I was there.
I like NYU a lot.
After visiting CLS on Thursday and NYU today, I'm still divided. They are very different experiences, but I see merits to both.
Totally agree on the NYU students. The few I chatted with seemed very cool and down to earth.
I am interested in this. How would you say the experiences are different?
I liked Columbia more than I thought I would. The campus is really nice. There's a big area where steps lead up to the main Columbia U. library, and a lot of green spaces. It's really pretty.
The law buildings were nice, although the CLS library isn't great.
Morningside Heights gets a bad rap, but I thought the neighborhood had a great vibe. There's maybe a 10 minute walk between one of the law apartment buildings -- Lensfest -- and the law school, and there were cafes, fruit stands, etc. on the way. The area had a ton of students everywhere.
Also, Columbia seemed a little bit older than NYU -- a lot seemed to be maybe mid to upper 20s. I'm sure this was largely the result of NYU being invaded by accepted students, many of whom are still seniors in college, versus having the full three-year spectrum of CLS students.
I also really liked NYU. Greenwich Village is awesome. Within a block of the law buildings, I had a great cappucino for $3, an awesome slice of pizza and a beer with my uncle. Great people watching. I also skipped one of the events and walked down to Soho, which is a 10 minute walk and has awesome shopping.
NYU's library was really, really nice, I thought. It's the nicest I've seen aside from HLS.
NYU doesn't really have a campus. They own buildings randomly through the village. You would never know which ones are NYU buildings if they didn't hang purple signs on them.
Every student I talked to at NYU was great -- friendly, helpful, they seemed happy and unpretentious. I was very impressed.
After visiting both, I honestly don't even know which one I like better. NYU is in a much better location, it feels like its part of the city, and has an edge in clinics and PI programs. Columbia has a more campus feel, a little quieter neighborhood, and a slight edge in clerkships and elite firm placement.