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NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)

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Cosmopolitan
Joined: 15 Nov 2010
Posts: 22
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:18 AM
Hi everybody,

Another difficult decision to make...

Have been accepted in 4 Universities up to now...
Columbia is offering 10K, Chicago 15K and Georgetown 50% Tuition waiver... which makes the decision even more difficult...

I want to specialise in International Law...

What is your opinion on this?

Thanks a ton!
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RPFUGB
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 77
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:51 AM
Hi everybody,

Another difficult decision to make...

Have been accepted in 4 Universities up to now...
Columbia is offering 10K, Chicago 15K and Georgetown 50% Tuition waiver... which makes the decision even more difficult...

I want to specialise in International Law...

What is your opinion on this?

Thanks a ton!



THis is a really tough one...

Columbia:
- Great in International law (really I mean just superb)
- 10K is nice... but not huge.... The fact that NYC is on the expensive end of the US cities (:P), it will only put you at about the same total cost of the other schools (without the grants you received there)... in ohter words it will be more expensive.
- Ivy League law school. One can just not underestimate the network advantages this entails.
- However... with 250 students it is a factory too (no matter how good it is). That means that education is still great (duh), but many of the extra's of a US law school (for ex. career services) are less personal, and hence less useful. Moreover, a student might benefit more from small groups... but then that is my opinion.

Chicago
- This law school is on a role. It will creap up the rankings for the comming years and gains reputation every year. Don't forget it's the youngest law school in the top 10!
- Chicago is not NYC though
- Small LL.M. program with all the advantages of that
- Maybe not the greatest school for international law?
- Nice money though...

Georgetown:
- Large LL.M. program...
- Great money though... but expensive city.
- Great (really great) in INT'l law
- Washington is the center for international institutions in the US...
- Nice fellowship program (IIEL)
- However not close to the reputation of Chicago and Columbia


my two cents
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Ralph Wiggum

Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 171
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:17 AM
I would vote for Columbia for these reasons:

Columbia is at least equal to NYU as regards int' law and - in your exceptional case - even cheaper.

I think(!) Columbia is better and much more renowned than Chicago as regards int'l law. Under no circumstance a difference of 5k can shift the balance towards Chicago.

Georgetown is also said to be a good place for int'l law but has not the overall reputation of Columbia. A fee reduction of 50% means that you have to pay approximately 15k more at Columbia, which I think is worth it (but this is, of couse, highly subjective).

And: Washington DC is fine but - New York is New York.

So far my humble opinion.

Best

Ralph
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RPFUGB
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 77
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:21 AM
I would vote for Columbia for these reasons:

Columbia is at least equal to NYU as regards int' law and - in your exceptional case - even cheaper.

I think(!) Columbia is better and much more renowned than Chicago as regards int'l law. Under no circumstance a difference of 5k can shift the balance towards Chicago.

Georgetown is also said to be a good place for int'l law but has not the overall reputation of Columbia. A fee reduction of 50% means that you have to pay approximately 15k more at Columbia, which I think is worth it (but this is, of couse, highly subjective).

And: Washington DC is fine but - New York is New York.

So far my humble opinion.

Best

Ralph


²
even this Chicago adept does underlin that Chicago is not renowned for Int'l law.
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Oldtimer
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Posts: 164
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Sat Mar 19, 2011 08:50 PM
I agree mostly with REFUGB's assessment above. If international law is your thing, then the real choice is between Columbia and Georgetown. And while it's true that Columbia has a better overall reputation, Georgetown has a higher ranking in international law (and employers in the field know that).

The main differences I would see are:

1. Professor's: CLS tends to be more academic while Georgetown is a bit more on the practical side. This because GULC has some practitioners teaching (DC, home of IO's and most lawfirms working in the area...). CLS also has a few practicioners, but I thin it's more UN-centered. For this reason, the big question is with whom do you want to interact and network?

2. Location, but you already know that.

3. What's your plan? Which specific field of International law? Have you checked the courses they offer? Which ones are more appealing to you? The field has grown quite a lot and one may be better than the other in your area of interest.

4. Your money situation. If you are tight on the money and don't have an assured job after completion, 20k more to pay could become a big issue. If that's the case, then take the money. If, on the other hand, you know what your job is going to be and that it will foot the bills, it may then not be that much in the long term. But be aware that the difference is probably more than that because NYC is more expensive than DC.

