exclusively Berkeley and Berkeley Hills/north Berkeley? Is it true we need to probably move in May/June since come August things are sparse?



I moved in in the middle of June, it didnt seem like any later was possible.

1Ls live in Oakland, Emeryville, the Hills, and Albany. There are a lot of nice apartments at around MLK (the only nice on in the country) and University (Near the Trader Joe's). The go in price from a couple grand (the ones above the TJ) to ~800 a few blocks away.



if i lived directly above a TJ's i'm pretty sure that would be the ultimate life goal achieved. those chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels... :shock:

i have a car but the street parking/campus parking sounds pretty shitty. is public transport from the places you said easy? i'm used to BART having lived in east bay but am not accustomed to using BART/buses exclusively. ideally i'd spend 1k/month on rent for a studio but i know i will have to move fast.


My vehicle situation is... unorthodox...but the people who live near TJ all take the bus with no problem. Its also within a decent walking distance if the buses don't run. There are few people who drive to class and either buy permit or feed the meter, but it would be dumb to if you lived at TJ.

As for car storage, a lot of apartments in that area rent spaces or have a garage. You can also get a resident permit and park nearby, not sure how it works.

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drmguy
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby drmguy » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:19 am

These are the trader joe's apartments. They are pretty much the most expensive in Berkeley.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby SemperLegal » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:25 am

drmguy wrote:These are the trader joe's apartments. They are pretty much the most expensive in Berkeley.



--ImageRemoved--


ETA, well that didn't work: for a baseline the TJ apartments, which in my mind are perfect for a 1L are:

One Bedrooms: $1,725 to $2,120, Two Bedrooms: $1,950 to $3,200.
At least one apartment in a complex about 4 block away was 800 a month. If you don't have a lot of time to explore the area, or to visit apartments, its a pretty safe bet that if you are in that area you will be: safe, BART/School accessible, and close enough to stagger home drunk/\.

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twinkletoes16
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby twinkletoes16 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:59 am

SemperLegal wrote:
drmguy wrote:These are the trader joe's apartments. They are pretty much the most expensive in Berkeley.



--ImageRemoved--


ETA, well that didn't work: for a baseline the TJ apartments, which in my mind are perfect for a 1L are:

One Bedrooms: $1,725 to $2,120, Two Bedrooms: $1,950 to $3,200.
At least one apartment in a complex about 4 block away was 800 a month. If you don't have a lot of time to explore the area, or to visit apartments, its a pretty safe bet that if you are in that area you will be: safe, BART/School accessible, and close enough to stagger home drunk/\.



wow, those are beautiful. but definitely waaaaaay out of my price range. That looks like something I'd be living in during biglaw. I was hoping for 12/1300 a month or less. I will have some time to visit apartments and really explore to make sure I'm getting a good deal. So work from there and then 4 block radius? Sounds perfect! Thank you.

and yes, being able to stagger home drunk is an important criterion. :lol:

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Redamon1
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Redamon1 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:48 pm

SemperLegal wrote: As for car storage, a lot of apartments in that area rent spaces or have a garage. You can also get a resident permit and park nearby, not sure how it works.


I use a resident permit to park on the street. It's very easy to get the sticker through the city of Berkeley. It costs less than $40 for the year. BUT on and within 1 block of Shattuck, it is all metered parking so the permit doesn't help there. As long as you're willing to be a bit flexible, street parking works well.

One other tip for housing: I would recommend paying the $20 or so to get access to the Cal rental website (see ASW). I look widely for housing, including Craigslist, but at the end of the day, I found my place through that website.

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Kronk
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Kronk » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:12 pm

I live in Oakland it is a lot cheaper and or you get more for your money. As long as you are close to a bus stop its totally fine.

Rockridge and Temescal are great neighborhoods.

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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby djwjddl » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:28 am

any thoughts on northside/north vs southside/elmwood? seems like northside/north is quieter but it's a bit more of a hike? can you find places more to the west in southside that are pretty quiet too? which one of the areas has the nicest studios?

also, do a lot of law students live in downtown berkeley? seems like housing can be pricey there, but how's the noise level?

