NYU vs Columbia comparison

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swilensk
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby swilensk » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:02 pm

So, wanting to hear general consensus...

I'm straight out of undergrad (planning to defer for a year to work, so that I'm less obnoxious as a 1L (thank me later), and cause JD 2015 sounds really nice), and in at Columbia and NYU, and pretty sure that I want to be in NY (as opposed to at Georgetown, although $$ could sway that).

Thoughts on
1) NYU's deferral policy (I could easily find this out on this site or NYU's, I know, but since I'm already posting here, decided to be lazy and take advantage of all of y'all's boundless and somewhat terrifying law school knowledge)

2) I'm not 100% sure that I want to do public interest, but I have a huge interest in going back to DC and doing government/public policy stuff. Is NYU really that much better in that area? I'm also very interested in clerking out of law school!

3) What's the class size break down? Is that a factor other people are considering?

4) Is one student body younger/more "right out of college" than the other?

5) Can we hear from current CLS/NYU students about options for on and off campus housing?

As I do more research, visit, and decide, I can post some of my thoughts, but maybe my questions will drive this thread towards something a bit more constructive than abysmally wrong statistical analysis...

rockspaperjesus
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby rockspaperjesus » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:08 pm

Stanford4Me wrote:
LinzerTorte wrote:
rockspaperjesus wrote:Does anyone know how on-campus housing works at either NYU or Columbia if you plan on living with a significant other who is not also attending the school? Is it possible or should I assume that I will have to look elsewhere for housing? I've been out of school for a couple years and am not really up for living with strangers again...


+1, in the same exact stuation.

NYU provides family housing, I assume CLS does the same. I know NYU offers either large studio apts. or a 1BR/living room apt for someone living with a spouse/significant other. You would get priority for these apartments when you submit your housing app.



I'm not too well versed in these things, is family housing/1BR available only if you are married?

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Stanford4Me
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby Stanford4Me » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:11 pm

rockspaperjesus wrote:
Stanford4Me wrote:
LinzerTorte wrote:
rockspaperjesus wrote:Does anyone know how on-campus housing works at either NYU or Columbia if you plan on living with a significant other who is not also attending the school? Is it possible or should I assume that I will have to look elsewhere for housing? I've been out of school for a couple years and am not really up for living with strangers again...


+1, in the same exact stuation.

NYU provides family housing, I assume CLS does the same. I know NYU offers either large studio apts. or a 1BR/living room apt for someone living with a spouse/significant other. You would get priority for these apartments when you submit your housing app.



I'm not too well versed in these things, is family housing/1BR available only if you are married?

No, standards are very lax. If you aren't married pretty much you fill out some form that says that you are in a serious relationship (and then I think you get it notarized) and you're good.

chasgoose
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby chasgoose » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:50 pm

To put another spin on the location debate, while no one is debating that Greenwich Village is more exciting and "New York" than Morningside Heights, one thing to consider is the quality of housing in terms of size and location each neighborhood can offer you. At Columbia, you can live on-campus or off-campus for similar amounts of money and still be very close to campus, whereas if you want to do that at NYU you pretty much have to live in their rather dismal looking on-campus housing. In order to get similarly priced and sized housing as what you can get in Morningside Heights (which is still not cheap) you are looking at East Village/LES/Brooklyn. Those areas are also more fun than Morningside Heights and the East Village isn't that far, but it does make things more difficult the further away you live. I for one wouldn't be too thrilled about making a 9 AM class when commuting from Brooklyn.

Assuming I get into NYU, I still don't think that's enough to make a meaningful decision. It would really help if current students from both who got into both told us why they chose either one.

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glitched
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby glitched » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:09 am

chasgoose wrote:It would really help if current students from both who got into both told us why they chose either one.


