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Author Topic: Columbia v. UVA  (Read 4158 times)

GetAMac

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Columbia v. UVA
« on: April 17, 2005, 11:17:55 PM »
Hi,

I'm having a tough time choosing between Columbia and UVA.  UVA gave me $12K per year, plus in-state tuition and lower living costs than NYC, whereas I pay full price at Columbia.  I also love the environment at UVA law.  Nevertheless, it doesn't quite have the same reputation academically as Columbia.  Also, I currently attend UVA undergrad, and it may be better to get a different perspective.  Any advice on where I should go?

Thanks!

scc

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Re: Columbia v. UVA
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2005, 04:15:04 AM »
Did you try negotiating Columbia for money?  UVA gave me money and I got Chicago to throw in some cash too.

Have you visited Columbia?  I imagine it's very different from UVA.  Do you think you could study in New York?

Lost in Translation

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Re: Columbia v. UVA
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2005, 08:47:48 AM »
I would like to hear about this since I have the same choice to make. I visited UVA this Friday, and I was very impressed. UVA has tremendous facilities, incredible architecture, very relaxed and laid back student body, and excellent reputation. But I do want to practice internationally-related law, so Columbia may be a better fit for me. When I visited Columbia, I noticed that while the atmosphere in the school sucked, there were so many academic opportunities: every day, there were like 3-4 famous speakers. In addition, Columbia's name is famous all over the world.
Basically, for me it is a choice between a nice, social environment in UVA where I will feel very happy and relaxed vs. the more intense and competitive Columbia where I have no idea how I will feel. What do the others feel>



Hi,

I'm having a tough time choosing between Columbia and UVA.  UVA gave me $12K per year, plus in-state tuition and lower living costs than NYC, whereas I pay full price at Columbia.  I also love the environment at UVA law.  Nevertheless, it doesn't quite have the same reputation academically as Columbia.  Also, I currently attend UVA undergrad, and it may be better to get a different perspective.  Any advice on where I should go?

Thanks!

hocuspocus

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Re: Columbia v. UVA
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2005, 09:12:37 AM »
I visited UVA this Friday, and I was very impressed. UVA has tremendous facilities, incredible architecture, very relaxed and laid back student body, and excellent reputation. But I do want to practice internationally-related law, so Columbia may be a better fit for me. When I visited Columbia, I noticed that while the atmosphere in the school sucked, there were so many academic opportunities: every day, there were like 3-4 famous speakers. In addition, Columbia's name is famous all over the world.
Basically, for me it is a choice between a nice, social environment in UVA where I will feel very happy and relaxed vs. the more intense and competitive Columbia where I have no idea how I will feel. What do the others feel>

I agree with all of your observations, except the thing about the speakers -- who really has time to listen to all of these people, regardless of which law school you attend?

I'm in the same boat for the most part. In at UVA with 15k/year and waitlisted at Columbia.  I'm really trying to decide whether it's worth aggressively pursuing the Columbia waitlist.  I really like UVA, and the money is great, but Columbia seems to be a slightly better, especially for certain areas of law.  Then again, I don't see myself living in New York for a long period of time beyond law school, so UVA may be better given my DC/CA roots.

Lost in Translation

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Re: Columbia v. UVA
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2005, 09:30:37 AM »
Tough choice, indeed. The more I think about it, the less I am certain that I know what the right answer and the right school is. It is very frustrating because in the beginning, I was very excited for Columbia, but after meeting the adnministrators and some of the students, I was kind of disappointed.

I agree with all of your observations, except the thing about the speakers -- who really has time to listen to all of these people, regardless of which law school you attend.

I'm in the same boat for the most part. In at UVA with 15k/year and waitlisted at Columbia.  I'm really trying to decide whether it's worth aggressively pursuing the Columbia waitlist.  I really like UVA, and the money is great, but Columbia seems to be a slightly better, especially for certain areas of law.  Then again, I don't see myself living in New York for a long period of time beyond law school, so UVA may be better given my DC/CA roots.

GetAMac

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Re: Columbia v. UVA
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2005, 01:10:32 PM »
Did you try negotiating Columbia for money?  UVA gave me money and I got Chicago to throw in some cash too.

