Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
cpc2020
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:13 am

Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby cpc2020 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:41 pm

Hey everyone. Few days left to make this decision and still struggling back and forth. Got a Hamilton at Columbia and a bit over half for year 1 at Harvard (33 and change so about 100k for all 3 assuming I don't do big law 2L summer).

Not really interested in big law, more pi or government (research/academia has always appealed to me but I know how much of a long shot that is). The idea of a clerkship is appealing but in no way to the extent that something like that could be a deciding factor in itself. Quite interested in cyberlaw (which Harvard is definitely stronger in) but some of the other things I may want to dabble in (education law for example) seem pretty similar in terms of strength between the two institutions.

Currently NYC based - and that's where everything and everyone I know is - and would probably like to return back here unless DC would make more sense career-wise. Overall sanity of the student body is very important to me - not overly competitive or cutthroat environment. I've perpetually heard quite mixed things about columbia in those regards but did not feel them myself when visiting (though obviously everyone is on their best behavior then).

Graduating with little to no debt would be wonderful but I'm worried the relative opportunities in my more specialized interests would be worse at Columbia and between LIPP and some familial assistance I think the loan repayment at Harvard would be all in all fairly manageable. Still better not to deal with it at all.

Clearly a decent few things are pulling me towards Harvard but that's a ton of money to turn down.

Any advice or knowledge of the two schools or specific things to consider beyond the monetary difference - which is very important, of course, but that's already pretty front and center in my mind when it comes to this - would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

AJ1010
Posts: 150
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:32 pm

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby AJ1010 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:50 pm

What will be your total COA for both?

Also, I went to Columbia's ASW and one of the professors who spoke there was going to testify before Congress about cyber security, specifically the election hacks and similar acts as they relate to law and policy. http://www.law.columbia.edu/faculty/matthew-waxman -- there's a link to his bio. I hope that is at least somewhat helpful.

cpc2020
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:13 am

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby cpc2020 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:56 pm

AJ1010 wrote:What will be your total COA for both?

Also, I went to Columbia's ASW and one of the professors who spoke there was going to testify before Congress about cyber security, specifically the election hacks and similar acts as they relate to law and policy. http://www.law.columbia.edu/faculty/matthew-waxman -- there's a link to his bio. I hope that is at least somewhat helpful.


My general estimates are around 86k at Columbia vs 170-175k at Harvard. So around 85-90k more at Harvard - definitely a significant sum.

And yeah thank you for that I really appreciate it! That professor is actually the person who probably most interests me out of Columbia's staff and likely who I'd choose as my 'mentor' for the Hamilton if I were to go (though I hear that program is not all too much beyond an introduction). So he and his work definitely interest me. Beyond him there's basically 1 other professor doing similar things but I've heard very mixed things about him.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 10180
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:15 pm

Congratulations on the Hamilton. That's a huge achievement.

I don't see how Harvard and a couple spots in US News is justified as $90,000 more here for substantially similar opportunities. Columbia has a huge cybersecurity and internet law presence and several preeminent faculty. PM me if you want to talk more about this choice as its one many posters on this site are familiar with.

Npret
Posts: 1163
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby Npret » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:18 pm

Columbia and save $90,000 plus interest and origination

Pure Applesauce
Posts: 193
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:30 pm

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby Pure Applesauce » Mon May 01, 2017 10:37 am

Columbia. Congrats

User avatar
Rigo
Posts: 15986
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby Rigo » Mon May 01, 2017 10:59 am

Hamilton duh
Columbia LRAP is better than LIPP anyways.

cpc2020
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:13 am

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby cpc2020 » Mon May 01, 2017 11:03 am

Thanks for everyone who has replied! I greatly appreciate the input.

Has anyone had experience with going the PI/Gov't route from Columbia? I haven't heard the greatest things about the office but their placement seems decent (though I only have the specific % rather than where they actually place). I have to imagine their reach especially within NYC for those jobs should be pretty good though.

User avatar
Rigo
Posts: 15986
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby Rigo » Mon May 01, 2017 11:17 am

cpc2020 wrote:Thanks for everyone who has replied! I greatly appreciate the input.

Has anyone had experience with going the PI/Gov't route from Columbia? I haven't heard the greatest things about the office but their placement seems decent (though I only have the specific % rather than where they actually place). I have to imagine their reach especially within NYC for those jobs should be pretty good though.


Nebby wrote:call in

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 10180
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon May 01, 2017 11:32 am

What sort of gov't work?

