A curious choice


Chinaman

Well, I am posting here because I would like a second (perhaps third or fourth opinion). I do appreciate anyone taking time out to help me with this.
I am interested in Human Rights, and in all I applied to five odd schools which have strong human rights programs in the UK and US.
Now I have heard from Essex and Georgetown, both wonderful schools. I would like opinions on both programs from people who have experience in this specialization.
Essex is supposed to be good enough to compete with any school in Human Rights, whereas Georgetown has a greater reputation in general. Essex is much cheaper, and closer home for me. I know that no one can make this choice for me, but I would like opinions all the same.

Well, I am posting here because I would like a second (perhaps third or fourth opinion). I do appreciate anyone taking time out to help me with this.
I am interested in Human Rights, and in all I applied to five odd schools which have strong human rights programs in the UK and US.
Now I have heard from Essex and Georgetown, both wonderful schools. I would like opinions on both programs from people who have experience in this specialization.
Essex is supposed to be good enough to compete with any school in Human Rights, whereas Georgetown has a greater reputation in general. Essex is much cheaper, and closer home for me. I know that no one can make this choice for me, but I would like opinions all the same.
quote

You're on the right track, and your reasoning is sound.

Broadly speaking, I would say that Georgetown carries more weight (in rankings, reputation, etc.) versus other US law schools than Essex does compared to other schools in the UK. But the human rights program at Essex has a really good reputation.

What are the other three schools you are considering?

You're on the right track, and your reasoning is sound.

Broadly speaking, I would say that Georgetown carries more weight (in rankings, reputation, etc.) versus other US law schools than Essex does compared to other schools in the UK. But the human rights program at Essex has a really good reputation.

What are the other three schools you are considering?
quote
Chinaman

Well, the three other schools (which I am yet to hear from) are
1) UCL in the U.K
2) Columbia in the United States, which has an excenllent human rights program.
3) The BCL at Oxford.
One more thing that is really pushing me towards Essex is the alumni network. I mean I don't want to be in a situation where I am in debt after my LLM, and not able to get a job. Frankly, the only point where Georgetown scores over Essex is what can very crudely be termed the 'brand' of the school. But is that a big enough consideration to pay that much money? I think not.

Well, the three other schools (which I am yet to hear from) are
1) UCL in the U.K
2) Columbia in the United States, which has an excenllent human rights program.
3) The BCL at Oxford.
One more thing that is really pushing me towards Essex is the alumni network. I mean I don't want to be in a situation where I am in debt after my LLM, and not able to get a job. Frankly, the only point where Georgetown scores over Essex is what can very crudely be termed the 'brand' of the school. But is that a big enough consideration to pay that much money? I think not.
quote
orixa

Hi Chinaman,

I might put my two cents' worth in here. I currently work as an academic in international human rights law so should be able to give a reasonable perspective.

Essex has a solid reputation, granted, however that seems to be restricted more to the UK than outside it. Here in Australia, people in the know have heard about it but your average NGO worker certainly wouldn't have. Georgetown on the other hand is very well known.

You don't say where you are or where you hope to pursue career but I would urge you not to dismiss the 'brand' of the University - it counts for more than we'd all like it to and more than it should, but it counts.

I'd also advise you to consider what G'town offers over and above the brand. Most US schools are light years ahead of anywhere else in terms of their clinical offerings. In terms of human rights work, that will give you practical experience and arguably more importantly, the contacts you need to carve out a successful career in that field.

Another thing to think about is the scholarship coming out of the US law schools. It tends to be far more interdisciplinary in nature than the more doctrinal stuff coming out of the UK (or indeed here in Australia). Think 'law and economics', 'public health and human rights', 'business and human rights' etc. That makes for far richer scholarship and would give you a deep understanding not only of the law of human rights, but its interplay with other areas of law and policy.

You should also think about the fellowships that Georgetown is likely to offer (I'm assuming it does - most other US schools will) for graduating students to work in human rights. Due to their wealth, US schools are able to offer opportunities like this, whereas graduating from a UK institution, you're more likely to end up working for free in the beginning, as a volunteer or intern until you can find something paid. The opportunities the US schools can offer are not to be sniffed at.

I have to confess that I don't know a great deal about the content of Essex's program, but in terms of what Georgetown is likely to be able to offer you, I'd advise you to think long and hard before turning it down. Same goes for Columbia. If you're committed to a career in human rights, the opportunities you'll get at a US school will be better than in the UK, with the possible exception of Oxford, but that really is because of the brand.

Hope that's helpful.

Hi Chinaman,

I might put my two cents' worth in here. I currently work as an academic in international human rights law so should be able to give a reasonable perspective.

Essex has a solid reputation, granted, however that seems to be restricted more to the UK than outside it. Here in Australia, people in the know have heard about it but your average NGO worker certainly wouldn't have. Georgetown on the other hand is very well known.

You don't say where you are or where you hope to pursue career but I would urge you not to dismiss the 'brand' of the University - it counts for more than we'd all like it to and more than it should, but it counts.

I'd also advise you to consider what G'town offers over and above the brand. Most US schools are light years ahead of anywhere else in terms of their clinical offerings. In terms of human rights work, that will give you practical experience and arguably more importantly, the contacts you need to carve out a successful career in that field.

Another thing to think about is the scholarship coming out of the US law schools. It tends to be far more interdisciplinary in nature than the more doctrinal stuff coming out of the UK (or indeed here in Australia). Think 'law and economics', 'public health and human rights', 'business and human rights' etc. That makes for far richer scholarship and would give you a deep understanding not only of the law of human rights, but its interplay with other areas of law and policy.

