Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
User avatar
MissElle
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:52 pm

Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby MissElle » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:14 pm

I need help choosing between Columbia, Berkeley, and Harvard. I'm interested in Biglaw (for now...this is subject to change). I've been offered no money at any of these schools. I want to eventually work in the South or West (or basically just anywhere warm). I think I'd enjoy the quality of life at Berkeley and I'd fit in best there, but something about Columbia also appeals to me a lot. And then Harvard....I mean, its HARVARD. Enough said. Someone please give me legit reasons for choosing one over another...any feedback would be greatly appreciated :D

YoungFogey
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:32 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby YoungFogey » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:17 pm

With no money or serious family obligations in play, Harvard no question.

User avatar
balmina
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:30 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby balmina » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:20 pm

Harvard.

User avatar
alexb240
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:14 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby alexb240 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:36 pm

If I were you, I'd choose Harvard. The key deciding factor (for me) is the omnipresence of the Harvard name -- no matter where you decide to practice, the Harvard name will carry cachet. Although the same may be true of Columbia and Boalt, their names just won't open the same doors as Harvard's -- especially in the South, where Boalt may not be well-known.

In the end, you should visit all three schools and consider how each 'feels' to you. Talk to some current and former students. If you have any BigLaw contacts, ask them about any possible relevant advantages or disadvantages coming from each school. These types of endeavors may help you to develop a clearer picture of what you'll be in for at each school.

jas5076
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:21 am

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby jas5076 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:59 pm

Harvard = Work anywhere you want, with that said Harvard would be my choice. Maybe you could try telling the other schools that without any scholarship money you could not pass up harvard for their school. Maybe they would then offer you a little bit of money who knows

User avatar
Ben Matlock
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:56 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby Ben Matlock » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:06 pm

I agree, go with Harvard. Columbia is a great school, but it doesn't have the same kind of prestige. Berkeley is on its way down, from what I hear.

User avatar
sellis
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:13 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby sellis » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:21 pm

Ben Matlock wrote:Berkeley is on its way down, from what I hear.


Care to elaborate? Not to mindlessly parrot Berkeley's PR, but I actually had the impression they were on their way up, given their aggressive efforts to recruit new faculty, construction of a new facility, and increase in tuition costs.

And yeah, Harvard.

User avatar
Ben Matlock
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:56 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby Ben Matlock » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:40 pm

According to my source (who shall remain nameless but has a senior position at a school ranked ahead of Berkeley), Berkeley is offering retirement to its senior faculty, who are just taking the package and going elsewhere. New faculty costs less. There have also been cuts to the UC system in general since California's budget crisis.

User avatar
Formerbruin
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:24 am

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby Formerbruin » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:45 am

And yet, interestingly enough, Berkeley has gone from 13 to 8 after those cuts took place and Dean Edley came in.

VogueMouse
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:04 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby VogueMouse » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:53 am

Nice! way to go formerbruin :D

User avatar
brokendowncar
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:54 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby brokendowncar » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:27 am

Harvard, without question.

User avatar
fearlesscowboy
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:57 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby fearlesscowboy » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:56 am

Harvard

Columbia 2nd

So now you have a better idea of where to withdraw from

ZERO
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:47 am

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby ZERO » Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:23 am

i dont get the harvard obsession. i get the impression that most students there will be super-competitive and set on biglaw. is that wrong? is there nothing to be said for the less high strung & competitive atmosphere of berkeley? then, too, i am biased because i want to get as far from the south as possible... and the snow... which leaves CA

User avatar
verdandi
Posts: 86
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:46 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby verdandi » Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:31 am

Ben Matlock wrote:Columbia is a great school, but it doesn't have the same kind of prestige.


Ouch. Makes Columbia sound like chopped liver!

I'm going to buck the trend on this thread and say this -- visit the schools, talk to some current students, and see where you fit best. Then decide. I understand feeling like you HAVE to go to Harvard, but here's my opinion. If you don't care what your quality of life is, then go to the highest ranked school. If it is really important to you to enjoy your time in law school, enjoy your environment and study with people that you get along with, then go where you feel most comfortable. It is entirely possible in this situation that those places may be one and the same.

Frankly, for biglaw, I don't know if I see a HUGE gap between Harvard and Columbia when it comes to prestige. Harvard may be slightly more portable outside of NYC, since you said you wanted to study in the south and west. I have a feeling Berkeley would have a significant prestige boost out west. Frankly, they are all outstanding choices. Congrats!

User avatar
Maye
Posts: 324
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:42 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby Maye » Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:32 am

i wish i had this kind of decision to make.

harvard.

