Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

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boblawlob
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby boblawlob » Sat May 04, 2013 7:57 am

Am I the only person who looked into OP's post history?

Dated March 2011

Samms wrote:After doing two years of Community College,I was accepted to UC Berkeley. I managed to maintain a 4.0 and get a BA in Political Science. I plan to apply for various t14 Law Schools for the 2012 cycle. The only thing holding me back and worrying me is the conflicting information regarding "W's."

I've been maintaining a 40 hour a week job to support my ailing mother (Fibromiligia) and I've had to withdraw from some courses here or there as a result, the aggregate being 7 in about 4 and a half years of study, ALL of them in community college. I know this is above average amount, but Cal didn't care-- so my question is as follows --

Will I be greatly diminished in my ability to get into a t14 school (Harvard, Yale, Standford, etc.)? Most of the people I've talked to say that all Law School's care about is GPA and LSATS, followed by some nebulous factors such as soft ECs, etc, and that the way that Law School grades are calculated makes it so that W's are irrelevant and weightless, and that my LSAT score of 177 will put me over the edge. But there is enough conflicting information to give me pause. Please assume that in the absence of the W's, my soft positives would make it so I would get in. I'm very confident in my EC's.

Anyone who could shed some light on the above would be most helpful.

Thanks


Is this some deja vu/troll shit?

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat May 04, 2013 9:32 am

Image

Big Dog
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby Big Dog » Sat May 04, 2013 10:12 am

Further, I'd be careful about the assumption that it is easier to beat the bell curve at Irvine than it is at Berkeley.


Exactly. The fact is that Cal has a more generous curve than UCI: it awards more A's (as a % of total) in more disciplines. So assuming that you would be higher ranked in your Irvine class is just a guess.

LSHopeful91
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby LSHopeful91 » Sat May 04, 2013 11:10 am

Samms wrote:
LSHopeful91 wrote:Me: Berkeley undergrad in political science straight through to a T-14 here.

I can say, with no hesitation at all, that your undergrad school makes absolutely no difference. The "prestige" of a BA from Berkeley, especially in political science, is not as lofty as you think. The only time Berkeley has come in handy for me at law school has been as a conversation starter when people see it on my resume and realize we went to the same undergrad. That's it. Trust me on this.

I would say at my school that there are maybe 6 Berkeley people (including myself) and 4 Irvine people, but I don't think that's because UC Irvine was viewed as less than Berkeley.

Further, I'd be careful about the assumption that it is easier to beat the bell curve at Irvine than it is at Berkeley. It's the same thing as when you come to law school - the people are admitted based off metrics that aren't really indicative of how they will perform in college.

Finally, at least in my experience at Berkeley, I was only graded on a hard curve once out of my entire political science career, so I wouldn't worry about the curve anyway.

For full disclosure I'm at a lower sub 10 T-14 right now, but I got into multiple T-10s and decided not to go.


Hmm that's really interesting. I've heard differently but since you actually went there, I'm going to take your word for it. I'm not entirely worried about being able to maintain a decent GPA, and if I was, I wouldn't be that prepared for HYS either, so point taken. I'm really just looking at the economics of the situation now.

As to the various people who told me not to major in Political Science: why? People who graduate with decent grades and do things with their time in UG get jobs. In California, a Political Science degree isn't entirely worthless. I've grappled with the whole "hard science" vs. "soft science" question before, and my decision to major in Political Science came from basically my underlying desire to go to law school and the fact that there are 60k-70k salary government jobs at the state and local level here in California for people with PS BAs.

LSHopeful, does this bear out with what you've seen? Or should I be as jaded as everyone else in this thread regarding ever finding a job IF I decide not to go to law school with my PS degree.

Thanks for all the advice thus far guys. Definitely leaning towards UCI more and more.


I don't really know about the job market for political science majors from Berkeley. As I said, I went straight through and got no work experience, but I knew from pre-high school I was going to law school (I'm one of those stubborn people). But I will say the majority of my friends at Berkeley who were political science majors went either the PhD route or the law school route (and this is a pretty large sample size). I do know there are a lot of jobs for Berkeley political science majors in the bay area as campaign consultants and government agency jobs, but outside of that I truly have no idea about the job market (that's not to say people aren't getting jobs, just my political science friends elected not to).