Have you visited Columbia?  I imagine it's very different from UVA.  Do you think you could study in New York?

Yeah no luck with Columbia money, they were quick to say no.

I visited Columbia; Morningside Heights is not a bad area anymore and it's a lot quieter than most of Manhattan.  I actually used to live in Manhattan until I was 12, so this will be nothing new.  I'm more concerned with the student body, access to professors, and general law school environment than actual location.  It is also difficult to determine at this point whether the extra cost of Columbia will pay off later on.

What are your plans?  I assume you'll be choosing Chicago?

Thanks for the advice.

scc

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Re: Columbia v. UVA
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2005, 01:32:41 PM »
I'm going to see what Columbia will offer, but I'm assuming that'll be nothing, which means I'll be at Chicago.

I'd like to work internationally as well, but I don't want to do public international law, so I'm hoping if I focus on corporate at Chicago, I'll still have some opportunities to work abroad.  We'll see.

If you're looking to do public international law, I think the advantages of being in New York where you're close to almost any NGO or international organization you want are pretty substantial.  Also, if you want to work in Europe, Columbia students have told me that the name of their school travels very well.

If you want to clerk/teach, I'm guessing that Columbia does marginally better, but that might be self-selecting (as I'm sure it is at Chicago).  Either place you'd have to rock your grades, and you'd probably be able to do that more easily at a place where you'll be happy, assuming the keg parties don't interfere too much.   :)

In the end though, if you'll be happy at UVA, I think you should go there.  The difference in prestige is slim at most, and you'd be saving a crap load of money which will give you better options 5/10 years down the line.  I was really considering UVA for awhile, but I did the small town/fratty college for my UG and I'm ready for a change.

lsantos623

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Re: Columbia v. UVA
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2005, 03:02:08 PM »
When I visited Columbia, I noticed that while the atmosphere in the school sucked, there were so many academic opportunities: every day, there were like 3-4 famous speakers.>

Mohican- can you explain why it "sucked"?  this concerns me, i've put in my deposit to attend columbia but did not get a chance to visit...
CLS or Boalt?????

Lost in Translation

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Re: Columbia v. UVA
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2005, 04:59:11 PM »
I did not enjoy it because I thought that the administrators and most of the students were very impersonable; they not really excited about the school. However, my impression is quite subjective, I should admit. I am sure that the majority of the students are quite interesting and fun to hang around with. Maybe I just visited on a wrong day:) You cannot go wrong with Columbia; the professional opportunities that you will have with a Columbia degree are incredible. That being said, I really do not think that they have the close and laid back communities of UPenn and UVA. Overall, however, Columbia is a fantastic school.



Mohican- can you explain why it "sucked"?  this concerns me, i've put in my deposit to attend columbia but did not get a chance to visit...
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dreamer1

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Re: Columbia v. UVA
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2005, 05:50:42 PM »
I will add my two cents on Columbia. I am framing my take on Columbia as a comparison with Georgetown, which is the only other school I have visited so far.

Columbia students were definitely more impersonal in the classroom. One of the things that I truly enjoyed at Georgetown was the camaraderie among students. They chatted a lot with each other before class started and in between classes, which was somthing that was DEFINITELY absent in Columbia. However, this may be due to the Professors at each of the classes. At Georgetown, the professor was a sweet southern gentleman who allowed me to introduce myself to the whole class during classtime. The professor at Columbia, on the other hand, was much younger and was surprised when I approached him to ask whether I could sit in in his class. Nevertheless, he was very polite.

Also, one thing that I noticed at Columbia is that personality comes with interests. All the students who were really friendly were those who were doing public interest. The corporate students seemed to be more impersonal.

However, one last thing that I would tell the OP is that the Columbia name is better recognized abroad than UVA is. At least, that is my impression. And Columbia really has a leg up in international and comparative law, particularly with Asian countries, I think.
I am thinking that I will most likely end up at Columbia, although they only offered me half of what other schools have. Figured it could be woth 35K more for the doors that Columbia would open and of course, being in NYC.
Attending: Columbia Law School