Berk v NU v Texas

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user69

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Berk v NU v Texas

Post by user69 » Wed May 06, 2020 7:43 pm

Note: I’ve already actually committed but I’m curious about others opinions as to what they would do. A bit bored during the quarantine. Feel free to remove mods.

Berk: 75k scholly ; ~204k COA
NU: 90k scholly; ~198k COA
Texas: instate waiver + 45k; ~135k COA

What I want:
-practice in CA (pref SoCal / anywhere w/ warm weather)
- I want to try cases (PD/ADA , small lit boutique etc...)

Some additional info:
- have significant high level tech experience (can sit for patent bar as well)
- Have semi substantial liquid savings.
- Got WL’d at all other CA schools I applied to


What would y’all have done?

AdieuCali

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Re: Berk v NU v Texas

Post by AdieuCali » Wed May 06, 2020 8:15 pm

user69 wrote:Note: I’ve already actually committed but I’m curious about others opinions as to what they would do. A bit bored during the quarantine. Feel free to remove mods.

Berk: 75k scholly ; ~204k COA
NU: 90k scholly; ~198k COA
Texas: instate waiver + 45k; ~135k COA

What I want:
-practice in CA (pref SoCal / anywhere w/ warm weather)
- I want to try cases (PD/ADA , small lit boutique etc...)

Some additional info:
- have significant high level tech experience (can sit for patent bar as well)
- Have semi substantial liquid savings.
- Got WL’d at all other CA schools I applied to


What would y’all have done?
With it's generous LRAP, great CA placement, and robust PI network, Berkeley is the obvious decision. Great choice!

QContinuum

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Re: Berk v NU v Texas

Post by QContinuum » Wed May 06, 2020 9:37 pm

Both Berkeley and NW are absolutely worth an extra $60k over Texas for someone who doesn't want to practice in Texas.

As between Berkeley and NW at equal COA, wanting to practice in CA tips the scales in favor of Berkeley. If this was between Berkeley and Chicago at equal COA, Chicago would be the right answer, but here, Northwestern's placement power is similar to Berkeley's nationally, and Berkeley has the home court advantage in California.

Congrats on choosing Berkeley!

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Sackboy

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Re: Berk v NU v Texas

Post by Sackboy » Wed May 06, 2020 10:35 pm

I'm not a fan of these prices, but Berkeley seems like the obvious choice for your goals. Northwestern would have been fine too. Texas would have been a poor choice.

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UVA2B

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Re: Berk v NU v Texas

Post by UVA2B » Wed May 06, 2020 10:47 pm

Congrats on picking Berkeley, cause that's what you should have done.

That said, your OP throws out at least three incredibly divergent career paths, so you won't get the best advice when you simultaneously seek advice based on three or more very different career paths.

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user69

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Re: Berk v NU v Texas

Post by user69 » Wed May 06, 2020 10:58 pm

UVA2B wrote:Congrats on picking Berkeley, cause that's what you should have done.

That said, your OP throws out at least three incredibly divergent career paths, so you won't get the best advice when you simultaneously seek advice based on three or more very different career paths.
Mind elaborating? I mean obviously being a PD and ADA are on opposite side but both are in court quite often. I know very little about lit boutiques, but I don’t hate money and want to go to court with some frequency — so seems like it’s worth exploring. Maybe I’m missing something very basic?

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UVA2B

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Re: Berk v NU v Texas

Post by UVA2B » Wed May 06, 2020 11:12 pm

user69 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Congrats on picking Berkeley, cause that's what you should have done.

