NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Columbia or NYU?

Columbia
121
45%
NYU
69
26%
Either one: you can't go wrong!
68
25%
Neither
10
4%
 
Total votes: 268

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Steven Perry
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby Steven Perry » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:59 pm

I used to be staunchly on the side of NYU, but as of recently I've been liking Columbia more and more.

The only problem with Columbia, from what I've been told by an NYU alum bare in mind, is that it's located in a terrible neighborhood. He said that at certain times of night don't dare walk off the campus alone. This could all be hearsay though; I haven't seen the campus myself.

Either way, you're in a shape I hope to be when it comes time for me to apply. I'd take either one with a huge smile on my face at the end of the day.

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mochafury
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby mochafury » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:10 am

As a New Yorker who's lived in Harlem and other nicer neighborhoods, here's what I can say about CLS and NYU:

- Some parts around Columbia, absolutely: don't walk North or East after sensible hours. South is fine though, and the campus itself is pretty damn safe.
- NYU is in, without a doubt, the coolest part of NYC (the world?) for college-age, liberal hipsters and those who aspire to be like them. And it's safe as hell as long as you don't feel threatened by PETA organizers and the excessive presence of skinny jeans.
- Columbia's part of town is much more low-key.

By the way, the answer to the thread question is no-lose. I'm currently facing the decision. Leaning towards Columbia right now, but that could change very easily if $ were involved as I'm quite debt-averse.

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scribelaw
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby scribelaw » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:15 am

mochafury wrote:As a New Yorker who's lived in Harlem and other nicer neighborhoods, here's what I can say about CLS and NYU:

- Some parts around Columbia, absolutely: don't walk North or East after sensible hours. South is fine though, and the campus itself is pretty damn safe.
- NYU is in, without a doubt, the coolest part of NYC (the world?) for college-age, liberal hipsters and those who aspire to be like them. And it's safe as hell as long as you don't feel threatened by PETA organizers and the excessive presence of skinny jeans.
- Columbia's part of town is much more low-key.

By the way, the answer to the thread question is no-lose. I'm currently facing the decision. Leaning towards Columbia right now, but that could change very easily if $ were involved as I'm quite debt-averse.


Just curious: Why are you leaning Columbia?

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mochafury
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby mochafury » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:20 am

Few reasons, not in order of importance:

1. Columbia has more of a campus feel, and I love the place. I come from a college town originally, so it was important. NYU has no campus to speak of. I mean..."the whole city is your campus..." :roll:
2. I went to a run-of-the-mill state school for UG, so the lay prestige of an Ivy matters more for my resume than for others.
3. I'm laid back, not much of a partier, so the advantages of the Village (NYU's neighborhood) aren't has high for me.
4. Admittedly, I'm a bit (and I mean just a bit) of a prestige whore. :twisted:

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scribelaw
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby scribelaw » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:22 am

Also -- anyone know when NYU will release scholly $$?

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mochafury
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby mochafury » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:35 am

scribelaw wrote:Also -- anyone know when NYU will release scholly $$?


+1. I thought there was an interview process for the named scholarships...when do they request interviews?

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Core
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby Core » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:41 am

This is by far the most informative thread I have come across in days.
I would kill for my cycle to lead me to soon have to make the same decision.
From what I've read, though, you really can't go wrong either way, but NYU has a (marginal) edge for PI/Govt.

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Steven Perry
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby Steven Perry » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:56 am

mochafury wrote:As a New Yorker who's lived in Harlem and other nicer neighborhoods, here's what I can say about CLS and NYU:

- Some parts around Columbia, absolutely: don't walk North or East after sensible hours. South is fine though, and the campus itself is pretty damn safe.
- NYU is in, without a doubt, the coolest part of NYC (the world?) for college-age, liberal hipsters and those who aspire to be like them. And it's safe as hell as long as you don't feel threatened by PETA organizers and the excessive presence of skinny jeans.


