Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

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michaela0085
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Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby michaela0085 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:17 am

Hi All,

Would love any advice.
I am planning on going to law school for public interest law, most likely in the realm of international human rights. So far I've received some great offers and am currently agonizing over whether to accept Columbia's offer of a public interest scholarship for full tuition or ponying up full tuition at Harvard or Stanford.
I've also been accepted to NYU and applied to their full tuition public interest scholarship but haven't heard back yet if I'll be called to interview. I need to respond to Columbia's offer by March 11th but NYU's interview isn't until March 27th!
I'm actually from NYC and ambivalence over whether I want to go back and live 3 more years there also factors into the equation. Though add in free housing w/ the rents and I'd have a seriously sweet deal at Columbia, but I worry about being overwhelmed by a more corporate vibe there- is that accurate?
ALSO, I'm currently working in India and will be here until the end of April so I can't go and visit anywhere... though I was considering coming back for the NYU interview.

What's a girl to do?

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badfish
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby badfish » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:20 am

CLS full ride. Leaving H&S will be difficult, I know but Columbia law is nothing to scoff at and it will open any doors H or S would for P.I. plus it is in NYC where there is endless opportunity for PI.

As an NYU'er it is tough for me to ever recommend CLS (just kidding) ... but really go to CLS.

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booboo
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby booboo » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:26 am

badfish wrote:CLS full ride. Leaving H&S will be difficult, I know but Columbia law is nothing to scoff at and it will open any doors H or S would for P.I. plus it is in NYC where there is endless opportunity for PI.

As an NYU'er it is tough for me to ever recommend CLS (just kidding) ... but really go to CLS.


It is really unfortunate that the dates between a decision for CLS and the NYU interview are so disparate, I am sure badfish would have loved to have you at his institution. :).

Stupor
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby Stupor » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:53 pm

FWIW, Stanford's LRAP is more generous than Harvard's for salaries up to ~94000. Someone earning 60000, for eg. would be expected to give 6000 under Harvard's program and only 1500 under Stanford's program. Stanford's seniority adjustment ($1000 more salary allowance for calculating LRAP contributions) also kicks in early than Harvard's, in the 2nd year vs the 5th year.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:56 pm

I would go to Harvard and use IBR to pay off the loans, but I'm crazy. You should take the full ride at Columbia. If you're dead-set on PI, the CLS degree will be valuable enough to get you in the door anywhere you want, and graduating with less debt will be incredibly valuable if you're debt-averse.

BenJ
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby BenJ » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:04 pm

Columbia > Stanford > Harvard in this decision. Stanford's LRAP knocks the pants off of Harvard's, as Stupor said, but graduating debt-free at Columbia is pretty much impossible to pass up in a field like PI where HYS have only a marginal advantage over Columbia.

MellonCollie
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby MellonCollie » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:27 pm

I'm wrestling with a similar decision, except I'm interested in government work, for which I hear the HLS cachet is incredibly useful.

I think that I'm going to take Columbia (how can I pass up that kind of financial flexibility?), but the fact that I would only be repaying a fraction of my loans (+ the incredible placement in the types of jobs I'm interested in) is giving me pause.

I think that I'll only be able to fully decide once I go talk to the career service offices for both schools.

For now, I would definitely take advantage of H/S's offers to put you in touch with current students that have made your decision in the past.

(BTW, what scholarship at Columbia requires a decision by March 11?)

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McNabb
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby McNabb » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:30 pm

Take the option with NO DEBT!!! I would kill to have the opportunity to attend a law school of the caliber of Columbia for free. Besides you want PI work, you won't exactly be pulling down a big salary. Take the safer route.

Renzo
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby Renzo » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:30 pm

Go to CLS.

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Shaggier1
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby Shaggier1 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:43 pm

CLS all the way here. They have fantastic PI programs and I just can't see the added prestige of a T3 outweighing the benefits of attending a T5 for free... Additionally, a lot of public interest powerhouses are based in NYC and you could really benefit from CLS' location.

For me, personally, this would be an easy choice.

pleasepickme
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby pleasepickme » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:57 pm

I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I'm looking at half tuition at CLS v. full tuition at Harvard, also going into public interest law. I'm completely torn, so I have no real advice, but I'm also interested in thoughts.

I got an email from a Harvard kid with exactly the same choices as you, and he chose Harvard because he said the students there were just a lot more enthused about their experience than at CLS.

That being said, if I had the option of Stanford, I would go there in a heartbeat. So if you wanted to withdraw your seat there, that would be cool....lol.

Good luck with this awesome, yet so difficult, decision!

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crackberry
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby crackberry » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:51 pm

^^
Go Cardinal.

But seriously, go to Columbia. It's the smart thing to do.

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tinman
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby tinman » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:25 pm

michaela0085 wrote:Hi All,

Would love any advice.
I am planning on going to law school for public interest law, most likely in the realm of international human rights. So far I've received some great offers and am currently agonizing over whether to accept Columbia's offer of a public interest scholarship for full tuition or ponying up full tuition at Harvard or Stanford.
I've also been accepted to NYU and applied to their full tuition public interest scholarship but haven't heard back yet if I'll be called to interview. I need to respond to Columbia's offer by March 11th but NYU's interview isn't until March 27th!
I'm actually from NYC and ambivalence over whether I want to go back and live 3 more years there also factors into the equation. Though add in free housing w/ the rents and I'd have a seriously sweet deal at Columbia, but I worry about being overwhelmed by a more corporate vibe there- is that accurate?
ALSO, I'm currently working in India and will be here until the end of April so I can't go and visit anywhere... though I was considering coming back for the NYU interview.

