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?