User avatar
Ben Matlock
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:56 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby Ben Matlock » Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:59 am

verdandi wrote:
Ben Matlock wrote:Columbia is a great school, but it doesn't have the same kind of prestige.


Ouch. Makes Columbia sound like chopped liver!

I'm going to buck the trend on this thread and say this -- visit the schools, talk to some current students, and see where you fit best. Then decide. I understand feeling like you HAVE to go to Harvard, but here's my opinion. If you don't care what your quality of life is, then go to the highest ranked school. If it is really important to you to enjoy your time in law school, enjoy your environment and study with people that you get along with, then go where you feel most comfortable. It is entirely possible in this situation that those places may be one and the same.

Frankly, for biglaw, I don't know if I see a HUGE gap between Harvard and Columbia when it comes to prestige. Harvard may be slightly more portable outside of NYC, since you said you wanted to study in the south and west. I have a feeling Berkeley would have a significant prestige boost out west. Frankly, they are all outstanding choices. Congrats!

If you've been following my posts, you'll know I've been gushing about how great a school Columbia is. But it's no Yale, and it's no Harvard either. In terms of job placement, Columbia is just as good as Harvard. I'm less certain about career mobility. Yale and Harvard overall are more prestigious than Columbia with the community at large.

Look at the other grad school (and undergrad) rankings in USNWR. While each ranking by itself may not tell you much, look at the overall trend: Columbia is ranked respectably (usually in the top 20), but the only thing it's #1 in is for Teachers College. Harvard, by contrast, is #1 in business, medical research, biological science, and polisci, among others. Yale is #1 in history and fine arts (and of course law), and top 10 in most. Anyway, you get the picture.

User avatar
robinsrc
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:29 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby robinsrc » Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:19 pm

One thing to add that hasn't been mentioned--money.

When I look at any choice in the t14, money becomes a huge issue. Columbia and Harvard are among the most expensive schools in the world. Boalt will give you residence after one year and that cuts your tuition down to about 25,000. In addition, you might be able to get more if you let them know you were considering the other two.

User avatar
bryguy
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:34 am

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby bryguy » Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:25 pm

i'd say columbia ... yeah yeah ... harvard has its "name" ... but so does columbia ... plus who would pass up the opp to live in NYC ... haha ... granted Columbia is in Harlem (and it really doesnt compare to cambridge) ... but harlem is an "up-and-coming" neighborhood ...

columbia! i'd go with columbia :)

User avatar
Katkins
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 6:56 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby Katkins » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:02 pm

Columbia, due to its awesome location in NYC, expanding faculty in the next several years, excellent IP programs, and of course, devastatingly attractive student body :)

yogatoga
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:01 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby yogatoga » Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:41 am

bryguy wrote:i'd say columbia ... yeah yeah ... harvard has its "name" ... but so does columbia ... plus who would pass up the opp to live in NYC ... haha ... granted Columbia is in Harlem (and it really doesnt compare to cambridge) ... but harlem is an "up-and-coming" neighborhood ...

columbia! i'd go with columbia :)


actually, Columbia is in Morningside Heights, which is just south of Harlem, but much safer

User avatar
Dschinghis Khan
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 2:18 am

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby Dschinghis Khan » Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:55 am

i dont get the harvard obsession. i get the impression that most students there will be super-competitive and set on biglaw. is that wrong?


And Columbia isn't? They're located in the BigLaw capital of the world!

Columbia and Harvard have the exact same grading system, I think. People are always going to be competitive under such a system, because it's simply the rational thing to do.

User avatar
awesomerossum
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:39 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby awesomerossum » Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:57 am

I don't think CLS or HLS are that competitive at all, and I don't now where people get these silly notions from.

The movies might be a source, but if they're accurate, they're antiquated, and if they're inaccurate, well... nuff said.

User avatar
Dschinghis Khan
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 2:18 am

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby Dschinghis Khan » Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:00 am

I wouldn't characterize Harvard as "biglaw-oriented" either. A majority of us at HLS will go into BigLaw, sure, but we're the ones who never talk about our future plans. (Perhaps because we understand how depressing BigLaw is and want to not think about that until its time). There are tons of people here who want to be professors or do public interest law -- these are the people who talk about their future plans. So you'll actually feel like you are in the minority at HLS if you want to do BigLaw.

woeisme
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:39 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby woeisme » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:28 pm

For big law, CLS seems to have the best placement.

Still, if you choose Harvard, I can't imagine you'll have any trouble either. And Harvard is regarded as a superior school by most.

Berk is also good, but I'd only choose it if you knew you wanted San Fran (and even then, I'm not sure)..

User avatar
SteelersandGators
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:23 am

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia vs. Boalt

Postby SteelersandGators » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:34 pm

Why not just do a year at each?




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Keilz and 5 guests