Law School Discussion

Columbia vs. Boalt

Columbia vs. Boalt
« on: March 17, 2004, 10:29:48 PM »
I'm a Bay Area native, but went to an Ivy undergrad and worked in NYC for two years. Currently I'm working in China.

Both schools are ones that I could see myself going to and I love Berkeley and NYC. I think Boalt has an edge in quality of life (the weather!) and obviously cost (I'm still a California resident). And part of me wants to settle in the Bay Area.

However, I have an interest in international law, and I'm not sure if the Berkeley name will go as far as Columbia's outside of the U.S. Also, Columbia has a Center for Chinese legal studies and lots of study abroad programs. However, Boalt's lower cost might give me more flexibility to do more things by virtue of having less debt to pay back (and not be trapped by the Big Law track).

Any thoughts?

Re: Columbia vs. Boalt
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2004, 10:40:19 PM »
Cal Berkeley is a good choice for you b/c it is still a top school and if you end up in Cali, it will be the better of the two (although Columbia people can get back to Cali).

Below are some US News rankings of International Law programs.

As you can see Berkeley is number 10 while Columbia is number 2 (but this is just in Intl law) Berkely has high rankings in many practice areas that can be taken to International practice.

Sun and Quality of Life and Money for that matter will be better for you from Berkely given your residency status.

Good luck with decision.

Law Specialties:
International Law
(Ranked in 2002*)
1.  New York University 
2.  Columbia University (NY)
3.  Harvard University (MA)
4.  Georgetown University (DC)
5.  Yale University (CT)
6.  George Washington University (DC)
7.  American University (Washington College of Law) (DC)
8.  University of Michigan–Ann Arbor 
9.  University of Virginia 
10.  University of California–Berkeley 
11.  Stanford University (CA)
12.  University of Texas–Austin 
13.  Duke University (NC)
14.  University of Iowa 
15.  Cornell University (NY)
   Tulane University (LA)
   University of Chicago 
   University of Washington 
19.  DePaul University (IL)
20.  Fordham University (NY)
   University of Minnesota–Twin Cities 
   Washington University in St. Louis 
23.  Northwestern University (IL)
   University of California–Los Angeles 
   University of Notre Dame (IN)
   Vanderbilt University (TN)

Re: Columbia vs. Boalt
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2004, 10:44:21 PM »
Both Berkeley and Columbia are great schools, and both have great International Law programs, albeit Columbia's supposedly slightly better than Berkeley's.  However, I think its easier to get a job in Cali from Berkeley, even given Columbia's national status, and that seems like where you want to work.  Money is also a big factor so I would probably recommend Berkeley. :)