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Author Topic: Columbia vs. Chicago vs. NYU vs. Berkeley vs. Full Ride UCLA  (Read 3042 times)

Zeratul

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Columbia vs. Chicago vs. NYU vs. Berkeley vs. Full Ride UCLA
« on: March 19, 2011, 11:42:41 AM »
Thoughts? I wouldn't mind working in any of the above-mentioned school's home markets except Chicago (essentially I want NYC or CA). No aspirations for academia, but would be interested in clerking if the opportunity were to arise.

BikePilot

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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago vs. NYU vs. Berkeley vs. Full Ride UCLA
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 10:45:19 AM »
That's a tough one - I think I'd go with the full ride at UCLA, but I don't care for NYC so for me it'd be down to Chicago and UCLA.  Chicago has an excellent academic program and is particularly strong in law and economics.  My not-all-that-well-informed guess is that Chicago would give you a modestly better education than the others, but they are all just fine.

All will give you a shot at big law, but none will guarantee it.  I know a few recent NYU and Columbia grads with no jobs and with jobs at some of the nations top firms.  My guess is that on the east coast NYU, Columbia and Chicago are about even with UCLA lagging a bit.  I'm not really up on west-coast hiring practices, but my guess is that UCLA would do just dandy. 
HLS 2010

Groundhog

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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago vs. NYU vs. Berkeley vs. Full Ride UCLA
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 04:04:42 PM »
Given your desired markets, I would suggest Columbia, Berkeley, or UCLA. Columbia is probably going to be better than NYU for the NYC market, Berkeley will be best in the bay (and has pass/fail grading), and you have a full ride at UCLA, although you'll be stuck in Westwood for three years.

recentgrad10

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Re: Columbia vs. Chicago vs. NYU vs. Berkeley vs. Full Ride UCLA
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2011, 12:32:28 AM »
It's hard to turn down a free legal education these days (assuming you would otherwise be taking out loans). However, I recently graduated from UCLA, and while many people who wanted to stay in LA did very well in their hunt for big law jobs (assuming that's the goal), ones who went north or east did not fair as well. For better national opportunities, I would stick to one of the other 4 - however, it is becoming more and more common for firms to primarily hire from schools in the area to cut back on recruiting costs, so if you really have your heart set on being in one city (even though you say you don't), you should go to the closest school to that city (as for Columbia/NYU, I think it's a matter of preference - you can't go wrong with either).

Chicago is really known for their academia and apparently their curriculum even caters to that a bit, so if you don't want to live in Chicago I would knock that off since you aren't looking to teach. All of the schools will give you great clerking opportunities, though less so at UCLA than the others (unless you are at or near the top of your class).

As for the Westwood dig, please. Brentwood and Santa Monica are fabulous places to live, and you'll be laughing your ass off at everyone else when you're studying at the beach on a 70 degree day in January.