That said, your OP throws out at least three incredibly divergent career paths, so you won't get the best advice when you simultaneously seek advice based on three or more very different career paths.
Mind elaborating? I mean obviously being a PD and ADA are on opposite side but both are in court quite often. I know very little about lit boutiques, but I don’t hate money and want to go to court with some frequency — so seems like it’s worth exploring. Maybe I’m missing something very basic?
PD/ADA are actually relatively similar, so I was treating that as functionally a similar career path because they require generally the same barriers to entry. The parts that concern me, to the extent any online choosing a law school thread could, is the mention of lit boutiques and your tech background after mentioning you want to do public service work. If you really want to do local gov't work, then your criteria is really the ability to place in a given PD/DA office combined with the relative strength of a school's LRAP, since you're likely to rely on it for repayment. You can place in SoCal (or other warm western jurisdictions) with relative ease out of Berkeley, and since their LRAP would likely cover your costs in that job, you'd be covered (with a noted assumption that you won't ever experience a PSLF tax bomb).

Lit boutiques are not monolithic, so if all you mean is working in a small trial attorney office doing things similar to/adverse to a PD/ADA, then your thinking should be that you won't have LRAP, meaning how much you're paid and how much law school costs starts to matter. This is where Berkeley becomes a decidedly more risky gamble. And if you mean elite lit boutique work, you're relying on getting competitive clerkships and getting a single spot among hundreds, so it's essentially a crapshoot from the start because the positions are so rare and so coveted.

Finally, you mention your tech background and patent bar eligibility. Maybe you mean that to be a failsafe against the other outcomes not working out, but that is unlikely how your law school process would work out. Assume you're all in on doing public service or lit boutique work. Your backup plan in tech and patent work is likely to work itself out in either summer 1L hiring, or at the latest, 2L SA hiring, which is likely to be before you ever know whether you have the public service or lit boutique job you want. So your backup plan couldn't functionally work as a backup plan unless you're lucky enough to secure patent law work during 3L hiring, which is notoriously difficult to get in a good economy, much less now.

Public service is fundamentally different from private work, and differing private work also differs in how they hire, so that's the reason for concern. PD/ADA isn't an insurmountable goal from any of these schools, so if that's what you want to do, it's relatively a safe bet. But stay committed to that goal if you are, because the other options you throw out would be frustrated by striving for PD/ADA goals.

user69

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Re: Berk v NU v Texas

Post by user69 » Wed May 06, 2020 11:32 pm

UVA2B wrote:
user69 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Congrats on picking Berkeley, cause that's what you should have done.

That said, your OP throws out at least three incredibly divergent career paths, so you won't get the best advice when you simultaneously seek advice based on three or more very different career paths.
Mind elaborating? I mean obviously being a PD and ADA are on opposite side but both are in court quite often. I know very little about lit boutiques, but I don’t hate money and want to go to court with some frequency — so seems like it’s worth exploring. Maybe I’m missing something very basic?
PD/ADA are actually relatively similar, so I was treating that as functionally a similar career path because they require generally the same barriers to entry. The parts that concern me, to the extent any online choosing a law school thread could, is the mention of lit boutiques and your tech background after mentioning you want to do public service work. If you really want to do local gov't work, then your criteria is really the ability to place in a given PD/DA office combined with the relative strength of a school's LRAP, since you're likely to rely on it for repayment. You can place in SoCal (or other warm western jurisdictions) with relative ease out of Berkeley, and since their LRAP would likely cover your costs in that job, you'd be covered (with a noted assumption that you won't ever experience a PSLF tax bomb).

Lit boutiques are not monolithic, so if all you mean is working in a small trial attorney office doing things similar to/adverse to a PD/ADA, then your thinking should be that you won't have LRAP, meaning how much you're paid and how much law school costs starts to matter. This is where Berkeley becomes a decidedly more risky gamble. And if you mean elite lit boutique work, you're relying on getting competitive clerkships and getting a single spot among hundreds, so it's essentially a crapshoot from the start because the positions are so rare and so coveted.

Finally, you mention your tech background and patent bar eligibility. Maybe you mean that to be a failsafe against the other outcomes not working out, but that is unlikely how your law school process would work out. Assume you're all in on doing public service or lit boutique work. Your backup plan in tech and patent work is likely to work itself out in either summer 1L hiring, or at the latest, 2L SA hiring, which is likely to be before you ever know whether you have the public service or lit boutique job you want. So your backup plan couldn't functionally work as a backup plan unless you're lucky enough to secure patent law work during 3L hiring, which is notoriously difficult to get in a good economy, much less now.

