Law School Discussion

Stanford (or Berkeley) vs. Columbia (Hamilton)

Re: Stanford (or Berkeley) vs. Columbia (Hamilton)
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2009, 04:35:41 PM »
i've never found cls to be competitive...i'm lazy as @#!* (and so are a few of my friends) and we've all done fine, have jobs, etc etc

Re: Stanford (or Berkeley) vs. Columbia (Hamilton)
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2009, 10:09:20 AM »
Yale. No brainer.

Between the others I would have said Columbia + Hamilton, because that means you'll be free to do whatever you want after graduation, without the pressure of enormous loans.  And SLS vs. CLS isn't a large difference.  CLS has a very active California society, and a lot of students who are either from California or interested in working in California after graduation.

The only situations I can think of in which SLS would turn out to be a better option than CLS-with-money are:
1. If you ended up in the absolute bottom of the class. It's probably easier to find a job in California if you're in the bottom 5% of Stanford than if you're in the bottom 5% at Columbia.
2. If you wanted to apply for a clerkship or a teaching position and you were not in the top of the class at either school. (It's not impossible to get a clerkship or academia with worse-than-top grades from either school, but this is where SLS would give you a leg up.)

For all other situations, it really doesn't matter much. If you want to work at a firm, you'll be able to do it from either school.  If you want to clerk and you have the grades, you'll be able to do it from either school.  Etc.

Berkeley is not an option, I think, in this scenario.


Re: Stanford (or Berkeley) vs. Columbia (Hamilton)
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2009, 03:45:09 PM »
LSD is great. Everyone's comments have been super helpful. Now, that my cycle is pretty much over, I am posting more details about myself in the hope of getting better advice from the LSD community. It seems like everyone is in agreement that YLS is better than Columbia in terms of academic placements. For me, however, I am afraid that the situation may be a bit different. I graduated this fall with a Ph.D. in biology from Harvard. I have experience publishing science and history of science papers, and I am hoping someday to become a professor of law. As you might imagine, I hope to specialize in health law and biolaw (and science and technology law more generally). The problem with Yale is that it seems that science and technology law is not one of their strengths. Stanford, on the other hand, seems to be particularly strong in this area. How much of a difference does this make? I don't know how much time I will have to pursue independent research as a law student, and I don't know how much having professor's interests match yours (and classes that match your interests) matters when preparing for academic jobs. For graduate school in biology, it would be crazy to go to a school where none of the faculties research interests match yours, no matter how prestigious the school or the program overall. I suspect it's not quite the same for law school. If anyone has thoughts on this I would much appreciate it.

I also just added a post to the Where-Should-I-go-Next_Fall area of LSD entitled "Best for academic path in health and biolaw: Yale, Stanford, CLS, HLS, or Boalt?" I would be much obliged if you responded to either thread.