Columbia v NYU v Cal

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CLS v NYU v Cal

Poll ended at Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:57 pm

CLS ($50,000)
14
38%
NYU ($50,000)
10
27%
Berkeley (in-state + $75,000)
13
35%
 
Total votes: 37

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jbagelboy
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Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:57 pm

Hello TLS,

Several people have asked whether I will make a thread to discuss my options. I'd like this to be a thread that addresses both my particular scenario and the more general question of New York vs Berkeley @ NYU vs CLS with the "soft" issues removed. I believe this decision could be the most important (and stressful) one I've made in my life. Here goes nothin':

I successfully negotiated all three schools up to the scholarship amounts listed on poll. I notably failed to do with with Chicago, which is why it is dropped. I'm in the process of withdrawing from other schools. I strongly considered NU, but I think the New York schools are worth $30K more for my purposes.

These are total DEBT figures at graduation based on the GULC Debt Calculator, the great contribution of that sorrowful, well mocked institution. For costs, I am excluding healthcare fees, as I will remain on family health insurance, and adjusted living expenses since I will be splitting rent with my SO.

I have accounted for modest personal savings from my job, selling my car (which I wouldn't need in the city), and a $10,000/yr offer from an aunt who has no children. While I realize these are specific to me, I'm sure most people have some random circumstances. I'm also assuming a $20,000 2L SA. I feel this is reasonable.

1) Columbia: $129,331

2) NYU: $111,476

3) Berkeley: $71,416 -- if I didn't sell my car going to Cal, the debt would be about $20,000 more.

Goals: I would take the opportunity at a federal clerkship if I had the grades, but more likely I want to practice litigation at a large firm in either the bay area, new york, or los angeles. I am very interested in an international program in Europe my second year, at Oxbridge or the University of London. I eventually want to settle down in CA but I don't care if it takes a few more years to get there. Nationwide flexibility is important, however, since my SO is a graduate student and may have to work/go to another program in another city. I really do want to litigate, so please don't tell me not to go to law school.

Berkeley would be cheapest, best for IP, and allow me to stay in my native state, but it would create a lot of friction in my relationship. My SO would possibly move with me, but thats an internal discussion. I know others are in a Cal vs NYC situation, so that might be interesting to them aside from the relationship.

From the NYU vs CLS perspective, I'm very interested in the opinions of 1L's and 2L's at those schools who chose one over the other, or 0L's thinking of moving to the city in a similar situation. First, my preference has always been for Columbia. However, a few complicating factors have come up. My SO would be attending NYU graduate school, so if we lived together, it would be in the village or chelsea. Looking for places near the Christopher St. station so it would be the 1 line uptown direct. Do people manage a commute to CLS, or would it be worth it to go to NYU in this case for ease? I've already accounted for the delta in transport costs, subway vs walking, in my cost breakdown. But does this type of commute severely impact 1L grades/life?

I've heard a lot of talk on TLS about NYU falling to the "MVP" tier, as useless as these labels are. Is this at all credited? I've heard dark stories portend of how Sexton will run the school off a cliff, others believe he is a trailblazer who will do great things. I for one was very impressed by my visit to NYU law, but that was mostly architectural. What would I be losing by attending? Conversely, how much am I gaining with the Columbia name and connections? I'll have a clearer idea after visiting on Monday, and I might revise my post but I'm interested in initial reactions.

Lastly, in the extremely unlikely event that I were to get off the Stanford waitlist in July, would this be worth ditching columbia or NYU given my goals and the inconvenience? (Debt: ~$190K)

Thanks for your comments in advance. Cheers to everyone for all your great cycles!

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untar614
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby untar614 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:03 pm

wait, is your SO in NYC right now? I'm confused regarding your relationship concerns, since it seems to imply that only Berkeley would cause issues there, but your wording made it sound like you are currently in California.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:09 pm

untar614 wrote:wait, is your SO in NYC right now? I'm confused regarding your relationship concerns, since it seems to imply that only Berkeley would cause issues there, but your wording made it sound like you are currently in California.


Sorry for the confusion.

We both live in CA now. Her best option for the fall is to attend NYU (she would be starting). She could be flexible if it was truly worth it to me, for example, if I got into stanford.

NYstate
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby NYstate » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:14 pm

How is going to study overseas consistent with your goals? Did you include costs for this?

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Cobretti
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby Cobretti » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:17 pm

Go to CLS. You can still live with your SO, you don't have to take classes with her, and you'll always get to feel superior for going to the better NYC school.

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ph5354a
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby ph5354a » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:18 pm

I honestly don't know about Columbia's CA placement, but thats my vote here. My instinct is that if you're willing to work for a few years in NYC big law, you wouldn't have a problem moving to a CA office. I would ask some current NYU/cls students about commuting, but I think if you're on the 1 it wouldn't be too bad. I think the UWS is cheaper, so if she were willing to commute, then you guys might be able to save some money.

