Cambridge v Columbia


irishguy23

Ok, I thought I had this completely sorted in my head but it turns out that Cambridge is so much harder to turn down than I thought it would be. I want to make an informed choice. I do not want to practice in the US. I will be coming back to either Ireland or London to become a barrister (specialist litigator), specialising in corporate and commercial law. Now, I have an LLM in Commcercial Law from Irish Uni and did mostly commercial law subjects during my undergrad at same uni. Currently doing PhD and taking a break for a year to do LLM for 2 reasons: 1) I want an LLM from a superstar school. Has been in the plan for quite some time. Even though realistically it wont add a lot to what I have, its like a mark that always stays with you if you went to these places. It sets you apart and I want that; 2) I want to specialise in commercial and corporate subjects. Both Columbia and Cambridge have fantastic reputations for both.

I would say that these reasons are given 50:50 footing. I have been given conflicting advice by a lot of people and I just wanted to see what people think. I've been told that yes Columbia is fantastic, but that over here people are like so what? Just more confused than I thought I would be and would appreciate any comments, even funny ones :)

Ok, I thought I had this completely sorted in my head but it turns out that Cambridge is so much harder to turn down than I thought it would be. I want to make an informed choice. I do not want to practice in the US. I will be coming back to either Ireland or London to become a barrister (specialist litigator), specialising in corporate and commercial law. Now, I have an LLM in Commcercial Law from Irish Uni and did mostly commercial law subjects during my undergrad at same uni. Currently doing PhD and taking a break for a year to do LLM for 2 reasons: 1) I want an LLM from a superstar school. Has been in the plan for quite some time. Even though realistically it wont add a lot to what I have, its like a mark that always stays with you if you went to these places. It sets you apart and I want that; 2) I want to specialise in commercial and corporate subjects. Both Columbia and Cambridge have fantastic reputations for both.

I would say that these reasons are given 50:50 footing. I have been given conflicting advice by a lot of people and I just wanted to see what people think. I've been told that yes Columbia is fantastic, but that over here people are like so what? Just more confused than I thought I would be and would appreciate any comments, even funny ones :)
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It sounds like you're in a very strong position whichever way you want to jump! :->

If you already have an LLM (where from, by the way, is it Trinity?) my advice would be to go to Columbia.

Both Cambridge and Columbia are, as you say, superstar schools, but, if it won't cause you too much financial difficulty, Columbia would give you an extra edge, in the sense of the international opportunities that Columbia could give you.

Having two LLMs from a university in Ireland and England seems to my mind to be guilding the lily, but that is just a personal opinion!

It sounds like you're in a very strong position whichever way you want to jump! :->

If you already have an LLM (where from, by the way, is it Trinity?) my advice would be to go to Columbia.

Both Cambridge and Columbia are, as you say, superstar schools, but, if it won't cause you too much financial difficulty, Columbia would give you an extra edge, in the sense of the international opportunities that Columbia could give you.

Having two LLMs from a university in Ireland and England seems to my mind to be guilding the lily, but that is just a personal opinion!
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Salomon

Ok, I thought I had this completely sorted in my head but it turns out that Cambridge is so much harder to turn down than I thought it would be. I want to make an informed choice. I do not want to practice in the US. I will be coming back to either Ireland or London to become a barrister (specialist litigator), specialising in corporate and commercial law. Now, I have an LLM in Commcercial Law from Irish Uni and did mostly commercial law subjects during my undergrad at same uni. Currently doing PhD and taking a break for a year to do LLM for 2 reasons: 1) I want an LLM from a superstar school. Has been in the plan for quite some time. Even though realistically it wont add a lot to what I have, its like a mark that always stays with you if you went to these places. It sets you apart and I want that; 2) I want to specialise in commercial and corporate subjects. Both Columbia and Cambridge have fantastic reputations for both.

