Law School Discussion

Personal Reasons for Choosing NYU/CLS?

Re: Personal Reasons for Choosing NYU/CLS?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2007, 06:25:48 PM »
I love NYU. I'm rather left leaning, love that it seems to have a really collegial atmosphere. But most importantly of all, it has a joint degree program with the French Studies department and I am a total francophile who'd kill to be able to do both.

well, it certainly is a place for bleeding heart liberals.

Sounds wonderful.  ;)

it's kind of a pain in the ass. god forbid you have some whacky opinion like, say, that we should put gang-bangers in jail.

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Re: Personal Reasons for Choosing NYU/CLS?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2007, 06:40:05 PM »
tag

ananse

Re: Personal Reasons for Choosing NYU/CLS?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2007, 06:53:40 PM »
tag

Resident CLS Troll

Re: Personal Reasons for Choosing NYU/CLS?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2007, 07:24:44 PM »
  • I am definitely quite left leaning politically, though I am very fond of purely ecomomic/market solutions whenever possible
  • I currently live in the Village, and my wife refuses to move to the UWS at least for a year, and possibly never (she has that power, since she will largely be supporting me during the next 3 years)
  • I am interested in BigLaw, leaning toward IP (non-patent), but this may change with exposure (currently none)
  • I have always been collegial (sharing my papers / editing others) in UG, and am worried about the rumored cutthroat atmosphere at CLS
  • I'll have been out of school 4 years when 1L starts - if that is even relevant
  • I may want to practice in either London or Boston (instead/after NYC)

Anyone out there commute to CLS via A-train to 125th - I did this for the LSAT and it was fast, but I'm interested in any problems etc.

1. NYU is admittedly more left-leaning than CLS.  But we're not exactly UChicago or anything (and I honestly don't think that they're that conservative to being with).  I mean in general, law school is going to be pretty liberal.

2. Village to MsH is definitely doable.  I personally would prefer taking the 1 rather than the A, but I suppose it depends on where in the Village you live.  There are people who do it though.

3. CLS is #1 in the country in terms of getting its people into V50 firms.  That said, it's probably more self-selection.  I don't think it'll give you a huge boost either way, but if you had to pick one, we'd definitely edge out.  Also in terms of IP, we definitely win out over NYU in terms of faculty, resources.  Tim Wu's supposed to be one of the rising stars of IP, and we recently stole him from UVA.  I think the Kernochan Center does some good stuff also.  To be honest, it makes me wish I was more interested in IP.

4. I think the "cutthroat atmosphere" at CLS is exaggerated.  People here are competitive and they do work hard, but I can't think of a time when things were anything less than collegial.  Mostly it's people expecting the best from themselves, not wanting to cut each other down.  That's how it looks to me, at any rate.

5. Was out for four years myself.  Wasn't too hard to get back into school and whatnot.  CLS, like NYU, is a mix of people who've been out a few years and recent grads.

6. Can't say anything about London/Boston I'm afraid. 

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Re: Personal Reasons for Choosing NYU/CLS?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2007, 07:36:30 PM »

3. CLS is #1 in the country in terms of getting its people into V50 firms.  That said, it's probably more self-selection.  I don't think it'll give you a huge boost either way, but if you had to pick one, we'd definitely edge out.  Also in terms of IP, we definitely win out over NYU in terms of faculty, resources.  Tim Wu's supposed to be one of the rising stars of IP, and we recently stole him from UVA.  I think the Kernochan Center does some good stuff also.  To be honest, it makes me wish I was more interested in IP.

Yeehah! I mentioned the Kernochan Center in my PS.

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Re: Personal Reasons for Choosing NYU/CLS?
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2007, 08:57:00 PM »
Thanks alot for the feedback! I'm not really very politically active (as proof, I just registered to vote and have been here for six months - oops!) - I just mention my leanings as so many people use the liberalism of NYU as a negative - It wouldn't really be an attraction, particularly.

Re: Personal Reasons for Choosing NYU/CLS?
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2007, 09:02:27 PM »
  • I am definitely quite left leaning politically, though I am very fond of purely ecomomic/market solutions whenever possible
  • I currently live in the Village, and my wife refuses to move to the UWS at least for a year, and possibly never (she has that power, since she will largely be supporting me during the next 3 years)
  • I am interested in BigLaw, leaning toward IP (non-patent), but this may change with exposure (currently none)
  • I have always been collegial (sharing my papers / editing others) in UG, and am worried about the rumored cutthroat atmosphere at CLS
  • I'll have been out of school 4 years when 1L starts - if that is even relevant
  • I may want to practice in either London or Boston (instead/after NYC)

Anyone out there commute to CLS via A-train to 125th - I did this for the LSAT and it was fast, but I'm interested in any problems etc.