As for the economics major advice, at least at law school, the difference between those two majors is null. If you go to Berkeley, there is a perception that people are economics majors because they couldn't get into Haas (the business school). But again, I know nothing of the job market so I can't give any credible advice about that.

But all this aside I will say I had to make a decision between UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, and UCLA (like every good CA kid), w/ a scholarship at Irvine and a chance to be a part of the honors college. I'm from around Irvine and LA, so I decided to go to Berkeley just for some scenery change, but I have not regretted that decision since graduating because it is a fantastic place to go to school.

I guess my ultimate advice is to not pick your undergrad based on how you think it will affect your law school chances, especially between these two schools, but to instead pick where you would rather be for two years.

LSHopeful91
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby LSHopeful91 » Sat May 04, 2013 11:12 am

Big Dog wrote:
Further, I'd be careful about the assumption that it is easier to beat the bell curve at Irvine than it is at Berkeley.


Exactly. The fact is that Cal has a more generous curve than UCI: it awards more A's (as a % of total) in more disciplines. So assuming that you would be higher ranked in your Irvine class is just a guess.


I was actually talking about the assumption that the student body at Berkeley is generally more intelligent than the student body at UC Irvine. I don't actually think this statistical anecdote has any bearing on the relative political science departments.
.

SFSpartan
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby SFSpartan » Sat May 04, 2013 2:18 pm

Do some research on the availability of those 60-70k CA government jobs. (You'll see that they don't exist...)

^this.

OP, I came out of school with degrees in International Relations and Political Theory (either of which you could substitute for PS). I speak Arabic, and I came out of college with 4 years of work experience, primarily as a staffer in a state legislature. After working a campaign (where I made 30k a year on a relatively well paying campaign), I could not get a job. State governments simply aren't hiring right now, and California is extremely broke, and will stay that way until the economy substantially recovers. Then there's DC, which is impossible to break into if you don't know anyone, and is plagued by a pool of overqualified, unemployed job candidates with tons of internship experience.

Bottom line, don't get a PS degree. Don't get a BA in Economics either. Get something that will actually be useful, like a BS in Econ, or plan on getting a graduate degree if you don't go to law school. And so that I can answer your original question, go to UCI. It makes more financial sense.

utlaw2007
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon May 06, 2013 12:58 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
Samms wrote:As far as interest in law, my dream is HYS , top 20% of my class, Law Review, and then V10 for 5-6 years and the possibly starting my own company.

LOL.

Try to stay modest, why don't you?

Go to the school that allows you to keep your debt low and your GPA high.


I agree with Doorkeeper on this one. Also, there is nothing wrong with dreaming big, but you appear to put your cart before your horse. One thing that I do not like is to see people who are all talk but can't back it up. Do you know how many people there are that said they were going to be lawyers working at big corporate law firms who never even got into law school, let alone a good one, in the first place? Don't be one of those people. As of now, you haven't accomplished jack. None of these goals will happen just because you said they will happen. If I were you, I'd keep my dreams to myself and focus on accomplishing the work that is needed to highly achieve.

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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon May 06, 2013 1:24 pm

Sorry, this is bullshit. The UC system is falling apart and they are saving the flagship. Berkeley is the ONLY one of the UC's I would recommend attending for undergrad right now.

Please don't go to UCI if you have Berkeley as an option. It won't necessarily be easier to get better grades, you'll meet many smarter and more accomplished people, you'll be open to more experiences, and you'll have more fun. SF & Berkeley are awesome, and I've lived in Irvine and its meh.

And that other poster (too busy to find and quote) who said "oh I went to Cal UG and it didn't matter except in convos with other alumns", thats implicitly contradictory: the fact that he's finding Cal alumns via interviews is helping him network, even if he's not realizing it. Furthermore, top law schools DO look at your undergrad, and MANY more Cal/UCLA students are at HYSCCN than lower UC's. Just scrolling through the FB groups of admitted students I can see it so plainly. Even if people can't go into detail about the technicalities of this correlation, it is overwhelming.

Personally I would not attend Cal or UCI, I'm a private school boy thru and thru, but Berkeley is still a great school whereas at UCI/SB/ect. all the social science and humanities are going down the drain. I plead with you to go to Berkeley, especially as a transfer -- in three years you'll thank me.

