tlsapp2017 wrote:As far as differences between NYU and Columbia, I would focus less on perceived differences in job opportunities (NYU can get you BigLaw jobs, and Columbia can get you PI jobs; I really don't think the difference is as great as advertised) and more about the schools themselves, given that you will have to actually spend 3 years of your life there. I definitely found that the two schools had different "feels" to them. I personally liked the Columbia students that I met better and found that the professors were more accessible and friendly, but other people certainly have the opposite experience. Location can also cut both ways (some people like a little distance from downtown, and some people like waking up and being there; although a lot of NYU students live off-campus in Brooklyn, I believe). NYU's class size is a little larger, the 1L requirements are slightly different, Columbia's Legal Methods program is definitely unique, the housing options are different, etc. There are a lot of subtle differences that can add up in one direction or another.
When deciding between CLS and NYU, I chose CLS primarily because of its location/housing options. I wanted to be able to live near campus and I knew I couldn't afford the Village. Seems like something relatively trivial for such a big decision, but when you're dealing with schools as similar as these two, anything can cut one way or another. For as much as this topic is beaten to death, it always comes down to one thing --visit both, pick which one you like better, and don't look back. The substantive differences are too minimal to quibble over.
Also CLS definitely has strong connections to SDNY, EDNY and 2nd Circuit, so I'm not sure where that perception is coming from. Check out this page for more details on the judicial externships http://web.law.columbia.edu/social-just ... pring-2015