Npret
Posts: 1163
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby Npret » Mon May 01, 2017 11:46 am

jbagelboy wrote:What sort of gov't work?

Is the govt even going to hire people in the next 3-4 years? Serious question.

cpc2020
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:13 am

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby cpc2020 » Mon May 01, 2017 11:54 am

Npret wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:What sort of gov't work?

Is the govt even going to hire people in the next 3-4 years? Serious question.


More interested in state/local as opposed to federal where I am basically not banking on more than a smoldering crater when I come out in 2020.

Litigation does not really interest me so more things from the policy/legislation side. My UG degree is partially in education policy, which I've always loved (Columbia's Public Education Policy Seminar and Practicum does sound right up my alley). Cyber-wise my interests lie mostly in the civil liberties/privacy side so that seems more public interest, where I have done a bit of work but the number of jobs (at least currently, as it seems like a field that will expand in the coming years) are limited.

I wholly admit I am not too well versed in this as I have not worked in a gov't position, which is where a good bit of my concern in not having adequate help forging a non-big law path at Columbia lies.

User avatar
Nebby
amateur huffpo
Posts: 30428
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:23 pm

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby Nebby » Mon May 01, 2017 12:49 pm

cpc2020 wrote:Thanks for everyone who has replied! I greatly appreciate the input.

Has anyone had experience with going the PI/Gov't route from Columbia? I haven't heard the greatest things about the office but their placement seems decent (though I only have the specific % rather than where they actually place). I have to imagine their reach especially within NYC for those jobs should be pretty good though.

I'm a CLS alum PI attorney. SJI provides great resources, but you'll have to put in the work to get a job in PI/Gov't. No one will hold you hand regardless of what school you attend. Getting a job in PI/Gov't requires strategic planning but with a proper plan you can get whatever PI/gov't job you're interested in. I don't know anyone who wanted PI who didn't get it. I do know some people who wanted PI but ended up going biglaw because they realized getting a post-grad job in PI/gov't takes a lot more effort and has greater uncertainty and they felt like they didn't want to risk it.

CLS has placement power wherever you want to work. Getting a job in a particular market is much more about the applicant than the school. I am currently in Chicago doing PI litigation even though there's hardly any CLS attorneys in Chicago and I have no personal connection to Chicago (I grew up in rural Kansas). I was able to get this job because I had a strategic plan and utilized all of the resources CLS offers to maximize my work experiences while in law school. CLS has lots of opportunities to receive credit (up to 30 credit hours) for work performed at organizations via externships/fieldwork at legal organizations.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 10180
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon May 01, 2017 12:50 pm

cpc2020 wrote:
Npret wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:What sort of gov't work?

Is the govt even going to hire people in the next 3-4 years? Serious question.


More interested in state/local as opposed to federal where I am basically not banking on more than a smoldering crater when I come out in 2020.

Litigation does not really interest me so more things from the policy/legislation side. My UG degree is partially in education policy, which I've always loved (Columbia's Public Education Policy Seminar and Practicum does sound right up my alley). Cyber-wise my interests lie mostly in the civil liberties/privacy side so that seems more public interest, where I have done a bit of work but the number of jobs (at least currently, as it seems like a field that will expand in the coming years) are limited.

I wholly admit I am not too well versed in this as I have not worked in a gov't position, which is where a good bit of my concern in not having adequate help forging a non-big law path at Columbia lies.


Okay. The decision between Columbia and Harvard has no bearing on whether you would be able to work in local government. You'd actually be more likely to establish the requisite connections to serve in local government on the education policy side if you attended the best known regional school in your target market. Moreover, I would be wary of positioning yourself for non-legal policy positions in fields such as education with a JD, wherever it's from.

I think I might owe you a PM. I'm working on it.

User avatar
Mikey
Posts: 7690
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:24 pm

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby Mikey » Mon May 01, 2017 1:37 pm

Hamilton is an amazing outcome, take it. Congrats!

cpc2020
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:13 am

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby cpc2020 » Mon May 01, 2017 3:18 pm

Nebby wrote:
cpc2020 wrote:Thanks for everyone who has replied! I greatly appreciate the input.

Has anyone had experience with going the PI/Gov't route from Columbia? I haven't heard the greatest things about the office but their placement seems decent (though I only have the specific % rather than where they actually place). I have to imagine their reach especially within NYC for those jobs should be pretty good though.

