International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

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Columbia v. Chicago

Columbia
74
89%
Chicago
9
11%
 
Total votes: 83

Hey-O
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International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby Hey-O » Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:38 pm

I know that international law doesn't exist. I know that I am not going to up arguing at the Hague. That said, I want to enter the field of international or comparative law. My ideal job is actually working in politics, specifically in advising NGOs or government officials on international policy initiatives, especially as it relates to the development of rural economies. If I can't get that then I would settle for practicing private law internationally (probably in China). I speak Chinese and Spanish.

I've worked in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the US, and China. I know that I want to do international aid work. End o' story. But I've not gotten the level of work that I want to get and my career has been stuck in education, which I don't want to do. I'm hoping that a big name law school where I get a JD/MA (in international economics, development, or relations depending on the school) will open doors for me.

So Columbia v. Chicago? The obvious choice is Columbia, it has the international connections, a better comparative law program, more MA options, and a better location for connections. But I like Chicago (except for the weather). I like the smaller atmosphere and the focus on rigor and critical thinking.

No word on money from either and so I'm thinking it's sticker for both. Any ideas? Any current students from either school have any insight?

I am not going to choose a law school based on the ability to transfer but if I end up in the top after my first semester I'll probably try for HYS (hopefully S). So will it matter which school I go to based on transfer chances?

chasgoose
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby chasgoose » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:10 pm

Well CLS does seem to have the better options for comparative law/MA programs so its probably a better bet than U of C.

As far as transfer options go, I think thats a terrible idea. If you have good enough grades at Chicago or CLS to transfer to HYS, you should just stay there. If you are in top 5-10% at either Chicago or CLS you will have almost every option available to you that you would have at HYS and you won't have to make new relationships with professors/miss out on Law Review (it's usually harder to make law review as a transfer, whereas top 5-10% at Chicago or CLS would almost guarantee law review)/have OCI issues. Even if you could do it, the costs far outweigh the benefits. That said, Chicago's grading system is kind of brutal and it would probably be easier to transfer out of CLS.

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patrickd139
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:24 pm

Hey-O wrote:I know that international law doesn't exist.

Hey-O wrote:That said, I want to enter the field of international or comparative law.

Massive face-palm.

Hey-O wrote:I am not going to choose a law school based on the ability to transfer

Hey-O wrote: So will it matter which school I go to based on transfer chances?

Are you serious?

Hey-O
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby Hey-O » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:35 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
Hey-O wrote:I know that international law doesn't exist.

Hey-O wrote:That said, I want to enter the field of international or comparative law.

Massive face-palm.

Hey-O wrote:I am not going to choose a law school based on the ability to transfer

Hey-O wrote: So will it matter which school I go to based on transfer chances?

Are you serious?


Yes. Just because something isn't the deciding factor in where I go to school doesn't mean it's not important to me.

Also, on the international law thing: I'm saying I know what I'm getting myself into. I know the competition is fierce, I know I'm getting into a profession with WAY more interested applicants than job opportunities. I want to do international policy analysis, it's what I've always wanted to do. I'm willing to practice private law but I want to do government/non-profit work if I can afford it. I have big ambitions. These ambitions are why I am seriously considering transferring from CLS and Chicago. Not because I'm a prestige whore, but because prestige seriously matters in politics and if I want to go into politics then being able to say I went to Harvard or Stanford could make a big difference.

um ok
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby um ok » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:54 am

Hey-O wrote:Not because I'm a prestige whore .....

Hey-O wrote:..... being able to say I went to Harvard or Stanford could make a big difference.


Now I'm face-palming.

Just admit it, you're a prestige whore.

And please go to Columbia because I don't want you at Chicago with me if you're just going to want to transfer up.

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patrickd139
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:02 am

Hey-O wrote:Yes. Just because something isn't the deciding factor in where I go to school doesn't mean it's not important to me.

Also, on the international law thing: I'm saying I know what I'm getting myself into. I know the competition is fierce, I know I'm getting into a profession with WAY more interested applicants than job opportunities. I want to do international policy analysis, it's what I've always wanted to do. I'm willing to practice private law but I want to do government/non-profit work if I can afford it. I have big ambitions. These ambitions are why I am seriously considering transferring from CLS and Chicago. Not because I'm a prestige whore, but because prestige seriously matters in politics and if I want to go into politics then being able to say I went to Harvard or Stanford could make a big difference.

Basing a decision on transfer prospects + X, Y and Z considerations is not the same as choosing a law school based on X, Y and Z considerations. It's either a basis for your decision or not. Your post seems to indicate it's a basis for your decision. It shouldn't be.

If you want to do international policy analysis, you might consider a Ph.D in an area of interest. It is likely to position you just as well for a career in the field. If you want to draft contracts for mergers of foreign companies, go to law school, and pray like hell that you a) are good enough to land a job with a firm which does that type of business and b) luck into that job.

Also, my general sense of things tells me that people who truly want to do government/non-profit work generally are not basing their decision on cost.

Finally, on this site, at least, going into "government" =/= going into "politics." I don't doubt that HLS v. Duke could make a difference in the political realm. I seriously doubt that HLS v. Chicago or CLS would make a damn bit of difference for government careers.