Public service is fundamentally different from private work, and differing private work also differs in how they hire, so that's the reason for concern. PD/ADA isn't an insurmountable goal from any of these schools, so if that's what you want to do, it's relatively a safe bet. But stay committed to that goal if you are, because the other options you throw out would be frustrated by striving for PD/ADA goals.
A few things:

1. Thank you for the detailed reply, it is greatly appreciated.
2. Yes, I did sort of think of it as a "back up" good to know that is not an option. Hadn't really thought about it all too much because it is indeed a fallback. I could also simply go back to tech if I really need too. Great to know. Thanks.
3. My desire out of law school is to get trial experience. I'd love to be able to shoot for more money (i.e. some lit boutique) and fall back on a PD/ADA gig. Is this at all possible? Or should I simply focus on PD/ADA. Trial experience trumps all here and that is going to be my focus coming out of school.

Thanks again.

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UVA2B

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Re: Berk v NU v Texas

Post by UVA2B » Wed May 06, 2020 11:45 pm

1. It's not that patent work isn't a fallback option, but it's not a reliable one, which might be more or less the same thing for you.

2. The timing issue of how those jobs hire is really important, but it's also not dispositive of a single result. It's possible you could go through 1L and do extremely well, do a public interest job during 1L summer, and find yourself making decisions between all three jobs, to include having options of federal clerkships that would open desirable lit boutiques that would offer you substantive trial experience early on.

3. As briefly discussed above, the differing careers aren't mutually exclusive, but they are stressed by pursuing one over another. Why do you value trial experience so much? What do you think it gives you in your varied career goals? Trial experience is valuable for those wanting to be lifetime litigators, but it's also not uniform regardless of practice area. Being a skilled PD is decidedly different from being a skilled civil litigator representing F500 clients, even if some of the same principles still apply.

In terms of "fallback options," PD/ADA is possibly easier because of the late period of hiring compared to "lit boutiques" and patent work on a relatively large scale firm.

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user69

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Re: Berk v NU v Texas

Post by user69 » Thu May 07, 2020 12:07 am

UVA2B wrote:1. It's not that patent work isn't a fallback option, but it's not a reliable one, which might be more or less the same thing for you.

2. The timing issue of how those jobs hire is really important, but it's also not dispositive of a single result. It's possible you could go through 1L and do extremely well, do a public interest job during 1L summer, and find yourself making decisions between all three jobs, to include having options of federal clerkships that would open desirable lit boutiques that would offer you substantive trial experience early on.

3. As briefly discussed above, the differing careers aren't mutually exclusive, but they are stressed by pursuing one over another. Why do you value trial experience so much? What do you think it gives you in your varied career goals? Trial experience is valuable for those wanting to be lifetime litigators, but it's also not uniform regardless of practice area. Being a skilled PD is decidedly different from being a skilled civil litigator representing F500 clients, even if some of the same principles still apply.

In terms of "fallback options," PD/ADA is possibly easier because of the late period of hiring compared to "lit boutiques" and patent work on a relatively large scale firm.

Yes, I want trial experience so I can become a lifelong litigator. As far as specified area goes, my aim going in was to be a PD. I know a decent amount about what that entails, and I think I'd enjoy many aspects of it. I enjoy dealing with clients (even extremely frustrating ones), public speaking, storytelling, performing, and enjoying generally adversarial activities. That being said, the majority of my knowledge of the legal field is limited to criminal practice. I don't think I'm particularly married to that practice area, I'm simply ignorant of others -- thus all my questions :) . Thanks again -- that was all very helpful. (edited response since my answers are above.)

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Re: Berk v NU v Texas

Post by JS623 » Tue May 26, 2020 11:31 pm

Confirming as someone who chose Texas Law (albeit, targeting Texas), do not choose Texas for your goals. I don't have an opinion between the other two, so I would rely on the other commenters.

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