1. NYU is admittedly more left-leaning than CLS.  But we're not exactly UChicago or anything (and I honestly don't think that they're that conservative to being with).  I mean in general, law school is going to be pretty liberal.

2. Village to MsH is definitely doable.  I personally would prefer taking the 1 rather than the A, but I suppose it depends on where in the Village you live.  There are people who do it though.

3. CLS is #1 in the country in terms of getting its people into V50 firms.  That said, it's probably more self-selection.  I don't think it'll give you a huge boost either way, but if you had to pick one, we'd definitely edge out.  Also in terms of IP, we definitely win out over NYU in terms of faculty, resources.  Tim Wu's supposed to be one of the rising stars of IP, and we recently stole him from UVA.  I think the Kernochan Center does some good stuff also.  To be honest, it makes me wish I was more interested in IP.

4. I think the "cutthroat atmosphere" at CLS is exaggerated.  People here are competitive and they do work hard, but I can't think of a time when things were anything less than collegial.  Mostly it's people expecting the best from themselves, not wanting to cut each other down.  That's how it looks to me, at any rate.

5. Was out for four years myself.  Wasn't too hard to get back into school and whatnot.  CLS, like NYU, is a mix of people who've been out a few years and recent grads.

6. Can't say anything about London/Boston I'm afraid. 

I am deliberating between these two as well. For me, the most important factor is job options upon graduation. Based on that alone, CLS wins hands down (employment stats seem to indicate that CLS>Chicago>>>NYU... which is not to say NYU is bad... far from it... just that CLS really does shine in job placement).

Am I off base here? NYU was the first acceptance I got and it is a great school. The respective locations don't seem to be an important enough factor to me, however, to ignore the advantage CLS confers upon their graduates.

Resident CLS Troll

Re: Personal Reasons for Choosing NYU/CLS?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2007, 09:05:08 PM »
All other things being equal, if your priority is job option then CLS should beat out NYU. 

So no, you're not off base.

Resident CLS Troll

Re: Personal Reasons for Choosing NYU/CLS?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2007, 11:22:53 PM »
Alright kiddos, thanks for your patience on this one -

A caveat: This was probably my pet peeve answer last year, but nevertheless, it's easily the most accurate and genuine response.

This is a personal decision.
They are both amazing schools, and you won't go wrong either way.

I can tell you what made the decision for me, but all of my factors were highly affected by personal taste. What I say about one school may appeal to you; it may be a turn-off for others. Just be cognizant of what makes you happy and what you are looking for, and you'll be fine.

Alright, stepping off soapbox, getting into the real answer:

In my law school search, three points of interest dominated my decision making process.

Post-grad Job Opportunities
Let's be honest here. If there is one thing you shouldn't be worried about when making a decision between schools of this caliber, getting law firm opportunities is it. You are virtually guaranteed a law firm job coming out of either one of these schools. <Breathe sigh of relief here.> That being said, from a logistical and practical standpoint, firms are most likely to hire from nearby schools. There are very few truly "national" schools out there. There's going to be locational bias virtually anywhere you go. Unless I get struck by crazy-lightning, I highly doubt I will want to live on the east coast post-graduation. I'd like to think my collar is too flaccid to ever make me a true east-coaster. :D Therefore, the reach of the schools was very important to me. From my talks with current lawyers (including several hiring partners), as well as with the Columbia admissions and career services offices, I am confident going in that Columbia places well outside of the NYC to DC cooridor. People throw around prestige very flippantly around here, but if you want to talk about an instance where it actually comes into play, this would be one. CLS has had a consistently strong program for so long. It is well-respected. It speaks for itself. Perhaps one of the biggest draws for me personally was the portability of a CLS degree.
I also am very interested in doing (non-patent) IP law - specifically communications law, and CLS is an excellent place for this specialty (whooo Kernochan Center!), and at one of the admitted students events I sat and talked to Dean Schizer for twenty minutes on all the opportunities CLS had just for that one area. Impressive (for nerdy me, I guess.) I also could see myself doing in-house counsel work later down the road, and CLS has a strong background in that area as well.

Clerkships
I know a personal goal of mine is to clerk for several years post-graduation. I wanted a school that would open those doors. Again, Columbia is a school with a long-standing history of clerkship placement, and I really felt that both professors and administration alike would be supportive and knowledgable in helping me attain that goal. (To answer the inevitable question, Chicago didn't appeal to me for reasons that can be hashed over in another thread if you so desire.) Sure NYU places well in clerkships, too, but I think Columbia has the edge in this department.