Big ambitions are great. Unrealistic expectations, less so.

Hey-O
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby Hey-O » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:18 am

um ok wrote:
Hey-O wrote:Not because I'm a prestige whore .....

Hey-O wrote:..... being able to say I went to Harvard or Stanford could make a big difference.


Now I'm face-palming.

Just admit it, you're a prestige whore.

And please go to Columbia because I don't want you at Chicago with me if you're just going to want to transfer up.


I always thought a prestige whore is someone who wants to go to a school because they want to brag about the name. I don't. I don't care at all. But I do want to have a successful career in the field that I am interested in. And I think that HYS could open doors for me. I come from nothing. I come from a dirt poor family and I went to a shit undergrad and I've gotten nowhere in my career.

I feel like I have a lot that I want to accomplish with my life and it seems to me that the way the world works now that the most effective way for me to be able to that is HYS.

But I don't think it's make or break. I don't think it's necessary. I just think it would be helpful. So when I'm deciding where I want to go to school I want to go to the school that will give me the best option of succeeding at my chosen career.

I don't intend on transferring. I just want to know which school could possibly give me the better option for transferring.

Hey-O
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby Hey-O » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:28 am

Basing a decision on transfer prospects + X, Y and Z considerations is not the same as choosing a law school based on X, Y and Z considerations. It's either a basis for your decision or not.


Thanks for the reply. I don't really see why this would be true? I'm not planning on transferring but it is a possibility. But a small one.

This thread is getting derailed. Transferring is a tiny piece of the puzzle when making my decision. The biggest pieces are: educational experience and future career opportunities.

I hear you on the PHd but I couldn't get into a top tier PHd program, no way. Not without years of work. Nobody cares that much about the GRE. Law school is my only hope because they put so much weight on the LSAT. It's my only chance of breaking into the elite. I can do well on the LSAT. I can't test my way into having had a successful career in academia.

concurrent fork
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby concurrent fork » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:21 am

So you are interested in rural development in China...why are you going to law school?

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UnitarySpace
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby UnitarySpace » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:27 am

concurrent fork wrote:So you are interested in rural development in China...why are you going to law school?


Word.

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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:42 am

Voted Columbia,

Although I know nothing regarding the areas that you are interested in and have no substantive advice to give you. I've got a good feeling about Columbia.

mcat4life87
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby mcat4life87 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:13 am

"Breaking into the elite" -- OP, what do you mean by this?

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:17 am

I feel like OP is getting slammed a little hard here. There's a general trend on TLS to try to nitpick every single sentence a person says once they utter an interest in practicing public international law. Sometimes that is merited (USD vs. Pitt, or whatever that was), but sometimes those career goals are an actual possibility (even if a slight stretch) for some students. Being at Columbia or Chicago will at least put you in the running for these types of positions, and I completely understand the perceived need to transfer to HYS if the possibility arises.

Also, there's a difference between prestige whoring because you want the credentials as opposed to prestige whoring because the industry wants the credentials. I really think OP is getting too much flack for this.

um ok wrote:And please go to Columbia because I don't want you at Chicago with me if you're just going to want to transfer up.

This comment, in particular, is a little ridiculous. Don't worry, buddy, I'm sure he doesn't want to go to Chicago with you if you're already speaking on behalf of your school and telling other people they aren't welcome.

jdhakert
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby jdhakert » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:55 pm

Hey-O wrote:
Basing a decision on transfer prospects + X, Y and Z considerations is not the same as choosing a law school based on X, Y and Z considerations. It's either a basis for your decision or not.


Thanks for the reply. I don't really see why this would be true? I'm not planning on transferring but it is a possibility. But a small one.

This thread is getting derailed. Transferring is a tiny piece of the puzzle when making my decision. The biggest pieces are: educational experience and future career opportunities.

I hear you on the PHd but I couldn't get into a top tier PHd program, no way. Not without years of work. Nobody cares that much about the GRE. Law school is my only hope because they put so much weight on the LSAT. It's my only chance of breaking into the elite. I can do well on the LSAT. I can't test my way into having had a successful career in academia.


PhD..

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sundance95
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby sundance95 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:57 pm

UnitarySpace wrote:
concurrent fork wrote:So you are interested in rural development in China...why are you going to law school?


Word.

+1. Also, first to call elaborate subtle flame.

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dresden doll
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby dresden doll » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:00 pm

It's pretty simple: if you're actually bent on int' law, go to CLS. Although Chicago has been trying to expand its int'l law program, its strength in that area remains limited and won't (out)match CLS by the time you start your 1L.

I will not comment upon your transfer chances because I think that's entirely unnecessary at this point in time.

Hey-O
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby Hey-O » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:25 pm

dresden doll wrote:It's pretty simple: if you're actually bent on int' law, go to CLS. Although Chicago has been trying to expand its int'l law program, its strength in that area remains limited and won't (out)match CLS by the time you start your 1L.

I will not comment upon your transfer chances because I think that's entirely unnecessary at this point in time.


