monathenomad wrote:What about Columbia? Would Columbia be a better choice than Berkeley for my situation?
I'm not sure, but nobody here is going to be able answer what you want for this. (Or I'd be surprised if someone could answer this well.) You should talk to students and to ad coms at both schools and say that you specifically are interested in Chinese law. If you have specific goals like that the alumni network/institutional support will be a huge factor to consider. Some schools will punch above their weight when it comes to international connections in certain fields, so until you know exactly which schools have connections where, you shouldn't make a decision. I think you should be direct and say you want to learn more about Chinese Legal Studies at each school. Ask them if they have programs/connections 1Ls during their first summer. See if you can figure out how many students actually end up in China from each school.
I'd look at these links: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/168.htm http://web.law.columbia.edu/chinese-legal-studies
Hopefully they're helpful.
As to the cost thing, if it is totally being taken care of and you're OK with that, I guess it isn't worth discussing. If you're taking out loans you should thoughtfully consider your COA and that should be a major factor in choosing where to go.