I think almost every 0L is asking for this one. But they're all in mid-semester. Honestly, I don't even care about if they got into both, I just want many opinions. One weekend to visit is nice and all but I'm more concerned with being there everyday.


loll man i hope i get in so that i can have this decision.

sophie316
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby sophie316 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:16 pm

I chose NYU because:

1) Columbia was my undergrad and I wanted a change of scenery
2) I knew several people that had gone to each and those that were at NYU universally loved it and spoke positively about it and the exact opposite was true of Columbia. Since these people were my friends and in many ways like me, I trusted their opinions. That's not to say at all that that is true for everyone, but it was true for my friends and people i considered myself somewhat similar to and that was enough for me.
3) I wanted to do public interest work

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Non-Chalant1
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby Non-Chalant1 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:55 pm

sophie316 wrote:I chose NYU because:

1) Columbia was my undergrad and I wanted a change of scenery
2) I knew several people that had gone to each and those that were at NYU universally loved it and spoke positively about it and the exact opposite was true of Columbia. Since these people were my friends and in many ways like me, I trusted their opinions. That's not to say at all that that is true for everyone, but it was true for my friends and people i considered myself somewhat similar to and that was enough for me.
3) I wanted to do public interest work

What did they say about it? I just like to hear what people say specifically because different people have different personalities and things that may offset. I'd be grateful if you PMed me if you didn't want to answer on here.

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glitched
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby glitched » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:55 pm

Non-Chalant1 wrote:
sophie316 wrote:I chose NYU because:

1) Columbia was my undergrad and I wanted a change of scenery
2) I knew several people that had gone to each and those that were at NYU universally loved it and spoke positively about it and the exact opposite was true of Columbia. Since these people were my friends and in many ways like me, I trusted their opinions. That's not to say at all that that is true for everyone, but it was true for my friends and people i considered myself somewhat similar to and that was enough for me.
3) I wanted to do public interest work

What did they say about it? I just like to hear what people say specifically because different people have different personalities and things that may offset. I'd be grateful if you PMed me if you didn't want to answer on here.


can i get a pm too if not here? thanks :)

chasgoose
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby chasgoose » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:32 pm

glitched wrote:
Non-Chalant1 wrote:
sophie316 wrote:I chose NYU because:

1) Columbia was my undergrad and I wanted a change of scenery
2) I knew several people that had gone to each and those that were at NYU universally loved it and spoke positively about it and the exact opposite was true of Columbia. Since these people were my friends and in many ways like me, I trusted their opinions. That's not to say at all that that is true for everyone, but it was true for my friends and people i considered myself somewhat similar to and that was enough for me.
3) I wanted to do public interest work

What did they say about it? I just like to hear what people say specifically because different people have different personalities and things that may offset. I'd be grateful if you PMed me if you didn't want to answer on here.


can i get a pm too if not here? thanks :)


+1 on the pm for me thanks! :)

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thunderflesh
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby thunderflesh » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:43 pm

I know that on TLS the conventional wisdom is that NYU > CLS for PI work, but what is this based on, exactly? Besides there being more people who want to go into PI at NYU (which says more about what NYU students want to do than whether NYU is actually better for PI).

I did NYU undergrad, and am deciding between CLS and NYU Law. Leaning CLS for prestige / change of scenery, but still considering NYU due to its rep of being good for PI; I want to be a prosecutor.

vicuna
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby vicuna » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:00 pm

thunderflesh wrote:I know that on TLS the conventional wisdom is that NYU > CLS for PI work, but what is this based on, exactly? Besides there being more people who want to go into PI at NYU (which says more about what NYU students want to do than whether NYU is actually better for PI).

I did NYU undergrad, and am deciding between CLS and NYU Law. Leaning CLS for prestige / change of scenery, but still considering NYU due to its rep of being good for PI; I want to be a prosecutor.


The biggest difference seems to be regarding institutional support. NYU students seem to give glowing reviews for their PI career services office, while Columbia students appear to be disappointed, to say the least (http://abovethelaw.com/2010/11/columbia ... rtunities/). Current students would have to provide some information of terms of what this means tangibly (i.e. summer funding, PI lectures, networking opportunities, connections with employers, etc.).