He mentioned that the campus is very safe, but that pretty much goes for anywhere. I'm at WVU right now, and the closest neighborhood to the main downtown campus has become very scary in recent years. A few weeks ago some shots were fired outside of a house, and a few bullets made their way into one of the school's biggest dorms. Walk two blocks over and you can't avoid campus police.

We need to hang out, because we share the exact same amusement when it comes to hipsters. I guarantee you'd probably find everything on this list (http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/full-list-of-stuff-white-people-like/) around the NYU campus. Though I have to admit it might be worth attending to see such a surplus of girls with bangs, and a wide selection of Oscar, and Ugly Sweater Parties.

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big_blue79
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby big_blue79 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:11 am

^ Whenever I browse that site I don't know if I should be amused or sad when I fall into one of the categories...

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booboo
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby booboo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:21 am

Steven Perry wrote:
mochafury wrote:As a New Yorker who's lived in Harlem and other nicer neighborhoods, here's what I can say about CLS and NYU:

- Some parts around Columbia, absolutely: don't walk North or East after sensible hours. South is fine though, and the campus itself is pretty damn safe.
- NYU is in, without a doubt, the coolest part of NYC (the world?) for college-age, liberal hipsters and those who aspire to be like them. And it's safe as hell as long as you don't feel threatened by PETA organizers and the excessive presence of skinny jeans.


He mentioned that the campus is very safe, but that pretty much goes for anywhere. I'm at WVU right now, and the closest neighborhood to the main downtown campus has become very scary in recent years. A few weeks ago some shots were fired outside of a house, and a few bullets made their way into one of the school's biggest dorms. Walk two blocks over and you can't avoid campus police.

We need to hang out, because we share the exact same amusement when it comes to hipsters. I guarantee you'd probably find everything on this list (http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/full-list-of-stuff-white-people-like/) around the NYU campus. Though I have to admit it might be worth attending to see such a surplus of girls with bangs, and a wide selection of Oscar, and Ugly Sweater Parties.


Thank you for that link. Bookmarked.

Also, lol at Juno being #57.

fortissimo
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby fortissimo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:30 am

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Last edited by fortissimo on Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

twistedwrister
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby twistedwrister » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:53 am

dbt wrote:
sandy10 wrote:
lsathalon wrote:I know the credited response is that Columbia is better than NYU for the private sector...but I can't find the figures to back it up.

In last year's USNWR, Columbia graduates' median starting salary in the private sector was $140,000, while NYU graduates' median starting salary in the private sector was $160,000. Their 25th percentiles also differed, with Columbia's 25th percentile making less at $136,000, and NYU grads at $145,000.

Given that data, how is it decided that Columbia is better in the private sector?

Note: I'm not trying to be an NYU troll; I have to make the decision and want as complete of information as possible.


This is probably one of the best ways to see the difference between the two schools when it comes to selective private sector jobs.

http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2007/ ... ement.html


I'll definitely concede that Columbia has the advantage when it comes to selective firm placement, but I would just add that the numbers may overstate this. Keep in mind that far more students at NYU end up going into public interest, and that the public interest jobs are often as difficult to get as the top firm jobs. It's very possible that the top 40% at NYU may be geared something like 5% clerkships, 10% PI, and 25% firm jobs, while students at Columbia could have a far larger percentage of their top students (the ones that can actually get jobs at those most selective firms) wanting to work there.

It's certainly not enough to make up for the disparity, and I'm not suggesting it does, but it is something to keep in mind when you're wondering whether Columbia is truly so much better than NYU at getting top firm jobs. FWIW, I've met many 2Ls here with summer gigs at V10 firms, so if you're a strong student, you're going to be fine either way.


I'm a 2L at NYU and a real-life example of the situation you describe above. I turned down offers from four or five of the "selective" firms on the lawfirmaddict list in order to pursue a different opportunity. I'm sure there are some Columbia students who did the same thing, but the percentage may be less than it is at NYU. If this board is at all representative, many people who are leaning towards Columbia over NYU are self-admitted "prestige whores" - certainly not everyone, but some people. No reason to think that would change when it comes to choosing a firm instead of a law school.

