Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

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yamamoto90
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Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby yamamoto90 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:38 pm

I've seen a few threads about choosing Columbia $$$ over Harvard but I couldn't find a discussion about the Hamilton vs. Yale so I figured I'd pick your brains! I'm still waiting on financial aid info from YLS but the thought of all that debt is making me panic (especially since my SO is an HLS alum and is drowning in his own).

I attended a CLS alumni event recently and the attendees unanimously agreed that if I were going into Big Law, CLS was the no brainer since they'd place me into the same exact firms as YLS, plus I'd be debt free. But I'm interested in international human rights so YLS is the obvious choice for me intellectually and professionally. I'm particularly interested in the global health justice partnership at YLS, which is the only one of its kind across HYSC from what I can gather. I'm also aware that Yale has a unique COAP for people like me who might go into policy, rather than strictly legal work.

The other consideration is that my soon-to-be-husband will be working in Manhattan, so we'd be moving into an apartment there, i.e. I'd be making the 4-hour commute to/from New Haven for all 3 years. I do have a couple close friends at Yale with whom I could crash as needed and my mom lives in Westchester, NY which is a good midway point for nights that I can't get back to Manhattan.

What do folks think? Should I take the leap to YLS? It's without a doubt my dream school so I'm just trying to ignore the more pragmatic / anxious voices in my head...

Jchance
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby Jchance » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:41 pm

yamamoto90 wrote:I'd be making the 4-hour commute to/from New Haven for all 3 years. I do have a couple close friends at Yale with whom I could crash as needed and my mom lives in Westchester, NY which is a good midway point for nights that I can't get back to Manhattan.


This alone does not sound like a fun 3-year. I'd take Hamilton just because of location.

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twenty
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby twenty » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:44 pm

Oh, no, Columbia is absolutely TCR, and that's before the 4-hour commutes. And sharing cost of attendance by being able to live with your SO is icing on the cake.

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ILoveYou
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby ILoveYou » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:47 pm

That commute sounds like a killer for Y to me, if the money wasn't. I don't think the Yale boost would be worth the difference in debt, either, but with a 4 hour commute, I say it's a no-brainer.


Congrats on having such an amazing choice to make, and good luck in law school!

wons
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby wons » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:52 pm

I think that unless you're willing to live in New Haven, you categorically cannot go to Yale. That commute is not sustainable, but more importantly, will force you to lose out on much of advantages that Yale offers - how are you going to build relationships with professors who want to meet with you during off hours, or network (or study) with your classmates, if you have to turn tail back to the city at 7PM in order to have a decent nights sleep before you're back on the road at 6:30AM?

I will say that my wife faced a very similar choice for professional school (in that I was already graduated and working in NYC, so couldn't leave), she ended up staying in NYC so that she wouldn't have to do a crazy commute, and in the process, like you, she was able to negotiate a phenomenal offer from Columbia. Since she ended up killing it at Columbia, she graduated with probably the same job she would've gotten with the more prestigious degree.

I'm not going to tell you that we didn't agonize over it or that she doesn't sometimes joke that I stole her fancy degree, but we saved a ton of money - literally, her debt load is third of what it would've been - and her outcome was a 10 out of 10.

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yamamoto90
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby yamamoto90 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:05 pm

Thanks everybody for your honest answers!

At the very least, this is making me consider subletting a super cheap bedroom in New Haven during the week. Though point totally taken re: the questionable ROI on all the debt/ extra expenses.

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transferror
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby transferror » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:09 pm

Just attempt to get int'l human rights from CLS. No biggie if you fail initially and no debt would allow you to take a position as a volunteer/intern/fellow for a year or two to keep pursuing the unicorn job. Debt free gives you options. Might want to talk to people who have tried to get into the field and get perspective on how difficult it would be before making the decision.

The better odds of getting your dream job from YLS aren't objectively worth 175k (especially considering your SO's debt), a horrible commute, being shut out of a complete law school experience (campus activities, extracurriculars, etc.) b/c of your commute, and then there's still a chance you don't get your unicorn job right out of school, in which case you'll need another LRAP-eligible job or biglaw. YLS would be way more defensible if no SO debt or commute.

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LetsGoMets
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby LetsGoMets » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:31 pm

Congrats on incredible options! FWIW at Columbia ASW they spent quite a bit of time touting their international human rights program. They seem to be incredibly proud of it, and the growth it's had in the last few years. You might want to email Professor Sarah Knuckey (co-director of the Human Rights Institute, spoke at ASW) to tell her about your interests, and see if she has any thoughts (obviously she'd pitch you on Columbia, but she may give you information about their program that could help inform your decision).

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jbagelboy
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:44 pm

It would be a tough call if not for the living circumstance. Columbia is no question with that consideration. Also worth noting: CLS has terrific faculty and opportunities in IHR. It'll be slightly harder to be noticed than at Yale, but if you make the effort to connect with people like Sarah Cleveland you can go anywhere.

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MistakenGenius
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Post removed.

Postby MistakenGenius » Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:57 pm

Post removed.
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tlsapp2017
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby tlsapp2017 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:16 pm

I agree with what everyone has said above. Given your situation, I would definitely take the Hamilton. I go back and forth from New York to New Haven once every three or four weeks, and it's pretty annoying commute. And New Haven to Westchester honestly isn't too much better (it might save you 30ish minutes, maximum).