NYU also enjoys the advantage of hosting the PILC fair every year, which attracts many of the top PI/Gov employers. Said employers must reserve a large percentage (80%?) of their interview slots for NYU students.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby Stanford4Me » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:28 pm

Brief overview of the PI aspects of NYU:

- Weekly lectures from professionals who work in government work/public interest
- Guaranteed funding for 1L ($4500) and 2L ($6500) public interest/government positions
- Spring PILC fair where a sizable number of public interest/government firms recruit NYU students

I can't say this with complete confidence across all schools, but a lot of my friends at other schools are pretty much looking at working this summer and getting absolutely no kind of funding for their internships, because most PI/govn't internships don't pay and their school doesn't fund 1L internships.

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thunderflesh
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby thunderflesh » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:34 pm

Stanford4Me wrote:Brief overview of the PI aspects of NYU:

- Weekly lectures from professionals who work in government work/public interest
- Guaranteed funding for 1L ($4500) and 2L ($6500) public interest/government positions
- Spring PILC fair where a sizable number of public interest/government firms recruit NYU students

I can't say this with complete confidence across all schools, but a lot of my friends at other schools are pretty much looking at working this summer and getting absolutely no kind of funding for their internships, because most PI/govn't internships don't pay and their school doesn't fund 1L internships.
vicuna wrote:
thunderflesh wrote:I know that on TLS the conventional wisdom is that NYU > CLS for PI work, but what is this based on, exactly? Besides there being more people who want to go into PI at NYU (which says more about what NYU students want to do than whether NYU is actually better for PI).

I did NYU undergrad, and am deciding between CLS and NYU Law. Leaning CLS for prestige / change of scenery, but still considering NYU due to its rep of being good for PI; I want to be a prosecutor.


The biggest difference seems to be regarding institutional support. NYU students seem to give glowing reviews for their PI career services office, while Columbia students appear to be disappointed, to say the least (http://abovethelaw.com/2010/11/columbia ... rtunities/). Current students would have to provide some information of terms of what this means tangibly (i.e. summer funding, PI lectures, networking opportunities, connections with employers, etc.).

NYU also enjoys the advantage of hosting the PILC fair every year, which attracts many of the top PI/Gov employers. Said employers must reserve a large percentage (80%?) of their interview slots for NYU students.


Thanks guys, makes a lot more sense now!

bdubs
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby bdubs » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:43 pm

Stanford4Me wrote:I can't say this with complete confidence across all schools, but a lot of my friends at other schools are pretty much looking at working this summer and getting absolutely no kind of funding for their internships, because most PI/govn't internships don't pay and their school doesn't fund 1L internships.


FYI - lots of schools have summer funding for PI in both 1L and 2L. Columbia's site lists that it funds all PI interns who apply in a "timely fashion".

http://www.law.columbia.edu/programs/so ... cls/summer

The important info seems to be the amount of funding. It's interesting that NYU has a fixed amount, since I can't quite nail down the amounts at other schools. I think a lot of programs have a fixed summer PI budget which is divided amongst the group of students who do PI work over the summer. This is funded either through the school or through a combination of school and private donations.

Renzo
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby Renzo » Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:48 am

bdubs wrote:
Stanford4Me wrote:I can't say this with complete confidence across all schools, but a lot of my friends at other schools are pretty much looking at working this summer and getting absolutely no kind of funding for their internships, because most PI/govn't internships don't pay and their school doesn't fund 1L internships.


FYI - lots of schools have summer funding for PI in both 1L and 2L. Columbia's site lists that it funds all PI interns who apply in a "timely fashion".

http://www.law.columbia.edu/programs/so ... cls/summer

The important info seems to be the amount of funding. It's interesting that NYU has a fixed amount, since I can't quite nail down the amounts at other schools. I think a lot of programs have a fixed summer PI budget which is divided amongst the group of students who do PI work over the summer. This is funded either through the school or through a combination of school and private donations.