Environment/Location
(I know you specifically mentioned not wanting to hear the campus v. city angle, but as I suspect more than one person will read this, I'm going to include it anyway.) This really is the most palpable difference between the two schools. They do "feel" different, for lack of a more specific, overarching word. For me, NYC is a drawback to Columbia, and I felt far more comfortable in the more removed environment that Morningside Heights offers. But I could definetely see how someone else might like the hustle and bustle of NYU's location. Again, a personal preference thing. The locations, however, do have actual visible effects on the school as well.
For me, housing is a big deal. (Sorry again that this doesn't really apply to the OP.) It makes a HUGE difference to my mental health if I have a space of my own where I feel comfortable. CLS Housing and NYU housing are two completely different worlds. CLS bought out pretty much every single apartment building in a 10 block radius. Their "student housing" is a real apartment in an apartment building. Many of which are cool, unique, pre-war buildings with history. You get your own bedroom, your own bathroom, your own kitchen (w/ a single) or you share those areas w 1-2 roommates and get a real living room in a real apartment. NYU's housing is a high-rise dorm. (Yes - a dorm. Don't kid yourself about that.)Sterile - as high-rise dorms generally are. Their singles are tiny little rooms with standard industrial single beds and desks. You share a kitchen & a bathroom w/ 3 other people. You do not get a living room. And their rents are roughly equal! I basically crossed NYU off my list immediately when I saw their student housing. I like my personal space; I study a lot in my room; their dorms just were not going to cut for me, personally.
The other place where I think the location plays an active role is the reputation both student bodies have:
I think part of the reason that NYU is viewed as more laid-back while CLS is more intense is because NYU's location makes it easier to "get out" and not be surrounded by law school folk. (They live in the Village; they must be more fun/outgoing/social/etc!) However, on the flip side, NYU's location makes the student body's housing choices more widespread, which perhaps fragments its community more than what you might see at CLS. The students that I talked to at NYU did say, yes, especially after 1L year when so many people move out of the area, it can be difficult to meet new people. The downside to having what I believe to be a more closed environment at CLS is that more people know your business; it's easier to compare yourself to others. On the other hand, I think you end up with a closer-knit community in general....so a trade off.

Another word on school environment. This really is a reason to go to ASWs. Before I visited schools I was really lost as to where I wanted to go, but after visiting a couple it becomes very clear that they are all very different places with very distinct flavors. Penn's student body was, for instance, so appealing that it almost outweighed every other factor for me. (They have, by far, the best student body out there, I think - shout out to Cady!) But what struck me about Columbia's campus was just this energy and buzz around the whole place. Talking to the students I kept finding myself thinking, "Wow these kids are whip-smart." When Swats talks about the intensity of CLS, this is what I think of. The students I talked to were really outgoing and friendly, but very sharp, very on point. I left thinking, "these people will really push me to another level." By the end of it, I really wanted to be a part of that energy, that pulse, that push towards something more.


Other, smaller points of interest:
- Columbia super-friendly to my deferral request.
- NYU's class size was too big for me.In fact, I think Columbia's is just about as big as I would want to go.
- I didn't have the greatest experience dealing with NYU's admissions office. Granted, all schools act a lot differently when they're wooing you for your money vs. when they have your money, but I already felt like a number to them...again, probably goes back to my fear of their large class size.
- I like a balanced political scene, and I do feel like NYU's tips slightly more to one end than the other.
- Facilities - I liked CLS's more. While I hate that it is a modern building, it does come with modern convenience. There is a law-students only cafe right across from one of the study lounges, there are several different locations to study besides the library, lots of open, social space, etc.)
- Campus Layout - I love that everything at CLS is within blocks. I love the idea that when I'm stumbling home from a long night studying, bleary-eyed and exhausted, I only have a couple of blocks to go. It's a very contained environment, which I maybe wouldn't have wanted for undergrad, but I think that the practicality and convenience of it will be a huge plus come law school. (The only downside is I need a good gym close by...Lehrer, Swats, suggestions?)


Also, to answer the OP's q about the subway. I am certainly no pro...far from it, but I took the 1 train from Downtown to the campus in ~30 minutes. Very straight shot, not difficult at all. (And I am about as directionally challenged as they come.)

Ok, I'm tired and that's all I can say about the subject right now. Hopefully when I re-read this in the morning it will be coherent. Please excuse all spelling and grammar mistakes.  :)



::bows before superior trolling skills::

As for the gym, the Dodge fitness center isn't bad in my opinion.  It's inside the main campus--a pleasant walk from where I live.

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Re: Personal Reasons for Choosing NYU/CLS?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2007, 11:34:08 PM »
Alright kiddos, thanks for your patience on this one -

demingh, I've always liked you, but now, I think I love you.  :-*

If I'm faced with the CLS/NYU decision and I'm sitting on the fence, this post will likely push me over to the CLS camp. The IP opportunities are exciting, the reach is awesome, the living conditions are just as important (if not more so) to me, and I'm interested in clerkships. You hit all my major points.

Again,  :-*