UT Austin or Berkeley Law

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future_IP_lawyer23

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UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby future_IP_lawyer23 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:30 pm

I received a $30k scholarship to go to UT Austin but I have received a $50k scholarship at Berkeley (these are total scholarship amounts not yearly amounts). I want to practice either patent litigation or prosecution. I ultimately want to work in Texas, both because I think that the lower cost of living would come in handy and because Dallas has a good IP market. The advantage of UT is that my cost of attendance would be roughly $45k a year whereas Berkeley would cost me $71K a year, so my debt upon graduation would be much lower at UT than it would be at Berkeley.

I know the classic argument is that if you want to work in Texas you should go to UT Law; however, some patent attorneys I have talked to have said that Texas Law firms hire from Texas law schools because a JD from a Texas school indicates that the student has ties to Texas and is less likely to leave. They continued by saying that since I grew up in Texas, got my electrical engineering degree from a school in Texas, and have a good reason for wanting to move to Texas, if I attend Berkeley I probably would not have a hard time getting back into the Dallas or Houston legal markets. Do y'all agree with this?

I'm also interested in pursuing a clerkship, and I thought Berkeley would do a better job of helping me get one. Based on my info, towards what school should I be leaning? Do the career opportunities offered by Berkeley offset the additional cost of attendance or is UT still the better value? Thanks.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:00 pm

This is close but I'd go with Texas. Berkeley's CoA of well over $200k is at the outer bound of what's reasonable. UT doesn't get you biglaw at median but your EE degree means you should be able to punch above your weight. Clerkships will take top grades from either school so I wouldn't put much weight on that consideration.

Try negotiating with both schools. Did you apply to other T14s?

BasilHallward

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Re: UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby BasilHallward » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:22 pm

Also, FWIW you should qualify for in-state tuition at UT after your first year. I know several people who did this while there.

future_IP_lawyer23

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Re: UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby future_IP_lawyer23 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:19 pm

Yeah. I also got into Northwestern and NYU, but I have not had time to hear NU's reconsideration response or NYU's initial offer. If I'm being realistic, I do not think that it will be that much. But the benefit of Berkeley is that I can hear those schools out.

I got waitlisted at UVA and Michigan and, based on some rumors I've heard, I'm not optimistic I'd get off anyway let alone get the financial aid I'd need to justify the cost of attendance. The scholarships for both Berkeley and UT were after reconsideration. I've been flipping back and forth between the two and I have no idea what to pick. The UT offer expires in 2.5 hours.

future_IP_lawyer23

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Re: UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby future_IP_lawyer23 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:25 pm

BasilHallward wrote:Also, FWIW you should qualify for in-state tuition at UT after your first year. I know several people who did this while there.


yeah the $45k cost of attendance takes into account the fact that I am an in-state student. Tuition for me is about $25k. Cost of living will be about $20k according to UT's website.

Tuition at Berkeley is like $35-36k but the cost of living is about $30k in Berkeley (thanks bay area). If Berkeley were located in some other part of the country this decision would be a slam dunk.

LBJ's Hair

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Re: UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby LBJ's Hair » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:05 pm

Think it's pretty clearly Texas. The salaries are a wash - 25th percentile at Berkeley is getting $180K, and at Texas it's $160K but I think that this is partly just the Texas market. (Someone correct me if I'm mistaken.) Given that you want to be in Texas long-term and COA is so much lower, not really seeing the advantage of Berkeley. Imagine UT places just fine in federal courts in the Texas area too - might even be a slight advantage over Berkeley given alumni.

AdieuCali

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Re: UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby AdieuCali » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:36 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:Think it's pretty clearly Texas. The salaries are a wash - 25th percentile at Berkeley is getting $180K, and at Texas it's $160K but I think that this is partly just the Texas market. (Someone correct me if I'm mistaken.) Given that you want to be in Texas long-term and COA is so much lower, not really seeing the advantage of Berkeley. Imagine UT places just fine in federal courts in the Texas area too - might even be a slight advantage over Berkeley given alumni.

UCB ‘17 salary 25/50/75: 65/180/180
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/careers/employment-outcomes/employment-statistics/
UT ‘17 salary 25/50/75: 64/105/180
https://law.utexas.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2018/10/NALP-Class2017-for-web.pdf

QContinuum

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Re: UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby QContinuum » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:34 pm

AdieuCali wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:Think it's pretty clearly Texas. The salaries are a wash - 25th percentile at Berkeley is getting $180K, and at Texas it's $160K but I think that this is partly just the Texas market. (Someone correct me if I'm mistaken.) Given that you want to be in Texas long-term and COA is so much lower, not really seeing the advantage of Berkeley. Imagine UT places just fine in federal courts in the Texas area too - might even be a slight advantage over Berkeley given alumni.

UCB ‘17 salary 25/50/75: 65/180/180
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/careers/employment-outcomes/employment-statistics/
UT ‘17 salary 25/50/75: 64/105/180
https://law.utexas.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2018/10/NALP-Class2017-for-web.pdf

Thanks for the data - 50th percentile salary is consistent with median at UT not landing BigLaw (while median at Berkeley, just like at any other T13, lands BigLaw).

LBJ's Hair

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Re: UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby LBJ's Hair » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:35 pm

QContinuum wrote:
AdieuCali wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:Think it's pretty clearly Texas. The salaries are a wash - 25th percentile at Berkeley is getting $180K, and at Texas it's $160K but I think that this is partly just the Texas market. (Someone correct me if I'm mistaken.) Given that you want to be in Texas long-term and COA is so much lower, not really seeing the advantage of Berkeley. Imagine UT places just fine in federal courts in the Texas area too - might even be a slight advantage over Berkeley given alumni.