NYU's PI funding is, I believe, more generous than any other school.

NYU's is as above, $4500 for 1Ls and $6500 for 2L's, and you can keep up to an add't $2000 if you get outside funding without the school reducing your eligibility.

CLS scaled back their funding when the economy went to hell, so it's $3360 for 1Ls and $6000. Harvard's is a sliding scale depending on if you are getting financial aid. The most generous award for 1Ls is better than NYU, but the non-student aid rate is $385/wk, and the 2L funding is worse across the board.

justifytheparadox
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby justifytheparadox » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:18 am

NYU 1L here and I have nothing but positive things to say about the faculty, the location, the administration, and career services. I can't speak to what its like at CLS and either way you're getting a great legal education. The idea that going to CLS ups your career potential over NYU is inane: what ultimately matters is how hard you work and how well you do in school. Someone who is top 10% of their class at CLS isn't going to do any better than someone who is top 10% at NYU and so on down the list.

I don't mean to rag on CLS, because I do have a lot of good friends there, but I just don't get its appeal. Its a pretty campus, a pretty name, and really good big law placement, and that's about it (obviously that last one is a biggie). Any objective look at faculty (check Leiter's rankings) and it literally is not even remotely close. That right there might be one of the big differences between the schools: people at NYU care about quality faculty and at least a large chunk at CLS (judging by that 'shake' fellow) really only care about $$$. If $$$ is your life's pursuit, power to you, you'll do well at either. I think NYU offers a better all around experience.

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chris0805
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby chris0805 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:10 am

I think it's a huge stretch to say that CLS's overall faculty quality is "not even close" to NYU, but I think those are foolish measurements anyway. Faculty quality in one clinic or externship might make it worth going to one or the other depending on your interests. I also think it's disingenuous to say "I don't know how it is at CLS" and then say a large chunk of people at CLS (presumably significantly more than at NYU) care only care about $$$ based on one internet troll.

People need to think about what they want out of law school specifically, by which I mean more specifically than biglaw v. PI. Then, they need to look at which school will be most helpful in getting them to that point AND where they feel the most comfortable.

I chose CLS because I felt like it would be a little easier to get involved in the public interest options that interested me, and I felt more comfortable there when I visited. I got to do everything I wanted in law school, which included a clinic, an externship, tons of pro bono projects, and, eventually, a PI job that I love. I work alongside both CLS and NYU grads and everyone seems to feel positive about their school, probably because both schools offer amazing opportunities and have great faculties.
Last edited by chris0805 on Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ahduth
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby ahduth » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:12 am

justifytheparadox wrote:Its a pretty campus, a pretty name, and really good big law placement, and that's about it (obviously that last one is a biggie). Any objective look at faculty (check Leiter's rankings) and it literally is not even remotely close. That right there might be one of the big differences between the schools: people at NYU care about quality faculty and at least a large chunk at CLS (judging by that 'shake' fellow) really only care about $$$. If $$$ is your life's pursuit, power to you, you'll do well at either. I think NYU offers a better all around experience.


That shake fellow is a troll, please ignore him. I keep hearing this placement argument in favor of Columbia, but I'm having trouble substantiating it. Is the argument centered around placement at V10 firms (ie the "quality" of the firms within the NLJ250 that CLS grads are landing jobs at) or the percentage of people landing big law positions (I think 54 versus 50 percent was quoted earlier). Either way, I can see people self-selecting out of V10 firms that have a reputation for terrible hours. And we'd have to break down those percentages in some sort of meaningful way - if a significant percentage of top NYU grads are going PI, we'd have to offset that with the percentage of CLS grads taking clerkships, etc.

My problem is that my opinion is being strongly influenced by an NLJ100 associate who is a close friend of mine, and has been hand-holding me through this entire process. She is kind of biased towards NYU - she says she personally prefers recruiting at NYU, because the interviewees are more worldly and dynamic, so she enjoys the process more? She also says she thinks the clinics and classes are stronger, but that her opinion is largely anecdotal based on the interviews she's conducted. What I am trying to do is filter her opinion out. I don't think she's wrong necessarily (in fact she's my key mechanism for filtering out a lot of the TLS and other lightly founded "commentary"), but I'm looking for something more objective to use while making my choice.

