WUSTL (Named Scholarship) vs. Berkeley (w/ 90k)

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Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:21 am

WUSTL (Named Scholarship) vs. Berkeley (w/ 90k)

Postby NativeofOne » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:12 am

Close to making my decision, but I wanted to do a quick sanity check on this one. WashU has offered me a full-tuition scholarship, and I'm also being considered for a named scholarship, which includes an $8,000 per year living stipend. Berkeley (to my surprise) offered me 90k after only asking for 80k--maybe sold myself short. Oh well. Whether or not I receive the named scholarship, I'm thinking Berkeley at this point for the following reasons.

1. Have big law, federal clerkship, and academic oriented long-term goals. Berkeley is by no means Harvard, by I think I will still have better prospects at Berkeley and WashU for a federal clerkship and possible academic positions in the future.

2. The Midwest and east coast aren't my ideal (although NYC would be great). I've lived where there are mountains my whole life and tend just to vibe better with people on the west coast. I would be very happy to practice in the Bay area, especially privacy or IP law.

3. On the off chance I decide I want to do PI work, Berkeley has a great LRAP program (basically full-coverage if you make $65K or less per year for ten years, and you pay 35% on incremental salary until you reach $100,000). Please correct me if I don't have those details exactly right.

4. The people and programs at Berkeley. I'm truly impressed with the caliper of students and professors I met while visiting Berkeley. Also, there's a somewhat larger native population (okay really only two students more, but what are you going to do).

Thoughts? Please don't wreck me. This is my first post on TLS.


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Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:52 pm

Re: WUSTL (Named Scholarship) vs. Berkeley (w/ 90k)

Postby d373 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:18 am

Totally biased Berkeley alum here.

It all depends what you want, but I don't think you'll ever regret going to Berkeley.

The money is a lot but the difference between Berkeley and a non T-14 school in terms of doors opened is significant. I clerked and then did biglaw on the east coast and met a lot of Berkeley alums (obviously way less than east coast T-14s but still quite a few) in DC and New York. And in California (and other west coast markets), Berkeley places better than anywhere but HYS. You really don't have to be all that high in the class to get great opportunities. The school also has a very strong PI community. And it is a fantastic place to spend three years: incredible faculty, a really nice place to live and a great culture among the students.

FWIW, I turned down full scholarships from higher ranked schools for a similar amount of money at Berkeley and would do it again in a heartbeat.


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Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:10 pm

Re: WUSTL (Named Scholarship) vs. Berkeley (w/ 90k)

Postby beinghuman » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:48 pm

Definitely Berkley. The difference in opportunities here would totally justify the COA difference.

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