What's a girl to do?


What are the details of the public interest fellowship at CLS? Is it just tuition or do they give you any extra stipend? And do you have to devote many years to public service after law school? If you do have to commit to years of public service, I almost think it could be silly to turn down S and H for CLS. S and H have decent LRAP programs (Yale's is the best, and they are also great for public service, not sure whether that is an option for you). Whether you do the LRAP programs or the public interest fellowships that require you to do public service, you are committing yourself to years of indentured servitude.

So, I don't think that CLS with scholarship is such a good deal relative to S and H if your scholarship requires years of commitment to public service.

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crackberry
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby crackberry » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:29 pm

tinman wrote:S and H have decent LRAP programs (Yale's is the best, and they are also great for public service, not sure whether that is an option for you).

Just wondering, other than the thing about being able to do any sort of work (ie. non-legal work) and still being covered under LRAP, why is Yale's LRAP so much better than Stanford's? I know Harvard's is the worst of the three, but I thought YS were pretty similar (minus that one advantage).

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Dignan
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby Dignan » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:58 pm

crackberry wrote:
tinman wrote:S and H have decent LRAP programs (Yale's is the best, and they are also great for public service, not sure whether that is an option for you).

Just wondering, other than the thing about being able to do any sort of work (ie. non-legal work) and still being covered under LRAP, why is Yale's LRAP so much better than Stanford's? I know Harvard's is the worst of the three, but I thought YS were pretty similar (minus that one advantage).

That's my understanding as well. It's nice that Yale will still pay off your loans if you decide to become a high school teacher or something, but the salary thresholds and contribution amounts are similar to what you would get from Stanford. At the end of the day, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, Berkeley, and NYU all have substantially similar LRAPs. The fairly minor differences between those LRAPs is probably not a good reason to pick one of those schools over the other.

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bighead715
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby bighead715 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:40 pm

CLS - NO DEBT - FTW

edit: aside from COL ;)

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1WingedAngel
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby 1WingedAngel » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:41 pm

Columbia, no doubt. Unless you're meticulously elitist, Columbia has everything going for you.

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crackberry
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby crackberry » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:41 pm

1WingedAngel wrote:Columbia, no doubt. Unless you're meticulously elitist, Columbia has everything going for you.

WTF does "meticulously elitist" mean?

hopin10
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby hopin10 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:51 pm

I'm in nearly the same exact boat... and completely torn. Also interested in NYU's scholarship deal (and irritated by the timing), also drawn to Cambridge's allure.

michaela0085
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby michaela0085 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:29 am

What are the details of the public interest fellowship at CLS? Is it just tuition or do they give you any extra stipend? And do you have to devote many years to public service after law school? If you do have to commit to years of public service, I almost think it could be silly to turn down S and H for CLS. S and H have decent LRAP programs (Yale's is the best, and they are also great for public service, not sure whether that is an option for you). Whether you do the LRAP programs or the public interest fellowships that require you to do public service, you are committing yourself to years of indentured servitude.

So, I don't think that CLS with scholarship is such a good deal relative to S and H if your scholarship requires years of commitment to public service.[/quote]


the public interest fellowship only requires that you do (already funded) public interest work anywhere in the world for your two summers in law school and that you work in the public interest arena for 5 years after law school. as far as i've seen there's not even a salary cap there... which is nice when you consider, say, stanford's lrap of 10 yrs plus salary cap.
also they hook you up with a faculty adviser and an adviser who is a student who got this scholarship a year or two before.

my big concern is that i've heard columbia is overwhelmingly biglaw focused and uber-competitive. what are people's thoughts on this?

michaela0085
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby michaela0085 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:31 am

pleasepickme wrote:I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I'm looking at half tuition at CLS v. full tuition at Harvard, also going into public interest law. I'm completely torn, so I have no real advice, but I'm also interested in thoughts.

I got an email from a Harvard kid with exactly the same choices as you, and he chose Harvard because he said the students there were just a lot more enthused about their experience than at CLS.

That being said, if I had the option of Stanford, I would go there in a heartbeat. So if you wanted to withdraw your seat there, that would be cool....lol.

Good luck with this awesome, yet so difficult, decision!


why Stanford in a heartbeat???

legallybound
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby legallybound » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:43 am

McNabb wrote:Take the option with NO DEBT!!! I would kill to have the opportunity to attend a law school of the caliber of Columbia for free. Besides you want PI work, you won't exactly be pulling down a big salary. Take the safer route.

+1

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mpasi
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby mpasi » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:02 am

It's already been said, but since you're doing public interest, go to Columbia. Harvard et al. is for people with BigLaw ambitions, aka, grads who make enough to pay off their LS debt.

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McNabb
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby McNabb » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:10 am

mpasi wrote:It's already been said, but since you're doing public interest, go to Columbia. Harvard et al. is for people with BigLaw ambitions, aka, grads who make enough to pay off their LS debt.



keepingitreal.com

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Dignan
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby Dignan » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:34 am

mpasi wrote:It's already been said, but since you're doing public interest, go to Columbia. Harvard et al. is for people with BigLaw ambitions, aka, grads who make enough to pay off their LS debt.

Huh. I'm not sure I agree. BigLaw is the strength of CLS. In many areas of biglaw, CLS graduates do as well as HLS graduates. When I think of the differences between HLS and CLS, I don't think of big law; I think of how well HLS places in academia and in elite public interest jobs. If, for example, someone is interested in securing a PI job with the federal government, a HLS grad will, all things being equal, have more opportunities than a CLS grad. The difference isn't trivial.

Were I the OP, I would probably take the full ride at CLS, but I think the question is closer than some are making it seem.




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