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Series70
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby Series70 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:55 am

mochafury wrote:As a New Yorker who's lived in Harlem and other nicer neighborhoods, here's what I can say about CLS and NYU:

- Some parts around Columbia, absolutely: don't walk North or East after sensible hours. South is fine though, and the campus itself is pretty damn safe.
- NYU is in, without a doubt, the coolest part of NYC (the world?) for college-age, liberal hipsters and those who aspire to be like them. And it's safe as hell as long as you don't feel threatened by PETA organizers and the excessive presence of skinny jeans.
- Columbia's part of town is much more low-key.


Just wanted to agree with your assessment of the neighborhoods. As I mentioned above, I spent 4+ years living in Morningside Heights. Personally, the worst that ever happened to me was being verbally harassed on the street for no reason, or being repeatedly threatened and harassed by psychotic/drug-using non-student neighbors in Columbia's University Apartment Housing. (One friend of a friend, however, was severely beaten while walking home one night; another was killed when he was hit by a car while fleeing attackers.)

Try to avoid walking east of Amsterdam Avenue. Realize that you risk getting mugged on Morningside Drive or in Morningside Park at any hour of the day. If you live north of campus (as I did), be extra careful. Keep an eye on your surroundings at all times. Watch for people trying to follow you into your building. The neighborhood above 120th street can get really quiet at night, and criminals love to prey on absent-minded or intoxicated students walking around after dark.
Last edited by Series70 on Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

sfdreaming09
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby sfdreaming09 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:58 pm

MellonCollie wrote:
Series70 wrote:Anyway, while I'd really appreciate any advice or comments based on my situation, my hope is just to get a general discussion going on the advantages and disadvantages of what are essentially two equally phenomenal schools in the greatest city in North America.



Neither Columbia nor NYU are in San Francisco. HTH.


(Sorry for the useless reply, but i couldn't resist.)


lol BIG +1

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WrappedUpInBooks
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby WrappedUpInBooks » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:13 pm

Series70 wrote:
mochafury wrote:As a New Yorker who's lived in Harlem and other nicer neighborhoods, here's what I can say about CLS and NYU:

- Some parts around Columbia, absolutely: don't walk North or East after sensible hours. South is fine though, and the campus itself is pretty damn safe.
- NYU is in, without a doubt, the coolest part of NYC (the world?) for college-age, liberal hipsters and those who aspire to be like them. And it's safe as hell as long as you don't feel threatened by PETA organizers and the excessive presence of skinny jeans.
- Columbia's part of town is much more low-key.


Just wanted to agree with your assessment of the neighborhoods. As I mentioned above, I spent 4+ years living in Morningside Heights. Personally, the worst that every happened to me was being verbally harassed on the street for no reason, or being repeatedly threatened and harassed by psychotic/drug-using non-student neighbors in Columbia's University Apartment Housing. (One friend of a friend, however, was severely beaten while walking home one night; another was killed when he was hit by a car while fleeing attackers.)

Try to avoid walking east of Amsterdam Avenue. Realize that you risk getting mugged on Morningside Drive or in Morningside Park at any hour of the day. If you live north of campus (as I did), be extra careful. Keep an eye on your surroundings at all times. Watch for people trying to follow you into your building. The neighborhood above 120th street can get really quiet at night, and criminals love to prey on absent-minded or intoxicated students walking around after dark.


I currently live in Morningside Heights, and east of Amsterdam. And I've never had any problems - granted, I don't live too far north. I wouldn't be too worried about the neighborhood, it's a lot better than it was 10/15 years ago. There's not a lot going on, but it's a nice place to live, not as hectic as other parts of the city, and more affordable.

Although going to Columbia would be super convenient, I'm leaning NYU since I'm planning on PI. That, and the village is the best place ever.

