CU/NYU Sticker vs. GULC PILS (resposting from other board)

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NYCorDC
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CU/NYU Sticker vs. GULC PILS (resposting from other board)

Postby NYCorDC » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:04 am

hey all, first time poster looking for some advice on cu/nyu at sticker vs gulc as a public interest law scholar. i'd like to do internationally-oriented work when i graduate and all three schools have a substantial portfolio of courses and clinics related to my interests. columbia and nyu were tops on my list when i sent in my applications but since i got into gulc earlier in the season i spent lots of time reading up on its professors, clinics, etc. and realized that it would also be an amazing place to study. and now with the pils offer i feel like i'd be a fool to not go. the help with tuition is a nice bonus of course but i'm most attracted to the fact that it would mean being closely connected to a network of like-minded students, alum and professors right from the start. i know i could likely create/find something like that at cu/nyu but it's nice to already have something more structured to walk into - along with the special recognition that comes along with being a scholar.

i sound pretty 100% decided on gulc right now, don't i? i think it's because i'm still on such on a huge high from the pils offer. i know i need to sleep on it too but i was hoping for some inputs to help me process a bit more.

oh, and i have five days to accept or decline the pils offer.

chasgoose
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Re: CU/NYU Sticker vs. GULC PILS (resposting from other board)

Postby chasgoose » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:25 am

1/3rd tuition isn't enough to justify GULC over CLS/NYU, both of which are better for PI than GULC, regardless of whatever scholar program (which is probably more advertising than anything) you might have been accepted to. You will still graduate with about 125-150k in debt and the differences in job opportunities from CLS/NYU are far better, especially for PI, than GULC.
Last edited by chasgoose on Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Moxie
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Re: CU/NYU Sticker vs. GULC PILS (resposting from other board)

Postby Moxie » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:28 am

NYCorDC wrote:hey all, first time poster looking for some advice on cu/nyu at sticker vs gulc as a public interest law scholar. i'd like to do internationally-oriented work when i graduate and all three schools have a substantial portfolio of courses and clinics related to my interests. columbia and nyu were tops on my list when i sent in my applications but since i got into gulc earlier in the season i spent lots of time reading up on its professors, clinics, etc. and realized that it would also be an amazing place to study. and now with the pils offer i feel like i'd be a fool to not go. the help with tuition is a nice bonus of course but i'm most attracted to the fact that it would mean being closely connected to a network of like-minded students, alum and professors right from the start. i know i could likely create/find something like that at cu/nyu but it's nice to already have something more structured to walk into - along with the special recognition that comes along with being a scholar.

i sound pretty 100% decided on gulc right now, don't i? i think it's because i'm still on such on a huge high from the pils offer. i know i need to sleep on it too but i was hoping for some inputs to help me process a bit more.

oh, and i have five days to accept or decline the pils offer.


The bolded sounds a lot like NYU, who has a large network of PI students, and historical success in placing PI students.

I don't think 1/3rd tuition at GULC is enough to turn down CLS/NYU, and I don't think the resources provided there would be notably better than NYU. (If you can't tell by now, I think you should go to NYU)

legalmindedfella
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Re: CU/NYU Sticker vs. GULC PILS (resposting from other board)

Postby legalmindedfella » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:02 pm

One data point of some (though not airtight) relevance: you're looking at roughly double the faculty in international law for NYU/Columbia v. Georgetown, with smaller student bodies.

http://www.law.columbia.edu/center_prog ... lty_intern

http://www.law.nyu.edu/academics/areaso ... /index.htm

http://www.law.georgetown.edu/faculty/f ... ertise.cfm

(Granting that there's a few people on all three lists who this isn't the primary field for.)

With those faculty comes actual additional resources and diversity of coursework, plus potential connections, opportunities, and availability. Something to consider, as well as looking at relative faculty strengths/weaknesses for whichever subset of international law you're interested in.

NYCorDC
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Re: CU/NYU Sticker vs. GULC PILS (resposting from other board)

Postby NYCorDC » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:54 am

thanks for all of the inputs and different perspectives!

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src42
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Re: CU/NYU Sticker vs. GULC PILS (resposting from other board)

Postby src42 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:46 am

chasgoose wrote:1/3rd tuition isn't enough to justify GULC over CLS/NYU, both of which are better for PI than GULC, regardless of whatever scholar program
TITCR

But seriously, congrats on getting the award. GULC is pretty stingy, so even a 1/3 scholarship is significant for them. Still, don't go there.