I would say that these reasons are given 50:50 footing. I have been given conflicting advice by a lot of people and I just wanted to see what people think. I've been told that yes Columbia is fantastic, but that over here people are like so what? Just more confused than I thought I would be and would appreciate any comments, even funny ones :)


Man, your last sentence is an invitation.... My advice is that doing an LL.M is also about having a fun year in a different environment, different country. I mean no offense but would a year in Cambridge, England be so different than the years you've spent in Ireland. It's like if I decide to turn down Columbia to do an LL.M in Belgium (I'm French - I love Belgium and Belgians, that is not the point). I don't think that spending a year in the UK would be so exciting, compared to a year in the US. This argument is even stronger considering that Columbia is in New York and that living there is really could and fun. I agree that Cambridge and Columbia are equally regarded and that, professionally and intellectually, it won't make that a difference. But if you want to really enjoy your year abroad, my advice is to choose Columbia.

On top of that, I will be at Columbia and I definitely need some training with that Zing stuff....

<blockquote>Ok, I thought I had this completely sorted in my head but it turns out that Cambridge is so much harder to turn down than I thought it would be. I want to make an informed choice. I do not want to practice in the US. I will be coming back to either Ireland or London to become a barrister (specialist litigator), specialising in corporate and commercial law. Now, I have an LLM in Commcercial Law from Irish Uni and did mostly commercial law subjects during my undergrad at same uni. Currently doing PhD and taking a break for a year to do LLM for 2 reasons: 1) I want an LLM from a superstar school. Has been in the plan for quite some time. Even though realistically it wont add a lot to what I have, its like a mark that always stays with you if you went to these places. It sets you apart and I want that; 2) I want to specialise in commercial and corporate subjects. Both Columbia and Cambridge have fantastic reputations for both.

I would say that these reasons are given 50:50 footing. I have been given conflicting advice by a lot of people and I just wanted to see what people think. I've been told that yes Columbia is fantastic, but that over here people are like so what? Just more confused than I thought I would be and would appreciate any comments, even funny ones :)</blockquote>

Man, your last sentence is an invitation.... My advice is that doing an LL.M is also about having a fun year in a different environment, different country. I mean no offense but would a year in Cambridge, England be so different than the years you've spent in Ireland. It's like if I decide to turn down Columbia to do an LL.M in Belgium (I'm French - I love Belgium and Belgians, that is not the point). I don't think that spending a year in the UK would be so exciting, compared to a year in the US. This argument is even stronger considering that Columbia is in New York and that living there is really could and fun. I agree that Cambridge and Columbia are equally regarded and that, professionally and intellectually, it won't make that a difference. But if you want to really enjoy your year abroad, my advice is to choose Columbia.

On top of that, I will be at Columbia and I definitely need some training with that Zing stuff....
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coco

If you are sure about becoming a barrister in the UK then without a doubt I would choose Oxford or Cambridge over Columbia. Just look at the rosters at all the commercial chambers. Go to the websites - every barrister went to Oxbridge. If you were going to work in the States then by all means Columbia is a good choice, but certainly not if you plan to go back to the UK. I'm completely sure of my answer - Cambridge it should be!

If you are sure about becoming a barrister in the UK then without a doubt I would choose Oxford or Cambridge over Columbia. Just look at the rosters at all the commercial chambers. Go to the websites - every barrister went to Oxbridge. If you were going to work in the States then by all means Columbia is a good choice, but certainly not if you plan to go back to the UK. I'm completely sure of my answer - Cambridge it should be!
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That's true Coco, but he already has an LLM, from an Irish university. I just think that (even for the Bar), it would be quite odd for him to have two LLMs from the UK and Ireland.

Lots of Barristers have international LLMs, and lots have LLMs from Columbia.

see Smita Shah at 2 Garden Court:

http://www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk/barristers/smita_shah.cfm

Lots of barristers also use their studies in the US to get qualifed at the NY Bar, perhaps out of snob value, but perhaps also to give them some transatlantic clout. See Jessica Mance at Essex Court:

http://www.essexcourt.net/

So I wouldn't say that every barrister went to Oxford and Cambridge!

That's true Coco, but he already has an LLM, from an Irish university. I just think that (even for the Bar), it would be quite odd for him to have two LLMs from the UK and Ireland.