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Power Clean
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby Power Clean » Mon May 06, 2013 1:29 pm

boblawlob wrote:Am I the only person who looked into OP's post history?

Dated March 2011

Samms wrote:After doing two years of Community College,I was accepted to UC Berkeley. I managed to maintain a 4.0 and get a BA in Political Science. I plan to apply for various t14 Law Schools for the 2012 cycle. The only thing holding me back and worrying me is the conflicting information regarding "W's."

I've been maintaining a 40 hour a week job to support my ailing mother (Fibromiligia) and I've had to withdraw from some courses here or there as a result, the aggregate being 7 in about 4 and a half years of study, ALL of them in community college. I know this is above average amount, but Cal didn't care-- so my question is as follows --

Will I be greatly diminished in my ability to get into a t14 school (Harvard, Yale, Standford, etc.)? Most of the people I've talked to say that all Law School's care about is GPA and LSATS, followed by some nebulous factors such as soft ECs, etc, and that the way that Law School grades are calculated makes it so that W's are irrelevant and weightless, and that my LSAT score of 177 will put me over the edge. But there is enough conflicting information to give me pause. Please assume that in the absence of the W's, my soft positives would make it so I would get in. I'm very confident in my EC's.

Anyone who could shed some light on the above would be most helpful.

Thanks


Is this some deja vu/troll shit?


Yeah, I was just as curious...

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Grazzhoppa
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby Grazzhoppa » Tue May 07, 2013 12:40 am

go to Cal, major in something useful, don't go to law school (or go but still go to Cal).

Big Dog
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby Big Dog » Tue May 07, 2013 1:13 am

I was actually talking about the assumption that the student body at Berkeley is generally more intelligent than the student body at UC Irvine.


Yeah, I get that. But Cal also has more generous curves, i.e., more A's per class, and higher mean GPA's, to (partially?) make up for the stronger students.

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Clearly
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby Clearly » Tue May 07, 2013 1:24 am

chimp wrote:
Samms wrote:As far as interest in law, my dream is HYS , top 20% of my class, Law Review, and then V10 for 5-6 years and the possibly starting my own company.

Image

:lol: lol

LSHopeful91
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby LSHopeful91 » Tue May 07, 2013 2:39 am

jbagelboy wrote:Sorry, this is bullshit. The UC system is falling apart and they are saving the flagship. Berkeley is the ONLY one of the UC's I would recommend attending for undergrad right now.

Please don't go to UCI if you have Berkeley as an option. It won't necessarily be easier to get better grades, you'll meet many smarter and more accomplished people, you'll be open to more experiences, and you'll have more fun. SF & Berkeley are awesome, and I've lived in Irvine and its meh.

And that other poster (too busy to find and quote) who said "oh I went to Cal UG and it didn't matter except in convos with other alumns", thats implicitly contradictory: the fact that he's finding Cal alumns via interviews is helping him network, even if he's not realizing it. Furthermore, top law schools DO look at your undergrad, and MANY more Cal/UCLA students are at HYSCCN than lower UC's. Just scrolling through the FB groups of admitted students I can see it so plainly. Even if people can't go into detail about the technicalities of this correlation, it is overwhelming.

Personally I would not attend Cal or UCI, I'm a private school boy thru and thru, but Berkeley is still a great school whereas at UCI/SB/ect. all the social science and humanities are going down the drain. I plead with you to go to Berkeley, especially as a transfer -- in three years you'll thank me.


Looks like someone just took the LSAT. Saying that it comes up in conversation does not make what I said about it being irrelevant a contradiction. The question was whether he should go to Berkeley or Irvine, not whether the Berkeley connection mattered at all. As a matter of fact, the point I was making was that those same alumni connections exist for people who went to UC Irvine. Ultimately, what I meant to say (and perhaps this is my fault for not communicating this clearly) was that there has not been a marked difference in the amount of alumni connections and networking between people who go to Berkeley and people who go to UC Irvine, which in my opinion is the illusory value of the Berkeley "prestige" - the allegedly greater network and name recognition. Thus, in deciding between undergraduate schools for going onto law school, it really does not matter (and to be honest people affiliate stronger with what law school you go to anyway).