Sandrew
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Re: CU/NYU Sticker vs. GULC PILS (resposting from other board)

Postby Sandrew » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:41 pm

I may be too late to offer any useful advice, unless you've been granted a deadline extension. But I'll offer what little insight I’ve come up with as I've grappled with a very similar decision. In my case, I am deciding between Columbia (sticker), NYU ($75-90k Dean's Scholarship), and GULC ($105k non-named*). BTW, congratulations to you on all three acceptances, and especially on landing PILS, whether or not you end up taking it.

I think the Conventional Wisdom (especially on TLS) would advise both of us to go to NYU. This is probably good advice, but I think it's a much closer call between GULC and NYU than the CW would suggest. Because of my circumstances, I'm very likely to choose GULC. I'll explain why that's likely to be my decision (it’s not the money), and, more importantly for you, why I think GULC is an attractive option for public interest even ignoring my idiosyncratic circumstances.

Why am I likely to turn down possibly 90k at NYU for a similar offer from GULC?
Location. Don't get me wrong; I love New York, having lived here for seven years. But my fiance is facing a potentially transformative career opportunity in DC, and I fully support her pursuing it. If it falls through for her, I'll be crushed (for her), but I'll happily go to NYU (or maybe Columbia). Really, I feel blessed to have such fantastic options in both locations.

If I do end up at GULC, why am I not worried about foregoing 8 spots in the "rankings"?
First, the rankings are, of course, garbage. But more importantly, given the nature of public interest law, you can and should ignore the rankings difference and instead focus on fundamentals. I'm not saying the rankings are unimportant. The rankings, however corrupt and moronic the methodology, do have a real impact on recruiting and reputation. But I believe (for reasons I'll explain below) that this matters much more for private practice careers than it does for public interest careers. This isn't to say that your prospects of landing a desired public interest job are the same at Crazy Eddy's Law School** as they are at Yale. I only mean to suggest that, in my view, the distinction between NYU and GULC, in terms of public interest career prospects, isn't nearly as vast as the CW will tell you.

What's special about considering law schools from a public interest lens?
Among law students with an eye toward public interest, individual goals and interests are much more heterogeneous than among those planning to work in private practice. For example, my area of interest is financial regulation, and I particularly want to work in government, either at a regulatory agency in an enforcement capacity or for a legislator in a policy role. I've yet to meet anyone with this specific goal.*** While we all may be eying public interest careers in the broadest sense, the job market in financial regulation is markedly different from the job markets in international humanitarian law, or public defense, or advocate for [insert your PI cause of choice]. For this reason, public interest support systems are not and cannot be robustly tailored to any one public interest career route. Thus, landing a desired public interest job requires extra effort on the part of the student to seek out people and opportunities.

Contrast this paradigm to that enjoyed by students who aspire to BigLaw. There are recruiting systems in place at all of the top law schools that cater both to aspiring associates and to the firms themselves. The pool of students interested in BigLaw and the size of the job market (yes, still), make it viable to create and maintain these structures at top law schools. The same is cannot be said for any one area of public interest. We public interest types cannot rely on a school’s reputation and career office alone to help us find placement in our desired public interest market.

What fundamental factors suggest to me that the distinction between NYU and GULC is relatively narrow when it comes to public interest placement?
Due to the relative heterogeneity of public interest and the attendant lack of specific-enough institutional structures, students looking for a particular type of public interest job have to show more hustle and ingenuity than their private interest counterparts. It’s a tough road and one where personal networks matter a great deal more than the distinction between graduating from the 6th- versus 14th-ranked law school. Again, the fine gradation in ranking probably does matter a bit, but not as much as fundamental factors.

Let’s list some of those fundamental factors: access to networks via professors, students, and alumni; the presence of a well-staffed and dedicated career office specifically focused on public interest placement; location; and an active PI-focused student groups and communities. I’ve listed these in the order I perceive them to be important. Evaluating these factors and comparing among schools is a matter of judgment. In my estimation, NYU probably has a slight edge. Reasonable people can disagree on this or on the degree of difference.

Of course, we’ll all place different weights on the bundle of other factors we each deem important (cost, for example). In the end, it’s not about picking the “right” law school; it’s about picking the right law school for you.

Sorry to drone on. I sincerely hope that this rant helps someone, if not the OP, to feel more comfortable in their decision to attend a particular school despite it not being the highest-ranked school that admitted them. As a secondary benefit, perhaps if more people think this way, students’ obsession with rankings will somewhat fade.

Notes:
*I applied for the named PILS scholarship, but I don't think I got it. I never got a "ding" from the PILS committee, but the fact that at least some of the offers have gone out makes me suspect my prospects are dim. Not that I'm complaining; I got a very generous offer for a non-named institutional award.
**Name of school changed to protect me from hate mail.
***If you're a wannabe financial regulator in law school (or thinking about it), PM me! Please!




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