Lots of Barristers have international LLMs, and lots have LLMs from Columbia.

see Smita Shah at 2 Garden Court:

http://www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk/barristers/smita_shah.cfm

Lots of barristers also use their studies in the US to get qualifed at the NY Bar, perhaps out of snob value, but perhaps also to give them some transatlantic clout. See Jessica Mance at Essex Court:

http://www.essexcourt.net/

So I wouldn't say that every barrister went to Oxford and Cambridge!
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coco

good points, I didn't know he already had an LLM. By the way, why would you need an LLM from the states to do the NY bar? All you need is a 3-year LLB from the UK to qualify to sit the exam.

good points, I didn't know he already had an LLM. By the way, why would you need an LLM from the states to do the NY bar? All you need is a 3-year LLB from the UK to qualify to sit the exam.
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ColumbiaJo...

Tough question. I'm completing a JD at Columbia and will be doing the LLM at Cambridge next year... I guess the people to be asking are those whose path you would like to follow. Do you need the US angle?

What corporate/commercial classes are you interested in? A tentative schedule of available courses at Columbia next year has been released. From a biased perspective, most agree that the Columbia LLM program is more rigorous and New York is a fun place to live for a limited time.

Tough question. I'm completing a JD at Columbia and will be doing the LLM at Cambridge next year... I guess the people to be asking are those whose path you would like to follow. Do you need the US angle?

What corporate/commercial classes are you interested in? A tentative schedule of available courses at Columbia next year has been released. From a biased perspective, most agree that the Columbia LLM program is more rigorous and New York is a fun place to live for a limited time.
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irishguy23

Thank you for responding to this thread. I have been talking to a lot of lecturers and barristers about this since I posted and I have managed to sort through the advice as follows:

1) If you want to work in the US, then no questions asked Columbia is the number one choice. I dont want to work in US.

2) If you want to become an academic; Go to Columbia to do LLM and come back to do PhD in Cambridge or Oxford. Columbia LLM is far more rigorous academically and much more rarified because there are so few people from Ireland or UK who get in. If I did LLM in Columbia I was told that I would sail into a research program in UK and it would look much better on resume for University jobs. Unfortunately, if I was being realistic about it I do not want to teach. It would be great for a year or two, but the novelty would wear off and i would get restless and bored doing the same thing over and over again. This is my second year teaching tutorials and I have found that this is the case.

3) Practice at the bar: Even though Cambridge would be far less rigorous than Columbia, it is goldust for practice in London or Dublin. People in the know i.e. academics know about Columbia's reputation, but everyone knows about Cambridge and you cant beat that. If my aim is to go into practice immediately in London or Dublin then there is no question, Cambridge is the option. I am going to talk to a few more people about this and will let people know the decision, but Cambridge seems to be edging ahead. Will have to find out what college accepted me. Thank ye again for all the replies, I really appreciate it.

Thank you for responding to this thread. I have been talking to a lot of lecturers and barristers about this since I posted and I have managed to sort through the advice as follows:

1) If you want to work in the US, then no questions asked Columbia is the number one choice. I dont want to work in US.

2) If you want to become an academic; Go to Columbia to do LLM and come back to do PhD in Cambridge or Oxford. Columbia LLM is far more rigorous academically and much more rarified because there are so few people from Ireland or UK who get in. If I did LLM in Columbia I was told that I would sail into a research program in UK and it would look much better on resume for University jobs. Unfortunately, if I was being realistic about it I do not want to teach. It would be great for a year or two, but the novelty would wear off and i would get restless and bored doing the same thing over and over again. This is my second year teaching tutorials and I have found that this is the case.

3) Practice at the bar: Even though Cambridge would be far less rigorous than Columbia, it is goldust for practice in London or Dublin. People in the know i.e. academics know about Columbia's reputation, but everyone knows about Cambridge and you cant beat that. If my aim is to go into practice immediately in London or Dublin then there is no question, Cambridge is the option. I am going to talk to a few more people about this and will let people know the decision, but Cambridge seems to be edging ahead. Will have to find out what college accepted me. Thank ye again for all the replies, I really appreciate it.
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ColumbiaJo...

What difference do the Cambridge colleges really make? Is there a prestige list? Should I be happy with my college or try to change?