UCB ‘17 salary 25/50/75: 65/180/180
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/careers/employment-outcomes/employment-statistics/
UT ‘17 salary 25/50/75: 64/105/180
https://law.utexas.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2018/10/NALP-Class2017-for-web.pdf

Thanks for the data - 50th percentile salary is consistent with median at UT not landing BigLaw (while median at Berkeley, just like at any other T13, lands BigLaw).


I looked at subcategory of firm salaries, not overall salaries. Think that's more useful for OP. If you look at overall salaries you're counting people self-selecting into government or PI. My intuition (happy to be proven wrong empirically) is that someone who misses out on BigLaw is likely going to take a below-market firm salary of $120K or w/e, not $60K as a public defender.

So all the BigLaw "misses" are going to be captured in private firm data. If the 50th percentile salaries for firms are below market, that's a red flag. But you don't see that with UT. The UT mean firm salary over the past three years is in line with Berkeley's over the past three: $165K/$150K/$150K vs. $168K/$165K/$145K.

I don't really care where he goes, but don't think there's a meaningful difference between BigLaw placement at the two schools? Or at least the way I'd cut the numbers doesn't show it.

https://law.utexas.edu/career/employmen ... tatistics/

https://www.law.berkeley.edu/careers/em ... tatistics/

QContinuum

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Re: UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby QContinuum » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:39 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
AdieuCali wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:Think it's pretty clearly Texas. The salaries are a wash - 25th percentile at Berkeley is getting $180K, and at Texas it's $160K but I think that this is partly just the Texas market. (Someone correct me if I'm mistaken.) Given that you want to be in Texas long-term and COA is so much lower, not really seeing the advantage of Berkeley. Imagine UT places just fine in federal courts in the Texas area too - might even be a slight advantage over Berkeley given alumni.

UCB ‘17 salary 25/50/75: 65/180/180
https://www.law.berkeley.edu/careers/employment-outcomes/employment-statistics/
UT ‘17 salary 25/50/75: 64/105/180
https://law.utexas.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2018/10/NALP-Class2017-for-web.pdf

Thanks for the data - 50th percentile salary is consistent with median at UT not landing BigLaw (while median at Berkeley, just like at any other T13, lands BigLaw).


I looked at subcategory of firm salaries, not overall salaries. Think that's more useful for OP.

If you look at overall salaries you're counting people self-selecting into government or PI. My intuition (happy to be proven wrong empirically) is that someone who misses out on BigLaw is likely going to take a below-market firm salary of $120K or w/e, not $60K as a public defender. So all the BigLaw "misses" are going to be captured in private firm data. If the 50th percentile salaries for firms are below market, that's a red flag. But you don't see that with UT. The average over the past three years is in line with Berkeley's over the past three.

https://law.utexas.edu/career/employmen ... tatistics/

https://www.law.berkeley.edu/careers/em ... tatistics/

Is there any evidence to suggest that UT students are even more PI-oriented than the legendarily PI-oriented Berkeley student body? I don't buy the "self-selection" argument. I'm sure there are self-selectors at UT, but I don't think it's going to be appreciably more than at the T13.

LaChusa2020

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Re: UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby LaChusa2020 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:57 am

Berkeley places better in every way, except in Texas. Granted with Texas ties and an engineering degree and a Berkeley Law degree you’re in great shape to get an IP job in Texas, but if you do well at UT law you’ll have great opportunities in Texas too. If you’re not sure where you want to end up, I’d go to Berkeley, if you are, with the COA difference I’d lean towards UT, but if the gap closes for any reason I’d pick Berkeley.

AdieuCali

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Re: UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby AdieuCali » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:24 am

future_IP_lawyer23 wrote: The UT offer expires in 2.5 hours.

This thread is useful for future decisions, but I think OP’s already made their choice.

future_IP_lawyer23

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Re: UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby future_IP_lawyer23 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:26 pm

AdieuCali wrote:
future_IP_lawyer23 wrote: The UT offer expires in 2.5 hours.

This thread is useful for future decisions, but I think OP’s already made their choice.


I should have updated this. UT granted me an extension of 2 business days. I'll render my decision tomorrow.

future_IP_lawyer23

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Re: UT Austin or Berkeley Law

Postby future_IP_lawyer23 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:47 pm

LaChusa2020 wrote:Berkeley places better in every way, except in Texas. Granted with Texas ties and an engineering degree and a Berkeley Law degree you’re in great shape to get an IP job in Texas, but if you do well at UT law you’ll have great opportunities in Texas too. If you’re not sure where you want to end up, I’d go to Berkeley, if you are, with the COA difference I’d lean towards UT, but if the gap closes for any reason I’d pick Berkeley.



I have $26,000 in savings from summer internships as an engineer. My parents also generously offered to give me a $100k interest free loan (I don't deserve them). Assuming I don't get any SA positions, I'd graduate with $17k in (non-family) debt from UT and $100k in family loans. So, my total debt would be $117,000. For Berkeley, my total debt would be $183,000 upon graduation with only $83,000 in interest loans. For this calculation, I assumed that I would qualify as in-state at Berkeley after my first year, as the financial aid department said that most out of state students do this. I think getting an SA position after my 2L year would be doable, but I don't want to make any risky assumptions.

Do you think this is enough to close the gap?



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