Berkeley vs. Columbia?


Schatz
I have just received my admission emails for both above mentioned schools and I am currently considering which one to choose. I intend to focus on intellectual property-related courses in the first place, but also want to take further, more general courses in the field of contracts and torts. I have of course already taken a look at the different rankings on LLMGUIDE. Although UCB has been leading the IP-ranking, I am a bit concerned about the differences in reputation of the schools (both in the US and abroad) and about recent bad news about severe budget cuts for UC and expected quality loss of legal education in Berkeley as a result.

As I am planning to spend a year with my family (wife and 4 year old child), I would also be interested in any experience regarding childcare options (availability and related costs) as well as housing (both on- and off-campus and related costs).

Thanks in advance!
I have just received my admission emails for both above mentioned schools and I am currently considering which one to choose. I intend to focus on intellectual property-related courses in the first place, but also want to take further, more general courses in the field of contracts and torts. I have of course already taken a look at the different rankings on LLMGUIDE. Although UCB has been leading the IP-ranking, I am a bit concerned about the differences in reputation of the schools (both in the US and abroad) and about recent bad news about severe budget cuts for UC and expected quality loss of legal education in Berkeley as a result.

As I am planning to spend a year with my family (wife and 4 year old child), I would also be interested in any experience regarding childcare options (availability and related costs) as well as housing (both on- and off-campus and related costs).

Thanks in advance!
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JDD
Congratulations! I would have applied to Berkeley, but my wife has a position in NYC, so that limited the possible schools. We also have a 4 yr old (and a 2yr old), and must say that NYC looks "interesting" in terms of childcare options. You'll need to get moving to secure a spot in daycare or private school with pre-kindergarten classes. Many of them already closed their admissions. (Thankfully we managed it, and have our kids admitted to a good school). I have no idea what San Francisco is like in that regard. But, NYC has very few parks. (The school "yard" is on the roof for example). Still, I think its going to be a pretty amazing experience for our kids. I find the people in NYC very motivated, human, and thoughtful. (Maybe a little bit intense at times, but far more friendly than their reputation).

I wouldn't worry about budget cuts and reputation for either of these schools Berkeley will always be Berkeley. In fact, if cuts come, it might make it a "dark horse" type of academic centre, and frankly that can be a bit invigorating: younger professors, more avant-garde scholarship etc. In my opinion money doesn't do all that much, especially after a reputation is well established (unless its a drastic funding cut).

Both cities are very expensive, and Morningside Heights is on Manhatten island (typically expensive). Stil, its proximity to Harlem and Washington Heights seems to have driven down the rental prices compared with other places in the city. They say its all "safe", so it could be the right balance of relatively low living costs, and relatively good quality of life. There are two good parks nearby: Central Park and Riverside Park (I hear bad things about Morningside Park, and it did give me the creeps the one time I walked through in the middle of the day). So, Columbia has a pretty good ambiance for family living.

If you end up going there, let me know, we might be some of the only LLM students with 4 yr olds in tow.
Congratulations! I would have applied to Berkeley, but my wife has a position in NYC, so that limited the possible schools. We also have a 4 yr old (and a 2yr old), and must say that NYC looks "interesting" in terms of childcare options. You'll need to get moving to secure a spot in daycare or private school with pre-kindergarten classes. Many of them already closed their admissions. (Thankfully we managed it, and have our kids admitted to a good school). I have no idea what San Francisco is like in that regard. But, NYC has very few parks. (The school "yard" is on the roof for example). Still, I think its going to be a pretty amazing experience for our kids. I find the people in NYC very motivated, human, and thoughtful. (Maybe a little bit intense at times, but far more friendly than their reputation).

I wouldn't worry about budget cuts and reputation for either of these schools Berkeley will always be Berkeley. In fact, if cuts come, it might make it a "dark horse" type of academic centre, and frankly that can be a bit invigorating: younger professors, more avant-garde scholarship etc. In my opinion money doesn't do all that much, especially after a reputation is well established (unless its a drastic funding cut).

Both cities are very expensive, and Morningside Heights is on Manhatten island (typically expensive). Stil, its proximity to Harlem and Washington Heights seems to have driven down the rental prices compared with other places in the city. They say its all "safe", so it could be the right balance of relatively low living costs, and relatively good quality of life. There are two good parks nearby: Central Park and Riverside Park (I hear bad things about Morningside Park, and it did give me the creeps the one time I walked through in the middle of the day). So, Columbia has a pretty good ambiance for family living.

If you end up going there, let me know, we might be some of the only LLM students with 4 yr olds in tow.
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Schatz
Thanks a lot for your thoughts. It is indeed interesting to know that organizing childcare is not easy in NYC, however I immediately stop complaining when I see that you manage to organize your LLM year with two children, wow! I will certainly let you know if I end up choosing NYC.
Thanks a lot for your thoughts. It is indeed interesting to know that organizing childcare is not easy in NYC, however I immediately stop complaining when I see that you manage to organize your LLM year with two children, wow! I will certainly let you know if I end up choosing NYC.
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scott321
A relatively large portion of Caltech students stay on campus over the summer to do research, but it's certainly true that the campus is less lively over the summer than it is during the year (which is true of virtually all colleges). When you visited during the summer did you attempt to talk to students outside of your tour guide?
A relatively large portion of Caltech students stay on campus over the summer to do research, but it's certainly true that the campus is less lively over the summer than it is during the year (which is true of virtually all colleges). When you visited during the summer did you attempt to talk to students outside of your tour guide?
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JDD
I have a feeling scott321 was responding to a different string.

Congrats on both the Columbia and NYU admissions. Pick NYC instead of San Francisco. Probably San Fran is nice... but it's not New York.

Two kids in NYC, yes I feel it is a gutsy move. But, there's a lot of people in New York who have babies, and they seem to manage ok, why not other people too? See you in NYC hopefully.
I have a feeling scott321 was responding to a different string.

Congrats on both the Columbia and NYU admissions. Pick NYC instead of San Francisco. Probably San Fran is nice... but it's not New York.

Two kids in NYC, yes I feel it is a gutsy move. But, there's a lot of people in New York who have babies, and they seem to manage ok, why not other people too? See you in NYC hopefully.
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