And while I admit you should take my advice with a grain of salt, I also wouldn't accept this future aspie's proposition that going to a public school in California below Berkeley is a bad idea and a waste of money. Just email a law school admissions person for any of the top-14 schools and ask them what the most represented undergraduate institutions are. For my class, out of the top-10 universities represented, half were UCs according to the dean of admissions, but feel free to measure that against some facebook page observations. And furthermore, "MANY" is an ambiguous term - in the law school context that means they may take 8 from Berkeley and 3 from another UC, but either way you still need to be in those top applicants regardless of the school you go to.

I guess between the two of us you have enough anectodal evidence to make you completely confused. But there is empirical data out there, and while we both help I would suggest just looking at admissions statistics to see whether that perhaps imperceptible increase in admissions from Berkeley to law school instead of Irvine to law school is worth the extra money.

igo2northwestern
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby igo2northwestern » Tue May 07, 2013 3:03 am

The question shouldn't be "which school should I attend because I really really want to go to law school", because I doubt OP has a sufficient understanding about the profession to make a fully informed decision about his future. But to answer this question, the distinction b/w Berk & UCI probably does matter at the T3 (HYS) level and likely matters to some law firms regardless of the law school attended.

OP should be concerned more about which undergrad will give him/her the greatest opportunity (whether it be law or something else) upon graduation. So OP, go to Cal.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue May 07, 2013 5:10 am

LSHopeful91 wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:Sorry, this is bullshit. The UC system is falling apart and they are saving the flagship. Berkeley is the ONLY one of the UC's I would recommend attending for undergrad right now.

Please don't go to UCI if you have Berkeley as an option. It won't necessarily be easier to get better grades, you'll meet many smarter and more accomplished people, you'll be open to more experiences, and you'll have more fun. SF & Berkeley are awesome, and I've lived in Irvine and its meh.

And that other poster (too busy to find and quote) who said "oh I went to Cal UG and it didn't matter except in convos with other alumns", thats implicitly contradictory: the fact that he's finding Cal alumns via interviews is helping him network, even if he's not realizing it. Furthermore, top law schools DO look at your undergrad, and MANY more Cal/UCLA students are at HYSCCN than lower UC's. Just scrolling through the FB groups of admitted students I can see it so plainly. Even if people can't go into detail about the technicalities of this correlation, it is overwhelming.

Personally I would not attend Cal or UCI, I'm a private school boy thru and thru, but Berkeley is still a great school whereas at UCI/SB/ect. all the social science and humanities are going down the drain. I plead with you to go to Berkeley, especially as a transfer -- in three years you'll thank me.


Looks like someone just took the LSAT. Saying that it comes up in conversation does not make what I said about it being irrelevant a contradiction. The question was whether he should go to Berkeley or Irvine, not whether the Berkeley connection mattered at all. As a matter of fact, the point I was making was that those same alumni connections exist for people who went to UC Irvine. Ultimately, what I meant to say (and perhaps this is my fault for not communicating this clearly) was that there has not been a marked difference in the amount of alumni connections and networking between people who go to Berkeley and people who go to UC Irvine, which in my opinion is the illusory value of the Berkeley "prestige" - the allegedly greater network and name recognition. Thus, in deciding between undergraduate schools for going onto law school, it really does not matter (and to be honest people affiliate stronger with what law school you go to anyway).

And while I admit you should take my advice with a grain of salt, I also wouldn't accept this future aspie's proposition that going to a public school in California below Berkeley is a bad idea and a waste of money. Just email a law school admissions person for any of the top-14 schools and ask them what the most represented undergraduate institutions are. For my class, out of the top-10 universities represented, half were UCs according to the dean of admissions, but feel free to measure that against some facebook page observations. And furthermore, "MANY" is an ambiguous term - in the law school context that means they may take 8 from Berkeley and 3 from another UC, but either way you still need to be in those top applicants regardless of the school you go to.

I guess between the two of us you have enough anectodal evidence to make you completely confused. But there is empirical data out there, and while we both help I would suggest just looking at admissions statistics to see whether that perhaps imperceptible increase in admissions from Berkeley to law school instead of Irvine to law school is worth the extra money.


