Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

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Stanford vs. Columbia

Stanford
81
79%
Columbia
21
21%
 
Total votes: 102

Gettier Case
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Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby Gettier Case » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:57 am

Hi TLS,

So my cycle has finally come to an amazing finish and I'm left with a decision I could only have dreamed of. Unfortunately, this has turned out to be an incredibly tough decision given that these two schools strike me as very very different. I'm honestly torn in two. I think I want to try to do a federal clerkship post grad, (I like shooting for the stars), and I'm also interested in academia. If those don't work out I think I'll do BIGLAW with an international private law focus at a prestigious firm. As in location, I definitely want to come back to Cali eventually, but I'd like to work on the East Coast/ Abroad for some time as well. Neither school gave me merit aid, but I'll likely qualify for need based grants. I'm going to both ASD next month, but wanted to get some more ideas before I visit.

For Stanfod, I'm from the bay area and I'm really attracted to going back up to the bay, plus the amazing weather that Stanford offers (what can I say, Cali born and bread). Stanford's smaller class size is also appealing and I think it'd create an a great sense of community and no grades! Also I feel that there's nothing that I couldn't do with a Stanford degree, which is very important given that I'm not completely set on post grad plans.

For Columbia, it was my first choice starting out and I really really really want to go to the East Coast and NYC in particular. Idk, maybe I have an idealized version given that I've never been, but I can't control that. I think that I'd grow a lot personally from going across the country on my own. Plus Columbia's a great school in it's own right, with great Cali placement.
Last edited by Gettier Case on Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

lakerfanimal
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Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby lakerfanimal » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:26 am

Unless Columbia absolutely blows you away with its amazing-ness at the ASW I don't see how you could say no to Stanford. The only tricky part of your desires is that unless you have connections to NYC it might be harder for you to crack NYC with a Stanford degree than it would be for you to come back to Cali with the Columbia degree and your connections to the CA area. But the fact that you don't see Biglaw as your first option motivates me to believe that Stanford is better for what you want. Good luck!

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daesonesb
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Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby daesonesb » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:28 am

do a poll

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GeePee
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Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby GeePee » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:06 am

Going to Stanford and trying to spend your 1L summer in NYC is probably the credited move. There are a few reasons for this:

1. You might not actually like New York. Stanford will place better almost everywhere else.

2. The laxer grades situation and nice weather will definitely put you at ease for 3 years. Also, having some family still close by can be good regardless of your situation.

3. If you're interested in Academia, Stanford's class size is less than half of Columbia's. You can get on LR much easier and spend more time on published work which will help you begin to make a name for yourself in the legal academic community..

4. For prestigious clerkships, Stanford absolutely owns the 9th circuit, while most of the other super-prestigious appellate clerkships are in regions with lots of competition. Columbia, for example, has Harvard, Yale, NYU and Penn students all fighting heavily for 2nd and 4th circuit clerkships, and Michigan, Chicago, and Northwestern all place into the 7th circuit. UVA also has a strong placement in the 4th circuit. There are definitely advantages to being far and away the best law school in a rather large radius.

I'm from NYC and love it here, but given your situation Stanford is definitely the way to go.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby quickquestionthanks » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:07 am

I say go to Columbia and get your New York years over with. Everyone wants to live there for "a couple of years." 3 sounds about right. People in SF will be impressed by Columbia. Palo Alto is boring as shit and the students sit around smelling their own farts.

Gettier Case
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Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby Gettier Case » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:07 am

Thanks for the replies so far, :wink: and I just started a poll.

rejohnso
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Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:55 pm

Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby rejohnso » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:23 pm

GeePee wrote:Going to Stanford and trying to spend your 1L summer in NYC is probably the credited move. There are a few reasons for this:

1. You might not actually like New York. Stanford will place better almost everywhere else.

2. The laxer grades situation and nice weather will definitely put you at ease for 3 years. Also, having some family still close by can be good regardless of your situation.

3. If you're interested in Academia, Stanford's class size is less than half of Columbia's. You can get on LR much easier and spend more time on published work which will help you begin to make a name for yourself in the legal academic community..

