Columbia vs NYU

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Columbia or NYU?

 
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NewHere
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Columbia vs NYU

Postby NewHere » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:03 pm

I planned to wait with this question until some of the deferred candidates will have been accepted as well, but since NYU's deadline is approaching, I'm asking you now: NYU or Columbia?

Considerations:
1. I'd like to work in international/human-rights law.
2. The job opportunities and name recognition abroad are an important factor. I'm not an American, and while I don't necessarily want to leave the US directly after law school, I'd like to keep options outside of the US open as much as possible.
3. Not looking for a party atmosphere, but friendly cooperative students would be nice.
4. $10,000/yr scholarship at NYU, don't know yet about Columbia's financial aid.
5. Housing -- what is it like? It has often been said here that Columbia's housing options are cheaper, but the yearly student budget for the two schools is almost the same. How come?

Possible problem:
NYU has ties with CitiBank, which allows international students to take out loans without a US credit history and without a US co-signer. Columbia doesn't. (Of course I'll call the bank and ask them whether they offer the same thing for Columbia students, which they might. I can't think of a reason why they wouldn't, since NYU doesn't underwrite these loans or anything, but you never know.)

I've read so many opinions ranging from "Columbia is a Republican bastion" to "All NYU students are punk drug addicts". I don't know what to believe. If I were in the US, I'd visit both and decide then, but since I'm in Europe, I probably can't go, so I'm hoping for advice. What would you do in my position?

typical1L
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Postby typical1L » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:07 pm

1. I'd like to work in international/human-rights law.


NYU

2. The job opportunities and name recognition abroad are an important factor. I'm not an American, and while I don't necessarily want to leave the US directly after law school, I'd like to keep options outside of the US open as much as possible.


Perhaps Columbia is more visible outside of the US than NYU, but neither is particularly well-known.

3. Not looking for a party atmosphere, but friendly cooperative students would be nice.


Columbia seems more 'rigorous.' People also say the students verge towards gunners. I bet the truth is less obvious...

I've read so many opinions ranging from "Columbia is a Republican bastion" to "All NYU students are punk drug addicts". I don't know what to believe.


Do you mean Chicago? Columbia and NYU are both very liberal on any actual scale. If you're referring to very fine distinctions of liberalism, NYU probably has more of a reputation regarding public interest.

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NewHere
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Postby NewHere » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:19 pm

Do you mean Chicago? Columbia and NYU are both very liberal on any actual scale.


That's good to hear. Actually I have heard the Republican comment about both Chicago and Columbia. (One source only for Columbia though, which you have now offset).

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jne381
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Postby jne381 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:21 pm

Columbia.

It is a much better institution overall, and who knows when the resources that Columbia has will be useful.

typical1L
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Postby typical1L » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:27 pm

It is a much better institution overall, and who knows when the resources that Columbia has will be useful.


Outside of the law school? Please qualify.

mcb
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Postby mcb » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:28 pm

I say Columbia. But, to be fair, I applied to only Columbia.

CLS has more international recognition, Morningside Heights is a nice part of the city that has things to do but seemed to be quiet(er) at night. I live in NYC, so the idea of taking the train to go out doesn't bother me one bit.

CLS JUST started sending out fin aid (got mine on Thurs) so since you just got in, you may have to wait a bit. Or, since you have a 4/18 NYU deadline, just let CLS know about it (hopefully all of your fin aid materials have been sent in).

either school won't steer you wrong though!

typical1L
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Postby typical1L » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:30 pm

CLS has more international recognition


I don't think any of the NY schools have the international recognition of, maybe, the school in Cambridge... Choosing Columbia over NYU because of the potential for marginally better recognition abroad seems questionable given that NYU has the top program in op's claimed interest (international law/human rights).
Last edited by typical1L on Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NewHere
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Postby NewHere » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:30 pm

jne, please expand on that: what resources?

