I have been accepted to NYU, Georgetown and Columbia and am tossing up between the three. Am I right in thinking that Columbia is generally seen as more prestigious in Australia? Any other insights informing your decisions between institutions?
Appreciate the help!
I would definitely go for Columbia if you have the money to fund it. It's Ivy League.
Ultimately it just depends on what you want to do with your career. If it's 'BigLaw', then Columbia/NYU/NW/Cornell/Penn/UChi/Duke are all up there. If you want to pursue a career in Human Rights, then NYU should be your top preference.
At the end of the day, I think an LL.M, even from a prestigious US law school, whilst helpful, is not going to be of significant value if you don't have adequate, quality work experience to complement it (prior to pursuing the LL.M).
I know of banking/finance/M&A lawyers who have moved to NYC firms from Allens and Freehills due to their experience and so for them an LL.M would have added nothing to their careers. On that other hand, I know a few Australian litigators who have gone down the LL.M route as litigation is quite jurisdiction-specific and much more difficult to move internationally. That's the reason I'm pursuing an LL.M (even though I've already passed the New York Bar exam and was admitted to the NY State Bar in 2019).
Also, once you've gotten your foot in the door to your dream job, then anecdotally I hear that no one will care which school you went to for your LL.M but rather it's which firm you worked for (eg "I was at Skadden for 2 yrs" or "I worked 16-hr days at Latham and boy oh boy did I love it.")
[Edited by MelbourneAttorney on Mar 09, 2020]