Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Columbia or UCLA

Columbia COA ~230k
53
68%
UCLA COA ~90k
25
32%
 
Total votes: 78

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kwais
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Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby kwais » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:26 pm

Hello. I have read lots of relevant info on these forums that are related to choices like this one, but I was hoping to get some direct feedback.

When I got into Columbia, I was absolutely floored. I did not expect it. Since then, I have been essentially ready to sign on the dotted line and go. I still think that this is a distinct possibility. However, yesterday, within a few hours of each other, Columbia confirmed what I expected, zero aid, and UCLA bumped up their offer to 120k, need/merit.

Career aspirations: I want to do firm work. I have relatives in many different kinds of firms, so I know what to expect. I want to make money (save me the "don't go to law school for money"), and I want to have some regional flexibility (obvious check in the Columbia category)
Knowing that Columbia is better for academia/clerking/D.C. PI etc. has made me excited but to be honest, I'm not sure that I am interested. Then again, I haven't been to law school, so I may find out that those are exactly what I want.

I really genuinely like LA and NY. I have family in both and could see myself long term in either.

I am extremely attracted to the prestige (both legal and lay) of Columbia but is the price difference justifiable?
I would love to hear what you would do and why. Thanks in advance

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kwais
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby kwais » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:32 pm

any voters want to offer reasons?

snichols16
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby snichols16 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:37 pm

kwais wrote:any voters want to offer reasons?


A good friend of mine went to UCLA, graduated three years ago, clerked, and now works at Cravath. I talked with her a couple months ago and she said she didn't have "any doors closed" to her coming from UCLA. That said, she was also editor of the law review and HYS undergrad. And she was pre-ITE.

If you're looking to do firm work, I think the employment stats on Columbia make it a no brainer. I have friends that work at the top firms in LA and they only recruit at HYSC. Not even UCLA/SC. If you're thinking firm work long term, then do automatic withdrawals from your checking account and that 230k won't even be something you think about.

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kwais
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby kwais » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:39 pm

snichols16 wrote:
kwais wrote:any voters want to offer reasons?


A good friend of mine went to UCLA, graduated three years ago, clerked, and now works at Cravath. I talked with her a couple months ago and she said she didn't have "any doors closed" to her coming from UCLA. That said, she was also editor of the law review and HYS undergrad. And she was pre-ITE.

If you're looking to do firm work, I think the employment stats on Columbia make it a no brainer. I have friends that work at the top firms in LA and they only recruit at HYSC. Not even UCLA/SC. If you're thinking firm work long term, then do automatic withdrawals from your checking account and that 230k won't even be something you think about.


thanks, I will admit that I'm looking for reasons to choose CLS.

snichols16
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby snichols16 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:43 pm

kwais wrote:
snichols16 wrote:
kwais wrote:any voters want to offer reasons?


A good friend of mine went to UCLA, graduated three years ago, clerked, and now works at Cravath. I talked with her a couple months ago and she said she didn't have "any doors closed" to her coming from UCLA. That said, she was also editor of the law review and HYS undergrad. And she was pre-ITE.

If you're looking to do firm work, I think the employment stats on Columbia make it a no brainer. I have friends that work at the top firms in LA and they only recruit at HYSC. Not even UCLA/SC. If you're thinking firm work long term, then do automatic withdrawals from your checking account and that 230k won't even be something you think about.


thanks, I will admit that I'm looking for reasons to choose CLS.


Yeah man. I love UCLA, the campus is beautiful, and LA for law school would be amazing. The degree from Columbia will be much more portable, though. I agree the debt is at first shocking. But you gotta think about it as an investment.

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Law Sauce
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby Law Sauce » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:52 pm

both great options really, but they lead different directions, if you want the best career prospects and are interested in making a lot of money I think that Columbia is the winner hands-down. If you said QoL is more important and you wanted a family in a few years, then UCLA may be better. Sounds like you should go to Columbia. a lot of ppl would die to pay full sticker there.