A friend who is a Harvard graduate told me to heavily weigh the strength of the respective alumni associations, especially when planning to move abroad afterwards. His (also Harvard-graduated) girlfriend found two jobs via the alumni network in Europe, and apparently such networks are joint Ivy League networks outside of the US, because the individual universities' networks would be too small to operate on their own in every country.
He is the only one who ever mentioned this aspect to me, so I don't know how much weight to give it really. Any opinions?

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NewHere
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Postby NewHere » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:32 pm

I don't think any of the NY schools have the international recognition of, maybe, the school in Cambridge.

Of course if "the school in Cambridge" confuses my file with someone else's and decides to accept me, I won't have to doubt for a second where to go.

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katluva33
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Postby katluva33 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:33 pm

1. I'd like to work in international/human-rights law.
From what I gather, CLS has the better int. rep, but NYU the better PI rep, so I think you'd be okay with either one here

2. The job opportunities and name recognition abroad are an important factor. I'm not an American, and while I don't necessarily want to leave the US directly after law school, I'd like to keep options outside of the US open as much as possible.
I would say CLS

3. Not looking for a party atmosphere, but friendly cooperative students would be nice.
I got the feeling that CLS was much stuffier than NYU, and everyone at NYU was extremely friendly. CLS has got a gunner rep, everyone says it's not true, but I met a lot of them at the ASD

5. Housing -- what is it like? It has often been said here that Columbia's housing options are cheaper, but the yearly student budget for the two schools is almost the same. How come?
CLS is the clear winner here. The budgets are also significantly padded, and both FinAid offices will tell you that you can probably get by on less than the budget allocates. NYU's housing starts at around 1300 and it's very small. CLS's options vary drastically, starting at around 600 form corridor housing and rising rapidly with the nicer housing


I don't think you could go wrong with either one, though

typical1L
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Postby typical1L » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:33 pm

In that case, though, NYU's explicit dominance in your claimed area of interest would be a tough call versus (Cambridge law school)'s name recognition.

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Criminy
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Postby Criminy » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:40 pm

hmm this is a tough one. personally, i'd go to nyu because i live down the block and i want law school do be as low key as possible.

that said, i've attended both institutions (columbia ugrad, nyu grad) and there is an important difference of which you should be aware. columbia, administratively speaking, is a joy. whatever you need done, gets done. any issues i had with the bursar/registrar/housing/deans were resolved instantly and painlessly.

nyu is a complete mess. i've been disenrolled on two separate occasions because they lost my immunization records. imagine being in the middle of finals, you go to swipe into the library, and they tell you you're not allowed in because you don't go there anymore. TWICE. in fact, the only reason i wasn't permanently disenrolled is because columbia was able to provide them with new records, both times, overnight (faster than my doctor), even though i graduated three years ago. very impressive.

every step at nyu as been a struggle and there's no one around to help you. but just to be clear: this has NOTHING to do with academics. the professors are a bit more aloof at nyu than at columbia but that might just be ugrad vs. grad. for many people, administrative nightmares may not be a consideration, but it's something you should know going in.

honestly, if i weren't so attached to nyc for personal reasons (family, boyfriend, own an apt) i'd probably say no thanks to both of them and go somewhere that's "friendlier" than columbia and more "together" (and smaller) than nyu.

also, i disagree with stjobs that columbia has no clout in other countries. i know that, at least in asia, it's well known and nyu is not. if i were looking for international recognition, i'd go with columbia.

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NewHere
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Postby NewHere » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:49 pm

. . .
Last edited by NewHere on Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

mcb
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Postby mcb » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:55 pm

3. Not looking for a party atmosphere, but friendly cooperative students would be nice.
I got the feeling that CLS was much stuffier than NYU, and everyone at NYU was extremely friendly. CLS has got a gunner rep, everyone says it's not true, but I met a lot of them at the ASD


I didn't meet ANY gunners when I was there (aside form eyepatch dude who wasn't even an admit, but on the reseve list)

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katluva33
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Postby katluva33 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:01 pm

Last edited by katluva33 on Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

typical1L
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Postby typical1L » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:02 pm

nyu is a complete mess.