Thanks. This is what I think as well, but I feel like Chicago's education might be a better fit for me. I like the small class sizes, I like the atmosphere of debate, I like the focus on education. I'm trying to weight opportunities vs. experience.

um ok
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby um ok » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:48 pm

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
um ok wrote:And please go to Columbia because I don't want you at Chicago with me if you're just going to want to transfer up.

This comment, in particular, is a little ridiculous. Don't worry, buddy, I'm sure he doesn't want to go to Chicago with you if you're already speaking on behalf of your school and telling other people they aren't welcome.


I would love to welcome anyone who genuinely wants to be here and is going to be thankful for the opportunity to be here. Why would I welcome someone with open arms if they just want to get out of there as fast as they can to transfer to HYS?

Hey-O
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby Hey-O » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:57 pm

UnitarySpace wrote:
concurrent fork wrote:So you are interested in rural development in China...why are you going to law school?


Word.


Because I'm interested in a structural sense. I want to work on the creating laws and policy.

Hey-O
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby Hey-O » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:58 pm

jdhakert wrote:
Hey-O wrote:
Basing a decision on transfer prospects + X, Y and Z considerations is not the same as choosing a law school based on X, Y and Z considerations. It's either a basis for your decision or not.


Thanks for the reply. I don't really see why this would be true? I'm not planning on transferring but it is a possibility. But a small one.

This thread is getting derailed. Transferring is a tiny piece of the puzzle when making my decision. The biggest pieces are: educational experience and future career opportunities.

I hear you on the PHd but I couldn't get into a top tier PHd program, no way. Not without years of work. Nobody cares that much about the GRE. Law school is my only hope because they put so much weight on the LSAT. It's my only chance of breaking into the elite. I can do well on the LSAT. I can't test my way into having had a successful career in academia.


PhD..


Thank you for the substantive and helpful comment. *cough* Douche. *cough*

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vanwinkle
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:02 pm

OP should join the Peace Corps. It costs a lot less and actually gives you a realistic shot at doing "international" work.

mcat4life87
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby mcat4life87 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:10 pm

HeyO, what do you mean by "breaking into the elite"? You used that phrase but I'm not clear what you mean by it.

MidlawMyth
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby MidlawMyth » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:46 pm

Just so we're clear...you know nothing about international aid, international development, geopolitics, economics, or farming and you think spending 3 years and $200K on the minutia of the American legal system is the way to be in a position to advise world leaders on these topics?

Hey-O
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby Hey-O » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:54 pm

mcat4life87 wrote:HeyO, what do you mean by "breaking into the elite"? You used that phrase but I'm not clear what you mean by it.


Perhaps I shouldn't have used that phrase, because Columbia and Chicago are plenty elite, but I don't want to make the same mistake I made in UG.

I'm the first member of my family to graduate from college, I went to a tiny state college where I had a scholarship. I could have gone to a much better school, but I had no one to help me with the process and I knew nothing about it. I didn't think that the school mattered that much. I thought that going to college was such a big amazing thing that I could do anything I wanted once I graduated. (Yes, I was an idiot).

Since graduating from UG it's been a struggle and I'm just getting further and further from my goals. After I graduated I couldn't hold out for a good job that put me on the right career track because I had an accident that put in the hospital for a week like two weeks after I graduated from UG and I had no insurance (because the school insurance no longer covered me). So I had this crippling medical debt, no relevant work experience (I couldn't afford internships - I had to take work that would pay enough to cover my living expenses every year because my family couldn't give any money - so I waitressed), and this basically useless degree. So, I took the jobs I got. They were okay, but they weren't internships in DC with government offices, they weren't entry level research assistants for think tanks, they weren't international policy training programs in Afghanistan. They were secretaries or call centers.

There are lots and lots and lots of jobs that I've wanted but I don't get those jobs. I keep getting crummy jobs because previously, I took crummy jobs that I had to take. And now I can't get into a good grad program because I have no good work experience. So maybe I'm taking the elite thing too far and thinking it will be more helpful then it really will be, but I don't want to have another useless degree.

Every time someone says international law they say, 'This is the most competitive field you'll be up against the best from Yale'. Well, then if that's what I want to do then shouldn't I go to Yale? I mean, if this field is that competitive then I need every leg up I can get. So, by breaking into the elite, I guess I just mean a place where I can have the connections I need to do what I want with my life.

Hey-O
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Re: International Law: Columbia v. Chicago

Postby Hey-O » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:00 pm

MidlawMyth wrote:Just so we're clear...you know nothing about international aid, international development, geopolitics, economics, or farming and you think spending 3 years and $200K on the minutia of the American legal system is the way to be in a position to advise world leaders on these topics?


No, that's the problem. I know all about these subjects, and I'd love to know more, but no one is interested in giving me a job or paying for me to do that. World leaders want to be advised by the smartest people in the world. These people go to the best colleges. I would love to get a PhD from Harvard Kennedy School, but I cannot. Alas. So, I will do what I can do, which is get a JD/MA from Columbia or Chicago. It's certainly better for my job prospects than what I have now. Lots of people who work in policy have law degrees.




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