Given your CA ties and the scholarship at Berkeley, that could be the obvious choice, but it seems like with your SO, going to NYC works out for the both of you. But I wouldn't expect to get a job in CA big law right out of law school.

BigZuck
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby BigZuck » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:34 pm

As a general rule of thumb I don't think anyone young enough to remain on their parents' health insurance should make any major life choices based on a significant other. I guess the possible exception would be if they were married. Anyway, unless you two are both special snowflakes I would remove her from this decision entirely and see what you come up with. You don't have to act on that, it's just a thought excersize as of now.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:52 pm

NYstate wrote:How is going to study overseas consistent with your goals? Did you include costs for this?


This is a good point, and ill admit I havent researched these programs and their cost. However, I imagine it would be the same between any of the schools. As for goals, my understanding was if I got solid 1L grades and made law review it wouldnt make any difference to firms.

NYstate
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby NYstate » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:59 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
NYstate wrote:How is going to study overseas consistent with your goals? Did you include costs for this?


This is a good point, and ill admit I havent researched these programs and their cost. However, I imagine it would be the same between any of the schools. As for goals, my understanding was if I got solid 1L grades and made law review it wouldnt make any difference to firms.

Your plan depends on getting law review at Columbia? You know that is a risk.
I don't think I've ever interviewed anyone who went overseas for a year of law school. I'm not sure how it would play at OCI. How will you be able to manage callbacks and stuff if you are in Europe?
If you want litigation, will you be able to get classes you might need? Get to know professors who can make recommendations for you?
Maybe ask some more people to be sure about this. I just don't know.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:03 pm

BigZuck wrote:As a general rule of thumb I don't think anyone young enough to remain on their parents' health insurance should make any major life choices based on a significant other. I guess the possible exception would be if they were married. Anyway, unless you two are both special snowflakes I would remove her from this decision entirely and see what you come up with. You don't have to act on that, it's just a thought excersize as of now.


I will be 24 starting ls and get insurance until 26. I agree, and Id like to generate some ideas removed from my personal circumstances in addition to the commuter situation.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:05 pm

NYstate wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
NYstate wrote:How is going to study overseas consistent with your goals? Did you include costs for this?


This is a good point, and ill admit I havent researched these programs and their cost. However, I imagine it would be the same between any of the schools. As for goals, my understanding was if I got solid 1L grades and made law review it wouldnt make any difference to firms.

Your plan depends on getting law review at Columbia? You know that is a risk.
I don't think I've ever interviewed anyone who went overseas for a year of law school. I'm not sure how it would play at OCI. How will you be able to manage callbacks and stuff if you are in Europe?
If you want litigation, will you be able to get classes you might need? Get to know professors who can make recommendations for you?
Maybe ask some more people to be sure about this. I just don't know.


Its not imperative, but shouldnt all students aim for law review?

This is all really good insight, and you've given me lots of questions to ask and consider. I definitely dont want these programs to interrupt my career considerations. Thank you!

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:15 pm

these offers are close enough to make this a decision based on where you're most comfortable

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby Doorkeeper » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:41 pm

If you're SERIOUS about the girlfriend, just do NYU and call it a day.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:49 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:If you're SERIOUS about the girlfriend, just do NYU and call it a day.


Lets say I am serious. Do you say NYU because you believe CLS to be incompatible with the circumstances? I want to stay with her but not sacrifice legitimate opportunities if I can achieve and maintain the relationship in a good place.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:51 pm

Also for those voting berkeley, please explain/justify your choice.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:56 pm

You could live in subsidized housing near Columbia and make her commute.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:57 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:You could live in subsidized housing near Columbia and make her commute.


We dont qualify for couples housing at CLS. Its a bummer and Im fighting a losing battle on it.

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sinfiery
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby sinfiery » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:59 pm

The biggest difference between NYU and CLS that I've been able to find is their difference in employment stats. CLS places a tangible amount more into 100+ attorney sized firms than NYU ITE.

In the V5, you see a slightly more dominant CLS presence than NYU, but it is very very very slight.

Past that, I haven't been able to find any differences in opportunity.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:07 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:You could live in subsidized housing near Columbia and make her commute.


We dont qualify for couples housing at CLS. Its a bummer and Im fighting a losing battle on it.

Well in that case NYU seems like a pretty easy choice. I would have taken NYU if I could have done it cheaper than CLS.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:07 pm

If you like CLS more, why don't you just live in the 60s on the UWS?

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby Doorkeeper » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:25 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:If you're SERIOUS about the girlfriend, just do NYU and call it a day.


Lets say I am serious. Do you say NYU because you believe CLS to be incompatible with the circumstances? I want to stay with her but not sacrifice legitimate opportunities if I can achieve and maintain the relationship in a good place.

I wouldn't want to be detached from my law school community during school. Having to commute over all of Manhattan to get to school every morning and go back every evening would both hinder academics and social life. Thus, NYU over Columbia if you're going to live downtown anyway. There isn't a big enough difference between Columbia and NYU to warrant the hassle.