I'm a CLS alum PI attorney. SJI provides great resources, but you'll have to put in the work to get a job in PI/Gov't. No one will hold you hand regardless of what school you attend. Getting a job in PI/Gov't requires strategic planning but with a proper plan you can get whatever PI/gov't job you're interested in. I don't know anyone who wanted PI who didn't get it. I do know some people who wanted PI but ended up going biglaw because they realized getting a post-grad job in PI/gov't takes a lot more effort and has greater uncertainty and they felt like they didn't want to risk it.

CLS has placement power wherever you want to work. Getting a job in a particular market is much more about the applicant than the school. I am currently in Chicago doing PI litigation even though there's hardly any CLS attorneys in Chicago and I have no personal connection to Chicago (I grew up in rural Kansas). I was able to get this job because I had a strategic plan and utilized all of the resources CLS offers to maximize my work experiences while in law school. CLS has lots of opportunities to receive credit (up to 30 credit hours) for work performed at organizations via externships/fieldwork at legal organizations.


That all makes sense and is very encouraging. No part of me is against putting in any and all necessary work - simply having a sense of the options as a person who has not already been steeped in this world/has no familial connections to any of it and some idea of the best ways to try and accomplish them is what I am looking for. Thank you so much!

jbagelboy wrote:
Okay. The decision between Columbia and Harvard has no bearing on whether you would be able to work in local government. You'd actually be more likely to establish the requisite connections to serve in local government on the education policy side if you attended the best known regional school in your target market. Moreover, I would be wary of positioning yourself for non-legal policy positions in fields such as education with a JD, wherever it's from.

I think I might owe you a PM. I'm working on it.


Thank you as well! Certainly if I want to end up somewhere in/around the NYC area (which is where I'm from to begin with) it seems like making those connections will be significantly easier while attending law school in NYC.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 10180
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon May 01, 2017 4:10 pm

cpc2020 wrote:
Nebby wrote:
cpc2020 wrote:Thanks for everyone who has replied! I greatly appreciate the input.

Has anyone had experience with going the PI/Gov't route from Columbia? I haven't heard the greatest things about the office but their placement seems decent (though I only have the specific % rather than where they actually place). I have to imagine their reach especially within NYC for those jobs should be pretty good though.

I'm a CLS alum PI attorney. SJI provides great resources, but you'll have to put in the work to get a job in PI/Gov't. No one will hold you hand regardless of what school you attend. Getting a job in PI/Gov't requires strategic planning but with a proper plan you can get whatever PI/gov't job you're interested in. I don't know anyone who wanted PI who didn't get it. I do know some people who wanted PI but ended up going biglaw because they realized getting a post-grad job in PI/gov't takes a lot more effort and has greater uncertainty and they felt like they didn't want to risk it.

CLS has placement power wherever you want to work. Getting a job in a particular market is much more about the applicant than the school. I am currently in Chicago doing PI litigation even though there's hardly any CLS attorneys in Chicago and I have no personal connection to Chicago (I grew up in rural Kansas). I was able to get this job because I had a strategic plan and utilized all of the resources CLS offers to maximize my work experiences while in law school. CLS has lots of opportunities to receive credit (up to 30 credit hours) for work performed at organizations via externships/fieldwork at legal organizations.


That all makes sense and is very encouraging. No part of me is against putting in any and all necessary work - simply having a sense of the options as a person who has not already been steeped in this world/has no familial connections to any of it and some idea of the best ways to try and accomplish them is what I am looking for. Thank you so much!

jbagelboy wrote:
Okay. The decision between Columbia and Harvard has no bearing on whether you would be able to work in local government. You'd actually be more likely to establish the requisite connections to serve in local government on the education policy side if you attended the best known regional school in your target market. Moreover, I would be wary of positioning yourself for non-legal policy positions in fields such as education with a JD, wherever it's from.

I think I might owe you a PM. I'm working on it.


Thank you as well! Certainly if I want to end up somewhere in/around the NYC area (which is where I'm from to begin with) it seems like making those connections will be significantly easier while attending law school in NYC.


If you want NY state or NYC city government, that changes things again; I'd say Columbia would have the best network of any law school in that context (although there will be plenty of Harvard graduates as well.)

cpc2020
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:13 am

Re: Harvard ($$) v Columbia ($$$)

Postby cpc2020 » Mon May 01, 2017 4:13 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
If you want NY state or NYC city government, that changes things again; I'd say Columbia would have the best network of any law school in that context (although there will be plenty of Harvard graduates as well.)


Yeah, barring something federal, the NYC-area is where I very likely see myself ending up. Sorry if I did not make that clear from the start.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot] and 3 guests