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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby SemperLegal » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:57 pm

djwjddl wrote:any thoughts on northside/north vs southside/elmwood? seems like northside/north is quieter but it's a bit more of a hike? can you find places more to the west in southside that are pretty quiet too? which one of the areas has the nicest studios?

also, do a lot of law students live in downtown berkeley? seems like housing can be pricey there, but how's the noise level?



I live up North and its quiet and there are no thefts, buts its a uphill hike of a few miles to get home.

Plenty of people live in downtown. The bars close fairly early, so I can't imagine sleep is much of a problem. One guy lives by People Park, however, and the homeless keep him up.

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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby matrim » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:39 am

SemperLegal wrote:
djwjddl wrote:any thoughts on northside/north vs southside/elmwood? seems like northside/north is quieter but it's a bit more of a hike? can you find places more to the west in southside that are pretty quiet too? which one of the areas has the nicest studios?

also, do a lot of law students live in downtown berkeley? seems like housing can be pricey there, but how's the noise level?



I live up North and its quiet and there are no thefts, buts its a uphill hike of a few miles to get home.

Plenty of people live in downtown. The bars close fairly early, so I can't imagine sleep is much of a problem. One guy lives by People Park, however, and the homeless keep him up.


When you say North - just North Berkeley or more albany? Is North Berkeley have nice suburb type homes? Or is that more the hills?

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drmguy
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby drmguy » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:02 am

matrim wrote:
SemperLegal wrote:
djwjddl wrote:any thoughts on northside/north vs southside/elmwood? seems like northside/north is quieter but it's a bit more of a hike? can you find places more to the west in southside that are pretty quiet too? which one of the areas has the nicest studios?

also, do a lot of law students live in downtown berkeley? seems like housing can be pricey there, but how's the noise level?



I live up North and its quiet and there are no thefts, buts its a uphill hike of a few miles to get home.

Plenty of people live in downtown. The bars close fairly early, so I can't imagine sleep is much of a problem. One guy lives by People Park, however, and the homeless keep him up.


When you say North - just North Berkeley or more albany? Is North Berkeley have nice suburb type homes? Or is that more the hills?

East Bay Neighborhoods

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SemperLegal
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby SemperLegal » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:14 am

matrim wrote:
SemperLegal wrote:
djwjddl wrote:any thoughts on northside/north vs southside/elmwood? seems like northside/north is quieter but it's a bit more of a hike? can you find places more to the west in southside that are pretty quiet too? which one of the areas has the nicest studios?

also, do a lot of law students live in downtown berkeley? seems like housing can be pricey there, but how's the noise level?



I live up North and its quiet and there are no thefts, buts its a uphill hike of a few miles to get home.

Plenty of people live in downtown. The bars close fairly early, so I can't imagine sleep is much of a problem. One guy lives by People Park, however, and the homeless keep him up.


When you say North - just North Berkeley or more albany? Is North Berkeley have nice suburb type homes? Or is that more the hills?


I live in the Hills, which is a nice suburb community. I like it, but its kind of far and a little boring.

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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby tomwatts » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:30 am

djwjddl wrote:any thoughts on northside/north vs southside/elmwood? seems like northside/north is quieter but it's a bit more of a hike? can you find places more to the west in southside that are pretty quiet too? which one of the areas has the nicest studios?

On Southside past Dwight, the neighborhood looks a lot like Northside but flatter. The difference is the five blocks until there, which are basically the same as the Shattuck downtown area, whereas Northside has at most one block of high-traffic commercial stuff.

5965
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby 5965 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:00 pm

Can someone please tell me the truth about how bad the economy is in California? Also, I am curious about working outside California (say NY) as a Boalt graduate. Is it that difficult as some people say? Or as some other people say, is it actually less competitive to find a job in NY as a Berkeley alum because fewer people work there?

I have so many questions! haha I would also like to know classes in Berkeley (what classes you take in your 1L 1st sem and 1L 2nd sem) and faculty in Berkeley (how approachable or helpful they are). And do you think Berkeley's grading system harm students in any way?

Finally, what are some aspects you don't like (or wish had changed) about Berkeley?