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Unemployed
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby Unemployed » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:29 pm

<-------- Doesn't feel the need to vigorously defend Columbia's government and PI track record. :mrgreen:

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chris0805
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby chris0805 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:36 pm

A few things I would just say about Columbia:

We do have A+s... I mean I don't have any, but it is an available grade. :lol:

Also, I LOVE the Columbia area. I love all the parks I have within a 5-10 minute walk (Morningside, Central, Riverside), and I like the neighborhood feel. In terms of safety, I feel VERY safe. New York is probably THE safest big city in the world, and it feels like that to me. In terms of not going North or East, I walked north-east every week last semester to my externship in Harlem, and I like that area too. If you've ever lived in DC, LA, Chicago, or any other big city, I can't imagine anyone genuinely thinking that Harlem is currently a dangerous place if they really knew the place.

And third, I do feel the need to defend CLS's track record in PI and Gov't a little :P. NYU puts about 8-12 % into PI/GOVT and Columbia puts about 5-8 % into the same depending on the year. I don't know where the reputation of one being SOO different from the other comes from, but it seems most accepted amongst prospective students.

You should go where you're comfortable, and which place you think you'll be happiest at. Obviously, if I'm at Columbia, I like CLS better, but there are a lot of good reasons someone might pick NYU. I just don't think NYU = public interest and CLS = biglaw or Morningside = dangerous are those reasons.

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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby Renzo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:00 pm

chris0805 wrote:A few things I would just say about Columbia:

We do have A+s... I mean I don't have any, but it is an available grade. :lol:

Also, I LOVE the Columbia area. I love all the parks I have within a 5-10 minute walk (Morningside, Central, Riverside), and I like the neighborhood feel. In terms of safety, I feel VERY safe. New York is probably THE safest big city in the world, and it feels like that to me. In terms of not going North or East, I walked north-east every week last semester to my externship in Harlem, and I like that area too. If you've ever lived in DC, LA, Chicago, or any other big city, I can't imagine anyone genuinely thinking that Harlem is currently a dangerous place if they really knew the place.

And third, I do feel the need to defend CLS's track record in PI and Gov't a little :P. NYU puts about 8-12 % into PI/GOVT and Columbia puts about 5-8 % into the same depending on the year. I don't know where the reputation of one being SOO different from the other comes from, but it seems most accepted amongst prospective students.

You should go where you're comfortable, and which place you think you'll be happiest at. Obviously, if I'm at Columbia, I like CLS better, but there are a lot of good reasons someone might pick NYU. I just don't think NYU = public interest and CLS = biglaw or Morningside = dangerous are those reasons.

All of this is true, but I'm going to counter your defense of CLS just a bit :wink: I think the difference is has to do with the amount of effort and expense that NYU spends on encouraging students towards PI work. There is a separate OCS offices that strictly deals with PI/gov't jobs, they host the PILC fair, and most of their large named scholarships are reserved for students interested in PI work. Also, with the size of NYU/CLS's classes, 3% to 5% difference a year is like 15-25 more people a year picking PI work.

After all that I will reiterate that the two schools could in most ways be sister campuses of the same school. No one will miss out on any job opportunity they want because they chose one school over the other; the differences are really in personality, so the only real criteria for picking is visiting and deciding which you like better.

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chris0805
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby chris0805 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:53 pm

Last couple things to add is that CLS also has its own Public Interest Career Services office and that the PILC fair is awesome. Based on what some employers have told me, I'm not sure that the homefield advantage actually helps you guys that much, but the fair you put on is really great. So thanks for that :wink:.

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Series70
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby Series70 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:43 am

There's really some fantastic information here--thanks to all.

Does anyone know more about NYU's pro-bono situation? One of the things I like most about Columbia is how organized it all seems, with the mandatory 40 hours for students.

As for the neighborhoods, Morningside Heights definitely has its advantages (Riverside Park is fantastic). And your chances of having problems are very slim. I just had one too many things happen to me, and had to get out of there.

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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby Renzo » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:16 pm

chris0805 wrote:Last couple things to add is that CLS also has its own Public Interest Career Services office and that the PILC fair is awesome. Based on what some employers have told me, I'm not sure that the homefield advantage actually helps you guys that much, but the fair you put on is really great. So thanks for that :wink:.

Agreed. Like I said, I don't think CLS alums are at any disadvantage in looking for PI work, I was just trying to explain where the perception that NYU=PI comes from.