Your condescension is noted, and highlights your ignorance in brilliant colors. Im not even going to address your tone -- I could very well be older than you and have taken the LSAT before you. Doesnt matter kids will say what they want on the internet.

I actually speak from a place of significant knowledge as to the plight of the UC system post-2009. I grew up and went to high school in irvine, my parents and their friends were faculty at UCI for years, with many family friends in administration and faculty at UCLA and Cal. Its a world of difference. This kid has no idea what he'll want in 4 years: This is an easy decision between a world class university and a strong but ultimately limited largely commuter school (granted one with surprisingly strong research in the physical, computational, and biomedical sciences). This isnt about "prestige" its about opening yourself up to educational experiences, department resources, and a higher achieving student body that would be inaccessible at lower UCs. Sure your freshmen classes will still be huge and it might take you an extra semester to graduate but thats a common peril.

As for my "confusion", this isnt strictly anecdotal, its evidentiary. Make those calls to admissions that you've mentioned: UCLA/Cal place an overwhelming margin of the T6 compared to other CA public schools. Besides, the value of the berkeley degree isnt just in its ability to place in law school, but in summer and postgrad employment, rec letters from star faculty, superior research with top 10 grad programs across the board, ect. Its impossible to quantify the added value of a multi-year commitment of a college experience with a single metric. you also failed address an of my comments regarding Cals superior geography and QoL.

I have no further interest in winning anyone over here. OP will probably end up going to Cal anyway because barring intense family pressure to commute from closer to home no one screws up that badly to make the opposite choice.

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Flash
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby Flash » Tue May 07, 2013 9:25 am

igo2northwestern wrote:The question shouldn't be "which school should I attend because I really really want to go to law school", because I doubt OP has a sufficient understanding about the profession to make a fully informed decision about his future. But to answer this question, the distinction b/w Berk & UCI probably does matter at the T3 (HYS) level and likely matters to some law firms regardless of the law school attended.

OP should be concerned more about which undergrad will give him/her the greatest opportunity (whether it be law or something else) upon graduation. So OP, go to Cal.

This would be true except for the fact that it's not.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby Dr. Dre » Tue May 07, 2013 12:27 pm

Clearlynotstefan wrote:
chimp wrote:
Samms wrote:As far as interest in law, my dream is HYS , top 20% of my class, Law Review, and then V10 for 5-6 years and the possibly starting my own company.

Image

:lol: lol

utlaw2007
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue May 07, 2013 3:35 pm

\
Personally I would not attend Cal or UCI, I'm a private school boy thru and thru, but Berkeley is still a great school whereas at UCI/SB/ect.


I am the anti private school boy. I did attend one for high school, but I am a public university/law school boy through and through. I was against going to privates for both law school and undergrad. My law school reasons were trivial. My undergraduate reasons were perfectly legitimate.

But I do think OP should go to Cal-Berkeley.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby Dr. Dre » Tue May 07, 2013 4:25 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:
I am the anti private school boy.



I am the anti public school boy. :twisted:

igo2northwestern
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby igo2northwestern » Tue May 07, 2013 10:09 pm

Flash wrote:
igo2northwestern wrote:The question shouldn't be "which school should I attend because I really really want to go to law school", because I doubt OP has a sufficient understanding about the profession to make a fully informed decision about his future. But to answer this question, the distinction b/w Berk & UCI probably does matter at the T3 (HYS) level and likely matters to some law firms regardless of the law school attended.

OP should be concerned more about which undergrad will give him/her the greatest opportunity (whether it be law or something else) upon graduation. So OP, go to Cal.

This would be true except for the fact that it's not.

i don't know about the T3 info firsthand, but two 3Ls at H voiced their concerns that their non-Ivy undergrad had an impact on their 1L summers. which i know isn't a solid basis. but i think as a whole my advice is still sound

the second point you bolded came out of the mouth of a Chicago law firm partner.

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stillwater
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby stillwater » Tue May 07, 2013 10:20 pm

isnt UCI TTT?

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Berkeley or UCI for Undergrad .. Does it matter?

Postby Dr. Dre » Tue May 07, 2013 10:23 pm

stillwater wrote:isnt UCI TTTT?


FTFY




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