4. For prestigious clerkships, Stanford absolutely owns the 9th circuit, while most of the other super-prestigious appellate clerkships are in regions with lots of competition. Columbia, for example, has Harvard, Yale, NYU and Penn students all fighting heavily for 2nd and 4th circuit clerkships, and Michigan, Chicago, and Northwestern all place into the 7th circuit. UVA also has a strong placement in the 4th circuit. There are definitely advantages to being far and away the best law school in a rather large radius.

I'm from NYC and love it here, but given your situation Stanford is definitely the way to go.


I'm all about Columbia, but I think that this is credited response in your situation. Good Luck and Congrats!!!

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:12 pm

Stanford.

You can go to New York for work after school.

Go to Stanford.

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smov_operator
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Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby smov_operator » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:56 pm

You can't lose with either. Go to the one with the lowest CoA

Kretzy
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Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby Kretzy » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:00 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:Stanford.

You can go to New York for work after school.

Go to Stanford.



This is my plan, and I'd agree with the above advice.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:10 pm

Compromise by splitting the difference & enrolling in Northwestern University's School of Law.
The National Law Journal's February, 2010 employment study for placement at the nation's largest 250 law firms showed:
1) Northwestern
2) Columbia
3) Stanford
4) Chicago
5) Virginia
6) Michigan
7) Penn
8) NYU
9) Berkeley
10) Duke

Tofu
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Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby Tofu » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:12 pm

go visit both schools

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Dignan
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Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby Dignan » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:46 pm

OP,

If you're not sure what you want to do post-grad, then I think that Stanford is the right call here. But, in the interest of keeping things interesting, I'll throw a couple of considerations out there.

One of your possible career paths is "BIGLAW with an international private law focus at a prestigious firm." There aren't many areas in which CLS gives you better opportunities than SLS, but this might be one of them. Try to talk to lawyers who work at prestigious firms with an international focus, and ask what they think. Also, look carefully at the faculties of the two schools. Depending on what you want to do in international law, CLS might have better professors.

If you're at all interested in academia, think carefully about your field. (I find that Brian Lieter's advice on this topic is pretty good.) The key to getting a foot in the door in academia is to find a professor who shares your interests and who will work with you on publishing something while you're in law school. If CLS has such a professor and SLS does not, it would be silly to choose SLS just because it's one spot ahead in the USNWR rankings or because it places a higher percentage of its class in academia.

Gettier Case
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Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby Gettier Case » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:19 pm

Do you all think that Stanford places more students in academia/clerkships because they have a smaller class size that allows students to get to know professors better? If not, what makes Stanford a better school in those areas?

Also given that BIGLAW is more of a backup plan for me, I leaning towards Stanford and figure that Columbia will have to really impress/excite me at their ASD in order for me to go there.

Any other opinions?

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theadw
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Re: Stanford vs. Columbia, advice needed

Postby theadw » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:01 pm

I'm making the same choice, have similar ambitions (minus large firm work), and I suspect (because of your username) that our academic backgrounds overlap.

I'm leaning Stanford because:

-smaller class size. Networking isn't my strength, so the loss of CLS's voluminous network (likely a plus to some) does exceedingly marginal damage. Also, anecdotal evidence suggests that it's easier to work independently with professors to produce publishable research. I'm not suggesting that doing this is difficult at CLS, merely reporting my impressions.

-more porous boundaries. After the first two quarters of core courses, students are encouraged to explore the rest of the school. Stanford is also a stronger university (generally speaking) than Columbia, so one gets more interdisciplinary bang for one's buck. Also, the newly-implemented quarter system allows students to take more courses.

-more insulated. I've spoken with many SLS students, and nearly all report getting their first choice of summer employment (and claim the same to be true of their friends). It's possible that it's just a giant hoax, but the same attitude hasn't as apparent to me at CLS. Program directors also claim that their various clinics & centers are "more or less immune to the economy by now" owing to Stanford's (and SLS's) endowments.

-lifestyle. Personal preference.




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