So, more questions tba answers, but it will hopefully help you.

Good luck!

---
Because experience matters!

[Edited by Oldtimer on 19 Mar 2011]

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Oxbridge 2012
Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 1
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Thu Mar 24, 2011 06:23 PM
The ranking-based argument is misleading because only this year Georgetown appears better ranked than Columbia according to the US News ranking This does not change the fact that Columbia has been better ranked than Georgetown in international law ALL the previous years. Even in 2009 Columbia ranked first. Needless to say that employers know that too. Therefore, Columbia arguably is still perceived as a (much) better option than Georgetown in international law as a whole. It is unnecessary to say that Columbia in brand name as university and law school is light years ahead of Georgetown.

However, what also matters is to keep in mind that international law is so broad that it will depend on which subarea one wants to practise or research. Columbia is especially strong in UN law, international criminal law, international arbitration/negotiation and public international law. In some of these, Columbia is arguably the best in US.

[Edited by Oxbridge 2012 on 24 Mar 2011]

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Oldtimer
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Posts: 164
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Thu Mar 24, 2011 09:51 PM
Assuming in arguendo that all those points are correct, then the question becomes: are you ready to pay at least $25.000 more for that? Maybe money is not an issue , but is not an easy decision to take otherwise.

---
Because experience matters!

[Edited by Oldtimer on 24 Mar 2011]

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Cosmopolitan
Joined: 15 Nov 2010
Posts: 22
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:07 PM
Hi everybody,

Thank you so much for all your helpful comments and suggestions!!

You all really helped me a lot!
Of course, in this category, I think, the money factor cannot be ignored... I am trying to view it as a long-term investment... which will hopefully fetch rewarding dividends in the end ;)... Though I have not made up my mind to 100%, I am tending towards CLS at the moment primarily because of their undeniably outstanding UN specialisation.

In any case, let me express my thanks to you all once again...wish you all the luck for your LLM... hope it fulfills all your expectations!!

P.S.: Please don't hesitate to keep on adding to this thread... I really think we all benefit mostfrom each others experiences and suggestions ! :)

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LLMgirl123
Joined: 03 Jul 2010
Posts: 60
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Fri Mar 25, 2011 07:57 AM
@Cosmpolitan - I have a similar situation: I'm trying to decide between Columbia, NYU, Georgetown (+10k) or Duke (+20K).

So are you choosing Columbia then?

I don't have aid at NYU or Columbia, but I can live with my uncle and aunt so if I do so it's an automatic 20K saving. (I admit I will be missing out on living in the dorms, but a 20K saving in NYC is a lot of money...)

I want to specialize in WTO/international trade law and international arbitration (particularly investment arbitration). I know that Georgetown is THE place to go for WTO law, and it's in Washington DC where many of the law firms and institutions for trade law are.

At the same time, Columbia is amazing for international law generally, and they do have a WTO Law course (in fact two: China and the WTO as well). They also are great for international arbitration and have a class on investment arbitration specifically.

You also can't underestimate the network that being an Ivy League school brings - since rightly or wrongly, recruiters will inevitably take it into account. Georgetown and Duke are excellent schools but they are slightly further down the tier for international law.

NYU is now not really an option, since both universities are in NYC and given the choice between NYU and Columbia my choice would be Columbia.

At the same time, Duke is a lot of money ($20K) but it's in Durham, which is the main drawback for me. I'm sure the campus is beautiful and there are benefits to being in a small class (c. 80 people) but it's miles away from NYC - 11 hours by train to be exact.
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Cosmopolitan
Joined: 15 Nov 2010
Posts: 22
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:48 AM
Hi LLMgirl123!

I fully understand your thoughts- having made my decision finally, I am feeling a lot lighter. Hope I can help..

Given your situation, I would make my decision between CLS and GULC. In the end, Duke undoubtedly is an amazing university and is offering good financial aid.. .but compared to the other two, it cannot meet the expertise in intl law... and given your situation that you could save on accommodation expense, the financial aspect does not have the same weight.

Considering CLS and GULC... means you cannot make a wrong decision.