You should also think about the fellowships that Georgetown is likely to offer (I'm assuming it does - most other US schools will) for graduating students to work in human rights. Due to their wealth, US schools are able to offer opportunities like this, whereas graduating from a UK institution, you're more likely to end up working for free in the beginning, as a volunteer or intern until you can find something paid. The opportunities the US schools can offer are not to be sniffed at.

I have to confess that I don't know a great deal about the content of Essex's program, but in terms of what Georgetown is likely to be able to offer you, I'd advise you to think long and hard before turning it down. Same goes for Columbia. If you're committed to a career in human rights, the opportunities you'll get at a US school will be better than in the UK, with the possible exception of Oxford, but that really is because of the brand.

Hope that's helpful.
quote
Chinaman

Dear Orixa,

Obtaining a perspective like yours is exactly why I posted on this forum. The advice I have been getting from friends and family has been a bit more simplistic, because none of them have built careers in this feild. Let me begin by saying that you have raised some very interesting points, and if I try to counter-agrue, it is only to better shape my decision, and not merely for the sake of offering a counter argumment.

I am from India, and I want to continue to litigate after my LLM, with a special focus on human rights. Right now my reasons for doing the LLM are really because I love the subject and for the specialized knowlege it provides. I am, however, not closed to the idea of working for a UN agency/ International NGO, though that is not my motivation at the moment.

Both Columbia and Georgetown have certain teachers that I want to study under and certain modules that fascinate me. Their clinic work is also seems interesting. To add to this is the fact that there are certain international agencies in the vicinity of these schools, and that also opens up doors.
As far as the interdisciplinary nature of the course is concerned, Essex also has modules like Human Rights and Development, Diplomcay and Human Rights, Approaches to Legal Theory, Culture Law and Policy, which have a lot of room for interdiciplinary work. The professors are believed to be extremely accessible and involve students in research.

But the gamechanger really will be if Gerogetown will offer financial aid to me. (I can't speak of Columbia at the moment, as their decisions will take awhile). The cost of living in D.C are prohibitive, and I am really daunted at the prospect of that kind of money, especially when litigation (especially in Human Rights) hardly pays much, and I come from a very regular income family.

But thank you for your reply, because you really have given me much to think about!

Dear Orixa,

Obtaining a perspective like yours is exactly why I posted on this forum. The advice I have been getting from friends and family has been a bit more simplistic, because none of them have built careers in this feild. Let me begin by saying that you have raised some very interesting points, and if I try to counter-agrue, it is only to better shape my decision, and not merely for the sake of offering a counter argumment.

I am from India, and I want to continue to litigate after my LLM, with a special focus on human rights. Right now my reasons for doing the LLM are really because I love the subject and for the specialized knowlege it provides. I am, however, not closed to the idea of working for a UN agency/ International NGO, though that is not my motivation at the moment.

Both Columbia and Georgetown have certain teachers that I want to study under and certain modules that fascinate me. Their clinic work is also seems interesting. To add to this is the fact that there are certain international agencies in the vicinity of these schools, and that also opens up doors.
As far as the interdisciplinary nature of the course is concerned, Essex also has modules like Human Rights and Development, Diplomcay and Human Rights, Approaches to Legal Theory, Culture Law and Policy, which have a lot of room for interdiciplinary work. The professors are believed to be extremely accessible and involve students in research.

But the gamechanger really will be if Gerogetown will offer financial aid to me. (I can't speak of Columbia at the moment, as their decisions will take awhile). The cost of living in D.C are prohibitive, and I am really daunted at the prospect of that kind of money, especially when litigation (especially in Human Rights) hardly pays much, and I come from a very regular income family.

But thank you for your reply, because you really have given me much to think about!
quote
cjbn

Can I ask which program you chose finally?

Can I ask which program you chose finally?
quote
cjbn

I am having the samen questions about essex, particularly the veracity of the "Essex Mafia" and the extreme networking it offers in the area on International Human RIghts.

I am having the samen questions about essex, particularly the veracity of the "Essex Mafia" and the extreme networking it offers in the area on International Human RIghts.
quote
Chinaman

I am having the samen questions about essex, particularly the veracity of the "Essex Mafia" and the extreme networking it offers in the area on International Human RIghts.


Hey, I am still in the process of making the choice. Waiting for an answer from one school, and I have seen some good programs in a few other schools in the US.
However, I spoke to two essex alumni regarding their experience, and I think its important to share it.

1) The first person described the course as extremely rigourous and very challenging, She said that there was no better place to study human rights. Also when I asked her about the job prospects, she told me that she was offered a job with an international organization. She had to decline for personal reasons
2) Another person I spoke to works for a UN agency right now. She told me that if I got essex, I must take it..

There are not that many other schools or programs where people who have attended, speak so overwhelmingly in favour of the nature and quality of the program.
So I don't think I will be going wrong with essex. Also, from what I have heard, the networking oppoortunities are true.
Hope this helps. (and let me know what you choose)

<blockquote>I am having the samen questions about essex, particularly the veracity of the "Essex Mafia" and the extreme networking it offers in the area on International Human RIghts. </blockquote>

Hey, I am still in the process of making the choice. Waiting for an answer from one school, and I have seen some good programs in a few other schools in the US.
However, I spoke to two essex alumni regarding their experience, and I think its important to share it.

1) The first person described the course as extremely rigourous and very challenging, She said that there was no better place to study human rights. Also when I asked her about the job prospects, she told me that she was offered a job with an international organization. She had to decline for personal reasons
2) Another person I spoke to works for a UN agency right now. She told me that if I got essex, I must take it..

There are not that many other schools or programs where people who have attended, speak so overwhelmingly in favour of the nature and quality of the program.
So I don't think I will be going wrong with essex. Also, from what I have heard, the networking oppoortunities are true.
Hope this helps. (and let me know what you choose)
quote

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