On the down side, FDR went there and he was a dud of a student :)

lakerfanimal
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby lakerfanimal » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:58 pm

Kwais,

Congrats on the UCLA offer! If you have any friends who go to UCLA Law, or have friends who are tight with people that go there, you should talk to them. It'll give you a better idea of what OCI numbers are like. But from what I've heard, there seems to be a huge difference between these 2 schools, and that's not even considering the portability difference. I personally would choose Columbia, but I'm not hugely debt averse, and I'm assuming I'll be around the middle of my class at either school (and in the middle, Columbia gives you a huge advantage it seems like). Good luck deciding bro!

snichols16
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby snichols16 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:01 pm

Yes. I forgot to mention. Congrats! Huge accomplishment on both!

eaa1537
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby eaa1537 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:18 pm

I faced a very similar decision up until yesterday when I decided to withdraw from UCLA.

My reasons: Yes $120,000 is a lot of money, but I want to stay on the east coast for law school. I want to work in either NY, DC, or LA, and I still think even if you want to go back to California, graduating from Columbia is better than UCLA. Columbia has one of the best employment statistics and that is something that I want to invest my money in. I think if you're looking to go into big law Columbia is the school for you. If I end up taking out loans I've calculated that I'll be paying around 1500/month... yes that's a lot but I think it's completely doable especially if you're making a lot of money thanks to the opportunities you got from graduating from Columbia.

My advice: Send Columbia any other scholarship offers you have. You never know if you'll get anything if you don't try. I got 25,000 and am extremely disappointed so I'm still negotiating with them, hopefully it will work.

If you want more reasons why I made this decision feel free to pm me.

jman77
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby jman77 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:39 pm

eaa1537 wrote:I faced a very similar decision up until yesterday when I decided to withdraw from UCLA.

My reasons: Yes $120,000 is a lot of money, but I want to stay on the east coast for law school. I want to work in either NY, DC, or LA, and I still think even if you want to go back to California, graduating from Columbia is better than UCLA. Columbia has one of the best employment statistics and that is something that I want to invest my money in. I think if you're looking to go into big law Columbia is the school for you. If I end up taking out loans I've calculated that I'll be paying around 1500/month... yes that's a lot but I think it's completely doable especially if you're making a lot of money thanks to the opportunities you got from graduating from Columbia.

My advice: Send Columbia any other scholarship offers you have. You never know if you'll get anything if you don't try. I got 25,000 and am extremely disappointed so I'm still negotiating with them, hopefully it will work.

If you want more reasons why I made this decision feel free to pm me.


Who are you in contact with regarding the negotiations, if you don't mind me asking?

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bk1
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:40 pm

If you want the best shot at "money," then go to CLS.

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glewz
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby glewz » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:47 pm

eaa1537 wrote:even if you want to go back to California, graduating from Columbia is better than UCLA. Columbia has one of the best employment statistics and that is something that I want to invest my money in. I think if you're looking to go into big law Columbia is the school for you.

Send Columbia any other scholarship offers you have.


eaa1537 nailed it.

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kwais
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby kwais » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:26 pm

Thanks everyone. all great points. I visited UCLA and really loved it. I will visit columbia in a about 10 days and I'm hoping it gives me a really strong impression in either direction

snichols16
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby snichols16 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:58 am

kwais wrote:Thanks everyone. all great points. I visited UCLA and really loved it. I will visit columbia in a about 10 days and I'm hoping it gives me a really strong impression in either direction


Ha! You won't get the same warmth, but you will get inspiration for sure!