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sneezus
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby sneezus » Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:37 pm

not saying this makes it a good idea, but the New Haven-NYC commute doesn't have to suck as bad as some have made it sound. the Metro North will get you there and back in 90-120 minutes, sometimes less if you can catch an express train.

but yeah definitely take the Hamilton, it's still an unnecessary hassle.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:19 pm

HAMILTON
A
M
I
L
T
O
N

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ballcaps
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby ballcaps » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:25 pm

everyone sounds quite reasonable yelling "hamilton."

i bet OP goes to Y cuz Y.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:14 pm

ballcaps wrote:everyone sounds quite reasonable yelling "hamilton."

i bet OP goes to Y cuz Y.


if they are committed enough to stay with the SO in manhattan, then they've already accepted the situation as it is. I doubt OP would go to a school in a city many hours away and risk that strain on their relationship and quality of life after already making the more important decision to live in New York.

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4LTsPointingNorth
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby 4LTsPointingNorth » Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:27 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
ballcaps wrote:everyone sounds quite reasonable yelling "hamilton."

i bet OP goes to Y cuz Y.


if they are committed enough to stay with the SO in manhattan, then they've already accepted the situation as it is. I doubt OP would go to a school in a city many hours away and risk that strain on their relationship and quality of life after already making the more important decision to live in New York.


Yeah, OP, if you've already made the decisions to (i) stay with your SO and (ii) live in NYC for all or part of each week, then you really ought to go to CLS. Even though Yale is Yale, if you go there, you'll quickly start to feel like you're building two separate lives: one in New Haven and the other in NYC. Each life will take something away from the other, and ultimately you'll never feel completely satisfied with either. Something will always be missing no matter where you are.

If you choose CLS, you'll be able to build a life that your SO can share in. You'll also be able to share in the life that he's building. You'll be able to meet some of his coworkers out for drinks when he has a slower day at the office. He'll be able to meet your law school friends some weekends and share his own law school war stories with you in person, in real time, as you come home every day to spend time with him and share your life with him. Much better than skyping for an hour every Wednesday night from a shitty apartment in New Haven, drinking boxed wine and wondering for the hundredth time if a grown adult really ought to be eating pizza four times a week as your SO crawls home from the office, exhausted, and talks about how much he wishes you were there right now.

Please give me your slot at Yale

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kalvano
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby kalvano » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:11 pm

My choice in schools was definitely not as awesome as the OP's, but I had a 45-60 minute commute each way to law school. It sucked. And it's very limiting when it comes to making friends and taking advantage of what a school has to offer. Tying for 2 hours each way would be utterly unsustainable and you would have a pretty miserable three years.

michlaw
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby michlaw » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:22 am

Columbia. You just can't do that commute. I had occasion to travel Metro North along that line for years. The train is 2 hrs. each way (and generally makes numerous stops after running express to Stamford). I assume you don't live in Grand Central so add 30 minutes for that and another 15 to the school once in New Haven. Another 15-30 to wait for the Metro North train on either end and you are looking at easily 6 hrs. a day. It would also destroy your ability to immerse yourself in the Yale Law community where many things occur beyond the class room. IMO it simply won't work.

Also it isn't easy to get to Westchester (depending on where) off of the New Haven Line. The closest stop might be Port Chester and that is right on the Connecticut /New York border. From there some towns in Westchester are as much as 30 minutes away by car, but you may well know that. All in all a back breaking commute even with Yale at the end of the rainbow. Also a Yale Harvard marriage???
Last edited by michlaw on Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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tlsapp2017
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby tlsapp2017 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:30 am

sneezus wrote:not saying this makes it a good idea, but the New Haven-NYC commute doesn't have to suck as bad as some have made it sound. the Metro North will get you there and back in 90-120 minutes, sometimes less if you can catch an express train.

but yeah definitely take the Hamilton, it's still an unnecessary hassle.


If Yale and OP's apartment were located inside of train stations, you might be right. But realistically you have to tack on another hour or so to get to and from the stations. Also, there is no way that you can find a train from New York to New Haven in 90 minutes. I've done that commute several hundred times, and 90 minute trains don't exist.

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downbeat14
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby downbeat14 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:33 am

.
Last edited by downbeat14 on Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby iamgeorgebush » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:48 am

please don't spend 4 hours every day commuting to law school. it will destroy you.

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Clearly
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby Clearly » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:24 am

iamgeorgebush wrote:please don't spend 4 hours every day commuting to law school. it will destroy you.

for real. Just regular law school destroys some people, forget about 4-hour-commute law school. If you want to go to yale (which personally I wouldn't) relocate closer.

Instinctive
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby Instinctive » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:30 am

I struggled with choosing between Ruby/Hamilton and YLS.

I chose YLS and turned down scholarship at the time (then ended up choosing a school where I got in off WL). Feel free to PM if you have specific questions.

Commuting that far is nuts. It's already a huge difficulty for people in my class that only have a 1-hour commute. Hell, living more than 15 minutes walk from the school makes a material difference in the 1L experience.

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Clearly
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby Clearly » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:34 am

Instinctive wrote:I struggled with choosing between Ruby/Hamilton and YLS.

I chose YLS and turned down scholarship at the time (then ended up choosing a school where I got in off WL). Feel free to PM if you have specific questions.

Commuting that far is nuts. It's already a huge difficulty for people in my class that only have a 1-hour commute. Hell, living more than 15 minutes walk from the school makes a material difference in the 1L experience.


I walk six blocks to get to school and even that is too long in the winter, forget about 3 hours etc

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yamamoto90
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Re: Yale vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Postby yamamoto90 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:24 pm

downbeat14 wrote:Good god please take the Hamilton money and MAJOR lifestyle win here. This isn't even close.

Congrats on some great options and on finding your SO BTW!


Thanks everybody for your help! Super grateful both for the fiance and the options :D




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