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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby DreamShake » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:31 pm

5965 wrote:Can someone please tell me the truth about how bad the economy is in California? Also, I am curious about working outside California (say NY) as a Boalt graduate. Is it that difficult as some people say? Or as some other people say, is it actually less competitive to find a job in NY as a Berkeley alum because fewer people work there?

I have so many questions! haha I would also like to know classes in Berkeley (what classes you take in your 1L 1st sem and 1L 2nd sem) and faculty in Berkeley (how approachable or helpful they are). And do you think Berkeley's grading system harm students in any way?

Finally, what are some aspects you don't like (or wish had changed) about Berkeley?


I think many of your questions (CA market, NY prospects, grading system) have been previously addressed in this thread, so I'll try just to tackle new questions.

For first semester of 1L, the school will automatically enroll you in legal research & writing as well as some combination of doctrinal classes (three of contracts, civ pro, crim, torts, property). In second semester, you're assigned only written oral advocacy and the remaining two doctrinal classes; this only covers 10 credit units, so you can sign up for one or two electives. Many 1L's take con law (4 units) during second semester because it's required for graduation, but you can definitely take something else.

Professors here run the gamut, and it's hard to refine any discussion of them beyond generalities. Some have open-door policies and always seem willing to help or (briefly) chat, while others are generally unavailable except during office hours. However, even all the reclusive profs I've encountered are pretty good with email. Also, I've never been unable to meet with a prof when I made the effort to reach out, and I haven't had a prof who didn't honor his/her office hours commitments. I also know classmates who were able to basically cold call/email professors whom they didn't know but with whom they shared research interests. Also, like most (all?) T10s, you'll have a small class during your first semester, so you can get to know that professor pretty well. There's also a fundraising auction every year in which you can bid on opportunities to hang out with profs who volunteer to cook you dinner/take you wine tasting/take you to a ballgame/etc. As far as recommendations for jobs, clerkships, etc., I haven't met any profs who were unwilling, though I'm sure some exist. FWIW, I have definitely had a professor reach out to personal contacts on my behalf. Lastly, in my two years, I've had only one professor whom I truly disliked, and that was an uncommon sentiment among classmates.

Most of what I wish I could change concerns Berkeley itself and not the law school--cost of living, overabundance of bums, population density, etc. With respect to the law school, it would be nice to have a CDO that is not constantly behind the curve, but that's a complaint common to virtually every law school (and I think ours is probably above average within the T14, and they do put in real effort--they just aren't on the cutting edge of things). Overall, the school + beautiful location are well worth it to me. There's no law school at which I'd rather be.

5965
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby 5965 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:42 am

DreamShake wrote:
5965 wrote:Can someone please tell me the truth about how bad the economy is in California? Also, I am curious about working outside California (say NY) as a Boalt graduate. Is it that difficult as some people say? Or as some other people say, is it actually less competitive to find a job in NY as a Berkeley alum because fewer people work there?

I have so many questions! haha I would also like to know classes in Berkeley (what classes you take in your 1L 1st sem and 1L 2nd sem) and faculty in Berkeley (how approachable or helpful they are). And do you think Berkeley's grading system harm students in any way?

Finally, what are some aspects you don't like (or wish had changed) about Berkeley?


I think many of your questions (CA market, NY prospects, grading system) have been previously addressed in this thread, so I'll try just to tackle new questions.

For first semester of 1L, the school will automatically enroll you in legal research & writing as well as some combination of doctrinal classes (three of contracts, civ pro, crim, torts, property). In second semester, you're assigned only written oral advocacy and the remaining two doctrinal classes; this only covers 10 credit units, so you can sign up for one or two electives. Many 1L's take con law (4 units) during second semester because it's required for graduation, but you can definitely take something else.

Professors here run the gamut, and it's hard to refine any discussion of them beyond generalities. Some have open-door policies and always seem willing to help or (briefly) chat, while others are generally unavailable except during office hours. However, even all the reclusive profs I've encountered are pretty good with email. Also, I've never been unable to meet with a prof when I made the effort to reach out, and I haven't had a prof who didn't honor his/her office hours commitments. I also know classmates who were able to basically cold call/email professors whom they didn't know but with whom they shared research interests. Also, like most (all?) T10s, you'll have a small class during your first semester, so you can get to know that professor pretty well. There's also a fundraising auction every year in which you can bid on opportunities to hang out with profs who volunteer to cook you dinner/take you wine tasting/take you to a ballgame/etc. As far as recommendations for jobs, clerkships, etc., I haven't met any profs who were unwilling, though I'm sure some exist. FWIW, I have definitely had a professor reach out to personal contacts on my behalf. Lastly, in my two years, I've had only one professor whom I truly disliked, and that was an uncommon sentiment among classmates.

