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.
Definitely. Now, if I wasn't such an NYU troll too I would be decided.
To be fair and balanced:
NYU has a far superior LRAP (55k salary means 5500 more payments a year at CLS than NYU)
NYU has far superior proximate living options (i.e. Brooklyn)
NYU does have 25 clinics to Columbia's 8.
NYU has Gerald Lopez (works in Community Development (albeit Domestic) and wrote the book on rebellious lawyering... literally... he wrote in 1992 or thereabouts)
To add to my trolling:
Look into SIPA (School of International Public Affairs) at Columbia. They pushed the fact that we could take any classes in SIPA on us at the Admitted Student days. NYU doesn't seem to have a counterpart like SIPA.
Hm, that's interesting about SIPA, Chris. I'll read up on that.
About clinics: how do they work? Do you choose to do them instead of regularly scheduled classes? In addition to regular classes? Are they compulsory? What differentiates a clinic from a regular course?
Clinics are like giant volunteer projects/internships/classes available to 2nd and 3rd year students (though very rarely there is a 1L(or a few) that somehow sneaks onto a clinic at some schools )
Some like Human Rights are often more like coursework and internships where you do research for organizations.
Others, like Community Development or Asylum Clinics seem to be more hands on. Not being in law school, however, I might not be your best source of information.
The problem with clinics is that there is a selection process and no guarantee that you'll get your first choice if you decide to do a clinic. Still, NYU and CLS seem to be pretty accommodating, especially compared to some larger schools such as Gtown (where there's no guarantee you'll get ANY clinic). Furthermore, many of the best parts about clinics can be done with separate research or service projects while in law school.
You can take classes at SIPA, but from what I remember, you can only take one or two to count towards your degree, so I would take that benefit with a little caution...SIPA isn't worth choosing CLS over NYU if you can only take 1 or 2 classes there
Okay, looked it up and you can take a max of 10 credits (as long as you get a C or above and get permission from the Dean). With an average of 3-4 credits per class, this works out to about 2-3 classes
Here's one thing I'd like to note about clinics. I spoke to a professor at NYU about their lack of IP clinics. What she said was quite interesting and something I had heard at CLS as well. She said that if you want to specialize in a particular field you shouldn't take more than four classes in it because you will get the extra specialization on the job. She said that what you really need to do is study a wide range of subjects because the best legal arguments often come from analogies to other areas of law and because so many fields bleed into one another. She said that she was not a major fan of clinics because often a clinic will take up an entire semester learning to do something extremely specialized. She said that the hardest thing after graduation was trying to get a grasp of an entirely different field of law you haven't been exposed to. So, while I may do a clinic anyway because it'll make me happy and aid in my sanity (I like hands-on things), ultimately she may be right about the opportunity costs involved there. I think this is especially true if you do a clinic that has nothing to do with what you want to end up working in.
Columbia is a slightly better school? Please quantify or substantiate this. Admittedly I've become a troll for its arch-rival NYU, but based on things like quality of faculty, student satisfaction, and visible alums I don't think there is an enormous difference. Columbia has slightly better firm placement, but other than that it's practically a wash.
The peer rank is the same (4.6). Judges/lawyers is 4.7 for Col and 4.6/NYU. Besides, most of the people answering the latter probably graduated from law school 10-15 years ago as a minimum.
I'm not splitting hairs, or at least I'm not attempting to. I simply don't see a very strong foundation for pronouncing one to be slightly better. If the variance is slight and very hard to determine - which it is - what's the point in saying either is superior to the other? Note that I'm not claiming NYU is better than Columbia. I'm just noting that it's virtually impossible to conclusively state one is better.
Communicate now with those who not only know what a legal education is, but can offer you worthy advice and commentary as you complete the three most educational, yet challenging years of your law related post graduate life.
I've talked to a few lawyers in California and they have all said that Columbia is definetly regarded higher, that might say something to NYU's focus on New York. Any ideas on which is better for corporate law? I've read a few places that Columbia is better, but before splitting hairs I thought it was NYU because of Wachtell and their strong tax law program.
I also found a good website for searching what law firms do recruiting at different college campuses. If you choose advanced search you can search by practice area and also by starting salary.