If you go for GULC... you will have the change to do maximum number of courses with in your field of interest. Employers in this field now about the prestige GULC carries in the area of WTO Law. Washington of course is the most buzzing place in this field.

If you go the CLS... you will benefit from all the advantages an Ivy League University carries... and at the same time have the chance of attending many interesting courses in intl law. Maybe the density in WTO Law is comparatively a bit less. What an experience NY would be goes without saying.

In the end, I would say, give a few thoughts on how much you want to specialise in WTO/Investment Law...
If this is has always been, what you wanted to do... GULC probably is the right place for you.
If this area is one among others you want to learn about in your LLM year... CLS is equally attractive. In your situation the financial aspect is more or less same, which of course is a hugh advantage.

As I said- I think, you cannot make a mistake ... ;) Hope this helps!!
All the best!
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LLMgirl123
Joined: 03 Jul 2010
Posts: 60
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Tue Mar 29, 2011 01:43 PM
@Cosmopolitan and Oldtimer (and everyone...)

Another development has taken place that is making my decision more difficult: my total scholarship offer for Georgetown is now $20K.

I was leaning toward Columbia until yesterday (for all the previous reasons: amazing for international law, Ivy League, NYC etc) but now the prospect of another $10K has materialized at Georgetown. Money is definitely an issue. The prospect of having comparatively little to pay in tuition (as there is a strong possibility I may get another $10K from an outside scholarship foundation), hence a total of $30K in scholarships, is a powerful incentive.

At the same time, though, if I went to Georgetown I wouldn't be in NYC, and part of the reason I wanted to be there was for reasons other than purely professional: art and culture for one thing, and the possibility to cross-register to 1 course in Arts and Humanities at Columbia (they have an excellent Art History department).

I want to do WTO/int'l trade and investment law. For these fields, Washington, DC is simply the best place and Georgetown is the undisputed leader in International Economic Law.

But it's not in NYC, and I have close family there, as well as very good friends (I have lived in NYC before). In Washington, DC there would not be that easy familiarity I have with NYC.

I have to make my decision by March 31 for Columbia and April 1 for Georgetown. So time is quickly running out...and it's doing my head in!

@Cosmopolitan - you mentioned I can't make a wrong decision - and I'm sure that's the case...but at the moment I am still torn....
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camyphr
Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 21
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Tue Mar 29, 2011 02:29 PM
Hi. I am sure it is a tough decision, but I would go to georgetown bc it is the best in your field of interest and you can go there almost cost free. Regardless the place you go, you will have an amazing time and make lots of friends. Washington is also very rich in art and culture and has several museums, and there is always a plane ticket you can buy with the saved USD20k to visit your loved ones (and they can come visit you).
I don't know. Columbia is top top and hard to turn down, but if it is not better than GT for the subjects you are looking for, I see not much difficulty in choosing, even though it is ivy league and all. In the end, they are not gonna hire you based solely on the school you choose, but on your grades, your background, your connections, where you are from, etc., so the college is just a small part of all the selection process for law firms and etc.
Good luck and let us know how you decide ;)
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Oldtimer
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Posts: 164
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Tue Mar 29, 2011 04:16 PM
@Cosmopolitan and Oldtimer (and everyone...)

Another development has taken place that is making my decision more difficult: my total scholarship offer for Georgetown is now $20K.

I was leaning toward Columbia until yesterday (for all the previous reasons: amazing for international law, Ivy League, NYC etc) but now the prospect of another $10K has materialized at Georgetown. Money is definitely an issue. The prospect of having comparatively little to pay in tuition (as there is a strong possibility I may get another $10K from an outside scholarship foundation), hence a total of $30K in scholarships, is a powerful incentive.

At the same time, though, if I went to Georgetown I wouldn't be in NYC, and part of the reason I wanted to be there was for reasons other than purely professional: art and culture for one thing, and the possibility to cross-register to 1 course in Arts and Humanities at Columbia (they have an excellent Art History department).

I want to do WTO/int'l trade and investment law. For these fields, Washington, DC is simply the best place and Georgetown is the undisputed leader in International Economic Law.

But it's not in NYC, and I have close family there, as well as very good friends (I have lived in NYC before). In Washington, DC there would not be that easy familiarity I have with NYC.

I have to make my decision by March 31 for Columbia and April 1 for Georgetown. So time is quickly running out...and it's doing my head in!