Most of what I wish I could change concerns Berkeley itself and not the law school--cost of living, overabundance of bums, population density, etc. With respect to the law school, it would be nice to have a CDO that is not constantly behind the curve, but that's a complaint common to virtually every law school (and I think ours is probably above average within the T14, and they do put in real effort--they just aren't on the cutting edge of things). Overall, the school + beautiful location are well worth it to me. There's no law school at which I'd rather be.


Thanks DreamShake!
Can you (or any body who sees this) tell me a bit about corporate law at Berkeley? Do many Berkeley students go into that area and do you think Berkeley prepares you well in the field of corporate law?

DreamShake
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby DreamShake » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:02 am

I'm not sure what the breakdown between transactional/litigation ends up being, but there are definitely plenty of people doing both. Frankly, because general transactional & litigation practices form the core of every major law firm, all T14s will prepare you just fine for each (or at least as much as the other T14s). They all have the important courses (corporations/business associations, securities regulation, corporate tax, M&A, corporate finance, etc.) and experts in those fields, so there aren't really any tangible differences unless you look at more specialized areas. For example, Boalt is the best in the world for both IP and environmental law in terms of class selection/profs. NYU has the best tax program in the country. And I'm sure one or two schools have beau coup bankruptcy profs.

So...don't sweat preparation for transactional vs. litigation. :)

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Rotor
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby Rotor » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:35 am

5965 wrote:Can you (or any body who sees this) tell me a bit about corporate law at Berkeley? Do many Berkeley students go into that area and do you think Berkeley prepares you well in the field of corporate law?

Berkeley has really strengthened its business offerings in the last 5 years or so. It created the Business Law certificate program and has brought in a great line up of young, talented profs and expanded the course offerings.

I graduated in May and completed all of the courses for the cert except Accounting. I took Business Associations, Antitrust, Corporate Finance, M&A, SecReg, Corporate Governance and an Ethics class that was structured around corporate issues. I really enjoyed the classes for the most part. I'm in a big firm now and will probably go into a practice area that is mainly transactional. The courses, like law school in general, aren't really designed to teach you how to be a young attorney in a firm, but instead teach you the overall concepts, issues and vocabulary you are likely to see. And in that respect I've been 100% prepared.

As for other Boalties going that route, yes there are many. But I can't really put a number on it. From my perspective, it was what almost everyone was doing--but that's because those were the people I was in those classes with and that mostly who I hung out with. :-)

You will also have opportunities outside the classroom. The Business Law journal has 1L participation and the Business Law & Economy Center has some great speakers come in.

Finally, you also can take classes over at Haas--also a top-10 program nationally in the MBA world. I even had a couple of classmates doing the MBA/JD program.

5965
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby 5965 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:09 am

Thanks Rotor and DreamShake for detailed responses! I definitely have a better sense now.

Could you tell me a bit about your 1L classes? Who were your profs and how did you like your classes?

monathenomad
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Re: Boalt 1Ls taking questions

Postby monathenomad » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:13 am

Hey all, just spent the last 2 hours reading through this entire forum. Lots of helpful and interesting stuff here (I particularly enjoyed the liberal/conservative culture debate and I will say that I used to think I was liberal on some issues until I went to Berkeley and realized I was a moderate/conservative. That being said, most of my classmates were very respectful and encouraging of different opinions. Having the courage to express them and not care too much about being judged is all on the individual though.)

I have somewhat of a specific concern. I would love to attend Berkeley Law and I know that I would fit right in (partially because I went for undergrad). However, I also heard from a lawyer that having Berkeley undergrad and law school on my resume might be a disadvantage. He didn't elaborate and it might've just been a speculation but I'd be interested to hear some thoughts on this.




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