Berkeley 1Ls taking Qs...

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silver11
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby silver11 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:15 pm

Do you really have to live there or do you just have to pay for rent those two-three months?

legends159
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby legends159 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:20 pm

silver11 wrote:Do you really have to live there or do you just have to pay for rent those two-three months?


Im pretty sure it's the latter. They don't have spies check up on you periodically. It would help to have additional proof that you were there though, like utility bills or a paycheck.

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Formerbruin
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby Formerbruin » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:33 pm

Just to warn you, if you don't have proof of a CA job in that time, they will be more skeptical and ask for more things.

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Formerbruin
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby Formerbruin » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:34 pm

please tell me they have free weights


Yep.

legends159
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby legends159 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:40 pm

Formerbruin wrote:Just to warn you, if you don't have proof of a CA job in that time, they will be more skeptical and ask for more things.


Job includes non-paying intern/externships right?

and even if we don't get those, could we present utility bills, cc bills as proof?

And by "they" do you mean the University or the state of California?

lsatbobby
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby lsatbobby » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:41 pm

I use the Berkeley gym. It's not bad and at $10/semester, I'm sold.


I don't like the sound of "not bad". The fancy shmancy gym at gtown almost sold me on the school. I don't really care what the classes are like as long as there is a tv on my treadmill.

legends159
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby legends159 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:54 pm

lsatbobby wrote:
I use the Berkeley gym. It's not bad and at $10/semester, I'm sold.


I don't like the sound of "not bad". The fancy shmancy gym at gtown almost sold me on the school. I don't really care what the classes are like as long as there is a tv on my treadmill.


I always fall off the treadmill when I'm watching television. I always seem to sway to the left.

lsatbobby
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby lsatbobby » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:57 pm

^ glad im not the only one.

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muddywaters
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby muddywaters » Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:19 am

Can people share why they chose UCB over other schools (using names if possible). Thanks!

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Formerbruin
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby Formerbruin » Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:37 am

Yes, non-paying jobs count. And yes, utility bills/cc bills will count.

The gym here is not what you would call "fancy-schmancy." There are a few tvs around, but they're hard to see from a lot of the machines. It has all the basics, but not a whole lot of frills.

For the gym connoisseur...might not be all that impressive. Plus there are lots of sweaty undergrads. To be honest, I don't know where the closest nice gym is. I'm easily satisfied like that

I visited three schools: Duke, UVa, and Berkeley. I wasn't impressed by Duke at its admitted students day, and it definitely had a culture of BigLaw-or-bust. Which is fine. But it's boring. The students showing us around seemed to like it enough, but they did not have the passion that UVa students or Berkeley students did.

Turning down UVa was extremely tough. I was very impressed by a lot of things: the facilities, the professors, the students. They definitely know how to sell it--they had the best presentation by far of the three.

I suppose there are a few factors that helped me make my decision. The first was that I knew I wanted to end up in CA after law school, and Berkeley was better positioned for that in terms of firms interviewing on campus and proximity for interviewing. The second is that I thought Charlottesville was "cute" but I much prefer being near a big city. The third is that I liked the people and the culture they foster at Berk just a little bit more. The UVa admitted students day seemed to focus on the school, and Berk seemed to focus on the people. And, honestly, I appreciated getting to know the students because the quality of education, as well as job prospects, would have been more or less the same at either one.

But I think I would have been just as happy at UVa. Not sure about Duke.

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muddywaters
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby muddywaters » Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:41 am

thanks much! im going to see uva soon...

lsatbobby
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby lsatbobby » Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:45 am

so do you think you would've selected uva if your plans were to stay on the east coast?

i'm a little worried about attending berk over similarly ranked schools (in a different location), considering i plan to work on the east coast

and thanks for your help

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Formerbruin
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby Formerbruin » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:07 am

lsatbobby wrote:so do you think you would've selected uva if your plans were to stay on the east coast?


Probably, yes. The difference was razor thin for me.

lsatbobby
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby lsatbobby » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:08 am

hrmph. this shall be a difficult decision. i guess visiting schools might make it a lot easier, though.

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Formerbruin
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby Formerbruin » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:10 am

I don't know if it'll make it any easier, but it can help you to figure out the differences and what you liked and didn't like about each one (as much as you can make that sort of opinion in a weekend).

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Son of Cicero
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby Son of Cicero » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:22 am

Formerbruin wrote:
lsatbobby wrote:so do you think you would've selected uva if your plans were to stay on the east coast?


Probably, yes. The difference was razor thin for me.

Exactly the same for me. I came extremely close to attending UVa, but a few personal factors (including wanting to get out of the South) eventually pushed me to Berkeley. If you are having trouble choosing between schools in the lower T10, you absolutely should visit them. There is no clear choice unless you just hate a particular region. I would advise going to ASW a day early and meeting real students going to/from classes. Anyone who is enthusiastic enough to spend a rare free day convincing visiting 1Ls to attend his or her school may be blind to the downsides that the uncertain visitor would want to know about.

lsatbobby
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby lsatbobby » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:28 am

thanks for the advice.

ya, i plan on spending a few days at each school, especially berkeley since I've spent very little time in CA. Quality of life is important to me and I'd like to move away from the east coast for a while, but I want to make sure that wouldn't hurt job prospects.
(althought I'm sure berk grads aren't struggling for jobs on the east coast)

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Formerbruin
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby Formerbruin » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:30 pm

I'm bored and not going home for a couple days. Ask me questions about being halfway done with law school.

lsatbobby
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby lsatbobby » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:39 pm

do you think the H/P grading system made you less worried about finals than you would've been otherwise

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Formerbruin
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby Formerbruin » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:01 pm

Definitely happy. For the first time, I know what I'm doing with my life beyond just "the law." And it's something I feel I can do some good in. Plus the rains of the last week are gone.