If the SO wasn't in the picture, I would do Berkeley. But since she is in the pictures and you two are serious, then NYU is the answer.

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banjo
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby banjo » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:30 pm

Can your SO get couples housing at NYU? If not, I will say that I have plenty of friends who live around MH and work in SOHO, or live in the financial district and commute uptown. No big deal. Can't speak to how it would impact law school life though.

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Tekrul
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby Tekrul » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:47 pm

I had the opposite living/commuting experience of you.

I was at Columbia ug while my SO was down at nyu. I'd say from packing overnight stuff door to door was a conservative 60-70 minute commute, transferring at 42 to the nqr. Not the best, not the worst. Still worth going to Columbia, IMO.

Living in the uws with her still down in nyu, I'm about fifteen minutes from Columbia and about 45 minutes from nyu. I'm sure better compromises exist.

I was at Columbia undergrad for 3 years and after that amount of time commuting to NYU, I was d-o-n-e with it.

The Christopher street area is basically Chinatown and I think being around 30-40 will be fairer. Getting you on the express sooner and not having to transfer to it from the 1 will get you to 96th less stressfully, although from there you'd still have to take the 1 to 116th.

I think you and your SO need to come up with a reasonable middle ground in terms of location if you choose Columbia and he/she chooses NYU. Maybe I'm peculiar but I dreaded having to pack my things and sit on the train for so damn long when I had papers, exams, and problem sets looming. It was not a fun experience. I think this middle ground option is best. And forgetting something at one or the other place? I thought about if I'd rather just die.

If for some reason your SO is rooted to the village, Chelsea area. Sorry but that's just the allure of that areas "scene" and I don't think it's a good reason for him/her to make your daily life more difficult. You can always 'visit' that area, living there is just unfair to you. If you still wish to live in that area with your SO, then I'd still say Columbia for you but if you are like me and consider the thought of traveling burdensome or even oppressive, then go NYU.

Knowing myself pretty well and how I mentally take the thought of a long commute and being far from where I keep all my belongings, I knew living close to the school i attend was the right choice for me.

Edit: also, nyu cleans Columbia off the floor at deans cup

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:25 pm

Tekrul wrote:I had the opposite living/commuting experience of you.

I was at Columbia ug while my SO was down at nyu. I'd say from packing overnight stuff door to door was a conservative 60-70 minute commute, transferring at 42 to the nqr. Not the best, not the worst. Still worth going to Columbia, IMO.

Living in the uws with her still down in nyu, I'm about fifteen minutes from Columbia and about 45 minutes from nyu. I'm sure better compromises exist.

I was at Columbia undergrad for 3 years and after that amount of time commuting to NYU, I was d-o-n-e with it.

The Christopher street area is basically Chinatown and I think being around 30-40 will be fairer. Getting you on the express sooner and not having to transfer to it from the 1 will get you to 96th less stressfully, although from there you'd still have to take the 1 to 116th.

I think you and your SO need to come up with a reasonable middle ground in terms of location if you choose Columbia and he/she chooses NYU. Maybe I'm peculiar but I dreaded having to pack my things and sit on the train for so damn long when I had papers, exams, and problem sets looming. It was not a fun experience. I think this middle ground option is best. And forgetting something at one or the other place? I thought about if I'd rather just die.

If for some reason your SO is rooted to the village, Chelsea area. Sorry but that's just the allure of that areas "scene" and I don't think it's a good reason for him/her to make your daily life more difficult. You can always 'visit' that area, living there is just unfair to you. If you still wish to live in that area with your SO, then I'd still say Columbia for you but if you are like me and consider the thought of traveling burdensome or even oppressive, then go NYU.

Knowing myself pretty well and how I mentally take the thought of a long commute and being far from where I keep all my belongings, I knew living close to the school i attend was the right choice for me.

Edit: also, nyu cleans Columbia off the floor at deans cup

What the hell are you talking about? Christopher Street is nowhere near Chinatown.

IMO the commute would not be a big deal. Lots of people at NYU commute, even 1L year. Maybe there is less of a commuting culture at CLS, though, since it's cheaper to live near school and it's not convenient to other parts of the city like NYU is. It's up to you how important that is.

Anyway, I am firmly in the camp that these schools are very similar in all meaningful ways. That was pretty much the conventional wisdom when I was choosing between them. NYU falling to 6 in US News and ranking a bit lower in a couple of NLJ numbers seems to have changed the thinking on TLS but fundamentally nothing has changed. In my experience they are culturally slightly different, with CLS being a bit more corporate and NYU being a bit more public interest-oriented, but both are still overwhelmingly big firm feeder schools and the opportunities you'll get from either one are going to be basically identical. If you like NYU more, and especially if you think it will make your life easier, then you should feel free to go there without worrying that you've given anything up. The same applies to CLS.

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Tekrul
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Re: Columbia v NYU v Cal

Postby Tekrul » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:14 pm

woops read and wrote christopher street but thought canal street. sigh, been commuting that 1,2,3 line for too long.




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