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kwais
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby kwais » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:58 am

bump for some new info

ok, so say I have a fairly solid connect to biglaw, a firm with offices in many primary and secondary markets. I know a lot of people would say take the scholly in this situation because the diminished biglaw possibilities would not be as problematic for me. Does anyone think the other argument is strong? That the bigger debt is less of a risk and therefore I should take the more prestigious degree? Again, it is clear I am fishing for pro-Columbia answers but I am open to all points of view. Thanks again.

snichols16
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby snichols16 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:27 am

kwais wrote:bump for some new info

ok, so say I have a fairly solid connect to biglaw, a firm with offices in many primary and secondary markets. I know a lot of people would say take the scholly in this situation because the diminished biglaw possibilities would not be as problematic for me. Does anyone think the other argument is strong? That the bigger debt is less of a risk and therefore I should take the more prestigious degree? Again, it is clear I am fishing for pro-Columbia answers but I am open to all points of view. Thanks again.


Do you want to clerk?

dkt4
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby dkt4 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:29 pm

if fairly solid = will get you a job at a prestigious firm, then there's no need to go to columbia if you're happy with that firm.

if it's not that solid, probably wouldn't rely on it tooo heavily.

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kwais
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby kwais » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:41 pm

snichols16 wrote:
kwais wrote:bump for some new info

ok, so say I have a fairly solid connect to biglaw, a firm with offices in many primary and secondary markets. I know a lot of people would say take the scholly in this situation because the diminished biglaw possibilities would not be as problematic for me. Does anyone think the other argument is strong? That the bigger debt is less of a risk and therefore I should take the more prestigious degree? Again, it is clear I am fishing for pro-Columbia answers but I am open to all points of view. Thanks again.


Do you want to clerk?


TBH, after reading TLS for a year, I feel that the answer should be "of course". It's good for biglaw, it's good for gov, good for everything. So, yes. Though, I'm sure there are people who want it more than I. I figure if I have the grades, I'll go for it. Feel free to tear up this 0L logic.

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kwais
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby kwais » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:42 pm

dkt4 wrote:if fairly solid = will get you a job at a prestigious firm, then there's no need to go to columbia if you're happy with that firm.

if it's not that solid, probably wouldn't rely on it tooo heavily.


connect=very solid
firm=fairly prestigious (I think)
my desire to be there=50/50

dkt4
Posts: 316
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby dkt4 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:23 pm

i should edit that to say prestige only matters as much as you want it to.

i dunno, personally i'd go with whatever you find more comfortable/compelling. if you don't like debt, go to ucla -- you'll get a very good education, most likely have very good opportunities, and have a good time. if you're okay with debt, go to columbia. it'll give you more of a safety net should things not go well (although i think lawyers to be too often plan for the worst-case scenario), it will probably open more doors than ucla, and you'd probably enjoy your time there, too. i was not a huge fan of columbia when i visited, but it definitely has some excellent pluses.

Slevin Kelevra 2011
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:03 pm

Columbia without a doubt, even if you want Cali. Columbia will open doors UCLA will never open.

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ahduth
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Re: Please Help UCLA vs. Columbia

Postby ahduth » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:28 pm

eaa1537 wrote:I faced a very similar decision up until yesterday when I decided to withdraw from UCLA.

My reasons: Yes $120,000 is a lot of money, but I want to stay on the east coast for law school. I want to work in either NY, DC, or LA, and I still think even if you want to go back to California, graduating from Columbia is better than UCLA. Columbia has one of the best employment statistics and that is something that I want to invest my money in. I think if you're looking to go into big law Columbia is the school for you. If I end up taking out loans I've calculated that I'll be paying around 1500/month... yes that's a lot but I think it's completely doable especially if you're making a lot of money thanks to the opportunities you got from graduating from Columbia.

My advice: Send Columbia any other scholarship offers you have. You never know if you'll get anything if you don't try. I got 25,000 and am extremely disappointed so I'm still negotiating with them, hopefully it will work.

If you want more reasons why I made this decision feel free to pm me.


Not to derail the thread, but I'm looking at the same thing basically (UCLA with $$$$, CLS and NYU with $).

CLS and NYU both gave me 25k flat out. I haven't really tried negotiating with the UCLA money but... I kinda figured it wasn't worth trying. Have you just been calling them? I'm also looking to go to NYU rather than CLS, which... either helps or hurts the negotiation process I guess. NYU is a tad disorganized sometimes.




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