I'm going to get an article of mine published in a journal in the spring. I've always wanted to do that.

I suppose the worst part of last year point five was the uncertainty, from how are my grades going to be? to will the firms like me? to which city do I want to work in and which firm is the best for me? There's that transition between the first two questions (first year) to the last two (where I am now): from things feeling like they're out of my control, to having a command over things. I feel like I can finally accomplish something meaningful.

We'll see though, eh?

lsatbobby
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby lsatbobby » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:01 pm

that stuff is good to hear...i expected most 1ls to feel wore out and stressed still

(sorry about changing my ? after you posted that response)

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Formerbruin
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby Formerbruin » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:56 pm

Most 1L's probably are. Most 2Ls (of whom I am one) are probably just relieved.

I don't think the grades are really all that different from the top schools that still have grades. For example, at UVa, 20% get A- or higher, 60% get B+/B, and 20% get below a B. So instead of 20/60/20, you have 10/30/60. Basically the lowest 20% of the class gets subsidized by the middle 20%. So if you fear you're in the bottom 20% in any given class, yes the Boalt system helps. However, if you're near the middle of the class, it hurts (in comparison to UVa) because we can't differentiate you from the guy who demonstrated minimum proficiency.

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raskolnikov
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby raskolnikov » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:59 pm

lsatbobby wrote:do you think the H/P grading system made you less worried about finals than you would've been otherwise

It's hard to say exactly. If you're aiming for the top of your class (as most people tend to do), then you realize that it's not enough to know the material really well - you have to know it better than almost everyone else and be able to apply it better than they do. It doesn't feel competitive, per se, but there is definitely internal stress from the strict grading curve.

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doomswitched
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby doomswitched » Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:39 am

raskolnikov wrote:
lsatbobby wrote:do you think the H/P grading system made you less worried about finals than you would've been otherwise

It's hard to say exactly. If you're aiming for the top of your class (as most people tend to do), then you realize that it's not enough to know the material really well - you have to know it better than almost everyone else and be able to apply it better than they do. It doesn't feel competitive, per se, but there is definitely internal stress from the strict grading curve.

I'd agree that it's hard to say exactly. I would say that I personally felt less stress as a result of this. P = JD, so they say, and that is reassuring.

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doomswitched
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Re: Berkeley 1L taking Qs...

Postby doomswitched » Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:56 am

muddywaters wrote:Can people share why they chose UCB over other schools (using names if possible). Thanks!


Other schools seriously in contention with UCB: NYU, Columbia, Penn, UVA

NYU: didn't get chosen by a razor thin margin. They have an early deadline for accepting their scholarship money (can't remember exactly, but I think it was 3/1. I had significantly more at Penn and UVA at the time. NYU wouldn't budge and I didn't pull the trigger. I think I had gotten an email from Yale at that point saying I was either going to be waitlisted or admitted, so really I couldn't pick NYU at that time. After the deadline I felt like I couldn't pick them since I'd just passed up the money. (see below for more)

Columbia: they wanted my parent's financial info. My parents did not oblige (I'm in my thirties), which resulted in zero financial aid. Family of four in NYC racks up an impressive debt and I passed (see below for more).

Penn, UVA: I liked both of these schools near equally and financial aid was close between them, but each was slightly better than Berkeley. The sense of community at both seemed about the same as here. In the end I thought the bay area was the best compromise for what I wanted in my program (emphasis on social justice/public interest/public service) and location (not in a small university town) and what quality of life would be like for my family (incredibly good weather, food, financial support for families through housing and daycare). This latter aspect was pretty huge. Berkeley was the only school that even thought to address this in their marketing campaign, despite Columbia's claim to have a high percentage of non-traditionals attending.

The vibe here at Berkeley Law is pretty damn sweet. It felt like a good match when I visited; the people were right and the weather was great. NYU felt like a decent match; people were nice and some of my intellectual heros are on the faculty, but the weather is not great. Columbia felt wrong (can't quite put my finger on this one; just felt wrong). Did not manage to visit Penn or UVA, so I relied on the reports from other TLSers. I'm very happy with the decision, but I'd encourage everyone to visit their top picks and see what feels right. In the end, that (IMHO) is the best arbiter of where you should go. You'll be there three years, you need to sort of like it. You can talk to anyone here, or at least, I feel like I can. Pretentious behavior is very low and the competition is basically with yourself. According to a visiting 3L from Harvard, there is a noticeable difference in intensity. That's all stuff I like, but if you prefer intensity and a greater level of competition, then this is probably not going to feel right. I'm not saying that stuff is bad; it's just not for me.




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