I have no relevant experience to say this, but I can probably understand that. The current struggle about the absurd scholarship confirmation date suggests your claims are true.

Re: friendlier/smaller: Columbia has a smaller class than NYU, isn't it? (370 vs. something like 500 students, I believe.)


More like 410 and 450.

also, i disagree with stjobs that columbia has no clout in other countries. i know that, at least in asia, it's well known and nyu is not.


I was really focusing on Asia when I made that comment. I don't know, it's just based on my limited knowledge of Japan, mostly in academia.

if i were looking for international recognition, i'd go with columbia.


I would as well, but simply having slightly better recognition than NYU doesn't mean it's well-recognized. The interesting tension here is between program and prestige. NYU is the recognized go-to place for op's interest. Columbia arguably is more recognized overseas, which happens to be the probable hunting grounds to which the op will return. Close call. I'd honestly have a hard time choosing, which explains why I haven't made a final recommendation :o
Last edited by typical1L on Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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katluva33
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Postby katluva33 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:04 pm

Last edited by katluva33 on Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mcb
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Postby mcb » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:10 pm

More like 410 and 450.


not quite

CLS: 382
NYU: 448

typical1L
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Postby typical1L » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:15 pm

I'm seeing 378 on the LSAC page, but I admit my 410 estimate was quite a bit off. I wonder where I read that...

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NewHere
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Postby NewHere » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:16 pm

NYU is the recognized go-to place for op's interest. Columbia arguably is more recognized overseas, which happens to be the probable hunting grounds to which the op will return. Close call.


Exactly. :-)

But then again, Columbia is not much behind NYU for human rights/international law, and, on the other side, if overseas people have never heard of either university, "NYU" at least has "New York" in the name, which is more recognizable than "Columbia". (From, eh, Colombia?)

On yet another hand, if Columbia really has the edge internationally, the individual programs' recognition may be of secondary importance: if people abroad cannot be expected to know both universities, for sure they cannot be expected to know the difference in reputation in a specific field.

Thank God both are good options, so it's more of a luxury problem than anything else.

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NewHere
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Postby NewHere » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:18 pm

370 is what Columbia said in their letter.

mcb
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Postby mcb » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:18 pm


typical1L
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Postby typical1L » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:19 pm

which is more recognizable than "Columbia". (From, eh, Colombia?)


My letterhead from them says 'Columbia University in the City of New York.' :)

Alf14997
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Postby Alf14997 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:20 pm

One thing to consider... NYU has a roughly 11% of their grads employed in public interest. This is compared to roughly 3-7% at other t14s. This means you will be surrounded by more like-minded students. Additionally, there are some phenomenal clinics at NYU that I don't think CLS can match.

And yes, CLS is a republican lawyer factory, don't go there :)

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chris0805
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Postby chris0805 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:00 pm

NYU has a roughly 11% of their grads employed in public interest. This is compared to roughly 3-7% at other t14s.


That can actually play to the advantage of Columbia. Think 11 percent out NYU, that's 45 students who graduate work in public interest, 20 of whom will have the RTK and will get some amount of special attention over you. Then compare that with 5 percent at Columbia, which is more like 18.

Yes, you will have more "like-minded" students around you, but both schools have an equally sized PI center, and Columbia has their own building for it. If there's only 18 of you looking for a job and Columbia has an entire building worth of people helping you with internships, skills, and PI opportunities (clinics and non-clinics), you might be better off there.


here are some phenomenal clinics at NYU that I don't think CLS can match


If you're talking about things like community development and the like, I would have to agree, but there are still plenty of "non-clinic" opportunities that the PILC can get you into that are doing the same thing (Unless you really want to work with a specific clinic director).

If you're talking about human rights, NYU and CLS have equally strong HR clinics (Directors at both schools mentioned this),and as stated above, it may be less competitive to get into at CLS.




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