Regarding faculty: I just heard a terrible, awful, slanderous allegation from a 3L at Chicago. She tells me one of her professors recently said (no idea who, certainly biased), that Columbia Law was "intellectually dead" and that faculty there haven't contributed to legal academia or the legal profession since the 1970s. And sorry to bring it up, but...
by contrast, said professor commented that NYU is dynamic, always improving, acquiring new, talented faculty left and right.
I was inches from putting down my deposit at Columbia over NYU, but this stayed my hand. No doubt this professor has some axe to grind and is exaggerating. But, anyone out there care to offer their thoughts on the merits of faculty at Columbia (vs. NYU)?
First, there is a tremendous amount of cutting edge scholarship going on here. Many professors are top of their field. I also just got an email about two, new, young hires.
Second, almost without fail, when I talk to admits, they say that Chicago and NYU spent some ungodly amount of their time bashing Columbia. Columbia on the other hand could give two shits about those two schools. I have never heard a single peep out of our faculty or administration comparing, bashing, whatever. I think you should keep the following in mind: Would you rather go to institution that is confident in who they are, or go to a school that sees itself through the lens of one of their "rivals." Honestly, this was a big reason I didn't pick NYU. No matter how good a school they are, and they are great, the vibe down their was very self-conscious regarding their neighbor to the north. I promise you this, we don't spend 3 seconds of our day worrying about them. To me, that mattered.