Tofu
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby Tofu » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:19 pm

i think the two schools are close enough that one would be better off just going to the school one would be happier at

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radgrad
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby radgrad » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:12 pm

Billy Blanks wrote:I'm currently struggling with the same decision (although Berkeley is in the mix as well for me). For PI work I know we should really go to NYU, but there's something about Columbia that keeps calling to me....


THANKS for starting this thread. I'm also in the same position (still waiting on Berkeley though): a public interest person trying to decide between Columbia and NYU. Like Billy, I feel like we "should" go to NYU, but for some reason Columbia has a lot of pull. Here are some of my reasons, in case they're helpful

1) brand whoring. i went to a fancy-sounding undergrad, and it has actually been super helpful since graduation. The top schools really care about their reputation, and they put the time/$$ into maintaining it. Networking events, helping alums find jobs, etc. Not that NYU Law doesn't, but NYU-proper probably doesn't care about image as much as Columbia-proper.

2) NYU encourages a lot of people to go into public interest. Great. I don't care. I mean, I think it's an admirable thing, but I'm already going into law school with a public interest focus, and I don't think it helps me if a bunch of my classmates want to do the same thing as me. A bit selfish, but there you are. I kind of like the idea of being a striped fish in a polka dot pond... (yeah, i feel like i'm mixing analogies here).

3) Columbia has a bunch of faculty who focus on the stuff I'm interested in. NYU does too, but in a more decentralized, general way. This is the biggest plus, and is probably 80% of the reason I'm considering Columbia at all.


*****

On the NYU side: students seem happier and less intense there, you won't feel like you have to fight to get attention or resources as a PI student, and purple is my favorite color.

Things I don't give two sh!ts about:
- location (if I go to NYU, I live in Brooklyn. If I go to Columbia, WashHeights. Potayto, potahto.)
- negligible $$ differences (If I get serious $$ either place, I'm going. But when you're looking at 70k a year, does a 2k difference in price really matter? If I need to, I'll eat more vendor food. and filter my vodka through a Brita, college-style, to save the money.)

How I'm probably actually going to decide:

- obsessively reading TLS


.

.

.

(obviously kidding- i'm going to both ASWs and getting a feel for the schools. then i guess i'll just follow my gut? dubya style?

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Dignan
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby Dignan » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:48 pm

radgrad wrote:3) Columbia has a bunch of faculty who focus on the stuff I'm interested in. NYU does too, but in a more decentralized, general way. This is the biggest plus, and is probably 80% of the reason I'm considering Columbia at all.

What stuff are you interested in? I am pondering the choice of Berkeley versus Columbia, and I'm trying to get a better sense of what Columbia is strong in.

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Re: NYU vs. Columbia: Class of 2013

Postby imchuckbass58 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:21 pm

Dignan wrote:
radgrad wrote:3) Columbia has a bunch of faculty who focus on the stuff I'm interested in. NYU does too, but in a more decentralized, general way. This is the biggest plus, and is probably 80% of the reason I'm considering Columbia at all.

What stuff are you interested in? I am pondering the choice of Berkeley versus Columbia, and I'm trying to get a better sense of what Columbia is strong in.


This is just my opinion, and I'm sure people will disagree with me, but:

Strong:
-Contracts/securities/transactional (extremely strong - probably the best in the country)
-Corporate governance
-Tax
-International law that is not comparative legal studies
-IP (Berkeley and Stanford are probably stronger in this regard, but Columbia has pretty legit faculty)
-Climate change (but not the rest of environmental)
-Admin law

Neutral:
-Criminal
-Law and econ
-National security/foreign policy
-Election law/legislation

Not Strong:
-Civil rights/impact litigation
-Environmental besides Climate Change
-Constitutional
-Gender/sexuality
-Comparative legal studies

Keep in mind, "strong," "neutral" and "not strong" are relative to other top schools - I'm essentially comparing it to the rest of the T6. Even in some of the "not strong" fields there are very prominent/interesting professors.




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