---

One question on faculty strength: the only Leiter ranking I could find is this:

http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2 ... ship.shtml

which has Columbia ranked higher. Can you point out your source for the rankings?

ShakeDemHatersOff
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby ShakeDemHatersOff » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:20 am

justifytheparadox wrote:NYU 1L here and I have nothing but positive things to say about the faculty, the location, the administration, and career services. I can't speak to what its like at CLS and either way you're getting a great legal education. The idea that going to CLS ups your career potential over NYU is inane: what ultimately matters is how hard you work and how well you do in school. Someone who is top 10% of their class at CLS isn't going to do any better than someone who is top 10% at NYU and so on down the list.

I don't mean to rag on CLS, because I do have a lot of good friends there, but I just don't get its appeal. Its a pretty campus, a pretty name, and really good big law placement, and that's about it (obviously that last one is a biggie). Any objective look at faculty (check Leiter's rankings) and it literally is not even remotely close. That right there might be one of the big differences between the schools: people at NYU care about quality faculty and at least a large chunk at CLS (judging by that 'shake' fellow) really only care about $$$. If $$$ is your life's pursuit, power to you, you'll do well at either. I think NYU offers a better all around experience.


I'm at CLS and will say that I have no problem with your claims if you seed the reality which is (1) CLS is universally more prestigous and (2) CLS has better placement among elite firms.

Those are the two reasons I choose CLS.

Its prestige and its powerful alumni base at Wachtell, Cravath, etc.

More power to you if you want to feel good about where you go to school. I'll take the PRESTIGE of having people awe at me when I tell them I have a law degree from Columbia rather than getting confused looks about why I went to a state school after Harvard UG.

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ahduth
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby ahduth » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:30 am

ShakeDemHatersOff wrote:I'll take the PRESTIGE of having people awe at me when I tell them I have a law degree from Columbia rather than getting confused looks about why I went to a state school after Harvard UG.


lol, the state school thing was a nice touch, well played. At least he's a solid troll. :D

spondee
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby spondee » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:17 am

I'd caution against choosing between NYU and CLS based on general faculty strength. Leiter has a reputation for being biased, and his rankings say nothing about teaching quality. Both schools have many successful scholars. On the other hand, if you know what kind of law you're interested, I'd recommend looking at faculty in that area.

I'd also caution against using those NLJ250 numbers for any decisions. I'm not sure why they're cited so much on TLS. The percentage differences between schools is so small and easily eclipsed by PI or clerking etc. And the order and exact percentage shifts around every year. Plus, not all 250 firms are really BigLaw -- it tells you nothing about how many students at any given school actually got market-paying jobs.

chasgoose
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby chasgoose » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:24 pm

spondee wrote:I'd caution against choosing between NYU and CLS based on general faculty strength. Leiter has a reputation for being biased, and his rankings say nothing about teaching quality. Both schools have many successful scholars. On the other hand, if you know what kind of law you're interested, I'd recommend looking at faculty in that area.

I'd also caution against using those NLJ250 numbers for any decisions. I'm not sure why they're cited so much on TLS. The percentage differences between schools is so small and easily eclipsed by PI or clerking etc. And the order and exact percentage shifts around every year. Plus, not all 250 firms are really BigLaw -- it tells you nothing about how many students at any given school actually got market-paying jobs.


Then what should we base our decisions on? I would really like to know. I highly doubt either ASW is going to sway me in any direction (I HATED my undergrad school's ASW, but was so dead set on attending it didn't matter and I was so glad I decided to). If looking at faculty isn't a good idea, and looking at career placement numbers isn't a good idea, then what are we supposed to look at?