Let's see:

Ivy league stuff: completely irrelevant in my humble view. Networking is an activity you do (and it's a tough one to master!) not something that comes automatically just because you went somewhere to university. Do you really see yourself calling a complete stranger and saying "hey! we went to the same school! By the way, I need a favor from you"???

NY vs. DC: from what you say, you ALREADY had the NYC experience AND have family there. I fully understand the appeal of the Big Apple (I also fell for it), but it seems to be less of a factor in your case because you already know what it is, which may be precisely the reason why you must do it. Only you know.

Specialization: It has been repeated many times. If trade is your issue, then definitively GULC is a better option.

Money: Is Columbia giving you $30k more of value added than GULC? Again, there is a highly subjective component that only you can determine.

---
Because experience matters!

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Cosmopolitan
Joined: 15 Nov 2010
Posts: 22
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:48 AM
Up front just to clarify: These additional 10k you could get from another source... are they bound to your enrollment to GULC or would you get them for CLS as well?

It seems like a real heart against mind decision... on paper, GULC seems the ideal option... content-wise and financially too... But if you feel that your LLM-EXPERIENCE should include your friends and family in NYC... maybe just reflect on the course curriculum once more... if you see enough courses interesting to you (including cross-registration) go for it...

In my case, somehow, I knew, CLS was my first choice from the beginning... so I just tried to think... which of the LLMs (experiences) will I ex ante regret most not having made... That was the helpful to me...

All the best!!!
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LLM12345
Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 4
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Sun Apr 03, 2011 02:15 AM
@LLMGirl

Where did you decide to go in the end?
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LLMgirl123
Joined: 03 Jul 2010
Posts: 60
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Sun Apr 03, 2011 01:36 PM
@ Oldtimer, Cosmopolitan and all...

I decided to go to Georgetown in the end. It was a very difficult decision but now I am happy with my choice. Thanks so much Oldtimer and Cosmopolitan for all your insightful posts - they helped me a lot.

I already know that Georgetown is the best place to study WTO/trade and investment law in the US, and everyone I spoke to confirmed that. They have at least 30 courses in this field alone, plus the option to do a Certificate in WTO Studies and be an IIEL Fellow.

I contacted 4 of the relevant professors I wanted to study with at Columbia, and it turned out that 2 of them confirmed they are not going to be there next year. That put a completely different spin on the experience I thought I was going to have, and since those 2 were in investment and trade law this gave Columbia a big disadvantage vis a vis Georgetown. As much as I love NYC I simply cannot justify spending $74K in tuition and living expenses to go somewhere that I cannot take the courses I want.

Also, I looked at the cross-registration options in Art History at Columbia, and it turned out that the ones I wanted were not available for Fall 2011.

I then looked at living expense cost for Georgetown, and they are roughly the same as NYC (maybe even slightly cheaper). Given that, $20k would go a lot further. I bought a guidebook to Washington DC and looked on the internet at housing options, and things started to become more clear as I pictured how life would be there.

In contrast, at Columbia I would be constantly having to watch every penny and would be living not even in Manhattan but in Queens, which can be up to an hour and a half to 116th st each way (so potentially a 2.5-3 hour commute EVERY DAY).

It is not very pleasant living in NYC with no money and a long commute. So, after a long process of decision-making, Georgetown won out.

@Cosmopolitan - the potential extra $10K is not school-specific. I'll know in a few weeks!

Has everyone decided where they are going at this point?
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Cosmopolitan
Joined: 15 Nov 2010
Posts: 22
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:00 PM
Congratulations!!!! I am sure you will have a great year!!! Enjoy it thoroughly and all the best!!! :-)

P.S. Do you mind telling me which Professors are not going to be at Columbia next fall? Would be really helpful to me!! Thanks a ton! :)
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Oldtimer
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Posts: 164
NYU or Columbia (+10K) or Chicago (+15K) or Georgetown (50%)
Mon Apr 04, 2011 08:26 AM
Congrats on your decision! I wish you all the best!

Oldtimer

PS: Since many of you have experienced how useful these discussions are, I would encourage you to keep checking them up next year to share your experience. It will probably look trivial by then, but it will mean a lot to others.

---
Because experience matters!

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