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glitched
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby glitched » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:28 pm

chasgoose wrote:
spondee wrote:I'd caution against choosing between NYU and CLS based on general faculty strength. Leiter has a reputation for being biased, and his rankings say nothing about teaching quality. Both schools have many successful scholars. On the other hand, if you know what kind of law you're interested, I'd recommend looking at faculty in that area.

I'd also caution against using those NLJ250 numbers for any decisions. I'm not sure why they're cited so much on TLS. The percentage differences between schools is so small and easily eclipsed by PI or clerking etc. And the order and exact percentage shifts around every year. Plus, not all 250 firms are really BigLaw -- it tells you nothing about how many students at any given school actually got market-paying jobs.


Then what should we base our decisions on? I would really like to know. I highly doubt either ASW is going to sway me in any direction (I HATED my undergrad school's ASW, but was so dead set on attending it didn't matter and I was so glad I decided to). If looking at faculty isn't a good idea, and looking at career placement numbers isn't a good idea, then what are we supposed to look at?


Hot chicks.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:38 pm

chasgoose wrote:Then what should we base our decisions on? I would really like to know. I highly doubt either ASW is going to sway me in any direction (I HATED my undergrad school's ASW, but was so dead set on attending it didn't matter and I was so glad I decided to). If looking at faculty isn't a good idea, and looking at career placement numbers isn't a good idea, then what are we supposed to look at?

Frankly there is no perfect way to make this decision, because there's no perfect outcome. 95% of people making this decision will be fine 95% of the time with whichever choice they make. The 5% of the people who are unhappy 5% of the time may have been unhappy either way. The TLS decision-making calculus is often out of touch with reality, in that there isn't usually a "right" choice once you're in this "CLS or NYU" boat (or "Michigan or Virginia," or "Harvard or Stanford," or...). So the first step is, take some pressure off yourself to make the "right" choice; you already have two right choices, so don't sweat it so much. Read up on the schools, look at the employment statistics (with the huge grains of salt already mentioned re: self-selection and how statistically relevant the differences are) pay attention to the cues you get from both in their communications, see which student body you like better from your (naturally limited) interactions, walk around the neighborhoods, and remember that while one school might be 3% better than the other at this or that on paper, it's also a place you're going to be spending three years of your life. (I'm trying to keep this neutral, but obviously this was how I arrived at NYU over CLS.)

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ahduth
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Re: NYU vs Columbia comparison

Postby ahduth » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:42 pm

chasgoose wrote:
spondee wrote:I'd caution against choosing between NYU and CLS based on general faculty strength. Leiter has a reputation for being biased, and his rankings say nothing about teaching quality. Both schools have many successful scholars. On the other hand, if you know what kind of law you're interested, I'd recommend looking at faculty in that area.

I'd also caution against using those NLJ250 numbers for any decisions. I'm not sure why they're cited so much on TLS. The percentage differences between schools is so small and easily eclipsed by PI or clerking etc. And the order and exact percentage shifts around every year. Plus, not all 250 firms are really BigLaw -- it tells you nothing about how many students at any given school actually got market-paying jobs.


Then what should we base our decisions on? I would really like to know. I highly doubt either ASW is going to sway me in any direction (I HATED my undergrad school's ASW, but was so dead set on attending it didn't matter and I was so glad I decided to). If looking at faculty isn't a good idea, and looking at career placement numbers isn't a good idea, then what are we supposed to look at?


I hear you, the schools are aggravating similar in terms of offerings (for most candidates), and you really want some sort of key point on which to hang your 200,000 dollar decision. This poster's point is that given how similar they are, you need to dig deeper. You want to do corporate transactional work? Ok, how do the clinical and classroom options stack up. Do you want to take corporate finance classes along with your degree? Maybe you want NYU for Stern. You have a niche area of PI you want to pursue? Find out precisely which profs deal with that, and find out if you can contact them.

I've yet to see any compelling argument that says either school's placement ability is inherently better than the other, except NYU for PI. And even that sounds like it has exceptions.




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