What difference do the Cambridge colleges really make? Is there a prestige list? Should I be happy with my college or try to change?
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tortello

You seem quite sure, but I agree with studentbarista...you still have a UK LLM, even if it's not from Oxbridge.
Anyway consider the fact that if you want a really prestigious curriculum you could combine the LLM at Columbia with some practice (obviously part time) in a top american law firm.
That is what I'm going to do : Fordham + Skadden Arp Meagher Floam (already contacted and they answered ok).
Think about it...

You seem quite sure, but I agree with studentbarista...you still have a UK LLM, even if it's not from Oxbridge.
Anyway consider the fact that if you want a really prestigious curriculum you could combine the LLM at Columbia with some practice (obviously part time) in a top american law firm.
That is what I'm going to do : Fordham + Skadden Arp Meagher Floam (already contacted and they answered ok).
Think about it...
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sbwb

You seem quite sure, but I agree with studentbarista...you still have a UK LLM, even if it's not from Oxbridge.


Ireland is not in the UK.

<blockquote>You seem quite sure, but I agree with studentbarista...you still have a UK LLM, even if it's not from Oxbridge.</blockquote>

Ireland is not in the UK.
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tortello

Ireland is not in the UK.


Really? Clever...obviously I meant it does not make much difference England or Ireland!



Ireland is not in the UK.</blockquote>


Really? Clever...obviously I meant it does not make much difference England or Ireland!
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irishguy23

Ireland is not in the UK.

LOL, now there is a can of worms you definitely do not want to open ...

I can see the points some people made about LLM from Ireland already, but there really is a world of difference between Irish and UK LLM and would defintely not be viewed in Ire or UK as guilding the lily as someone earlier so eloquently put it.

Ireland is not in the UK.

LOL, now there is a can of worms you definitely do not want to open ...

I can see the points some people made about LLM from Ireland already, but there really is a world of difference between Irish and UK LLM and would defintely not be viewed in Ire or UK as guilding the lily as someone earlier so eloquently put it.
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irishguy23

I really appreciate all of the views expressed here by the way, they have been very helpful.

I really appreciate all of the views expressed here by the way, they have been very helpful.
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I did not mean that Ireland was in the UK or the same country (see my post - I make it quite clear 'UK and Ireland'), but I just pointed out that an LLM from Trinity Dublin or another Irish university will be very similar in terms of topics and teaching culture to Cambridge.

I did not mean that Ireland was in the UK or the same country (see my post - I make it quite clear 'UK and Ireland'), but I just pointed out that an LLM from Trinity Dublin or another Irish university will be very similar in terms of topics and teaching culture to Cambridge.
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aurora

Ok, Columbia's obsession with its mooting reputation aside (can you believe that argument still rages?), allow me to offer a few more observations as an Irish law student who has studied law on both sides of the Atlantic and looks forward to going to the Irish bar (please, no bad Irish jokes):

Don't underestimate the benefit of the US legal teaching method for someone coming from an Irish/UK background. It is perhaps an experience that has to be endured to be believed, but it will immeasurably raise the level of your scholarship. You might not be so worried about this, irishguy, but as you admit to already holding a masters' and doctorate from Irish universities but I have to wonder if we can believe that you don't enjoy academia?!

I encourage you to really focus on what you will be getting out of this masters's beyond (1) the course (as they both must be excellent, or you would not be finding the choice so hard) and (2) the name of the university (because you are already aware of the relative and confusing merits of Oxbridge v. the US in the Irish market).

Also, as other's have pointed out, you could really benefit from experience in a US firm. Let me add that this is an opportunity you might not get in Ireland or England unless you changed your mind and became a solicitor.

As for exposure to links with corporate lawyers that might help you when you do qualify... well, Cambridge and New York are both charming places to live, but there isn't much competition there!

I realise this sounds like a very pro-Columbia post. Let me assure everyone that I think Trinity and Oxbridge are excellent too, but I encourage everyone to broaden in the direction that applies to them.

aurora

P.S. Hmm, it seems I just made a decision myself!

Ok, Columbia's obsession with its mooting reputation aside (can you believe that argument still rages?), allow me to offer a few more observations as an Irish law student who has studied law on both sides of the Atlantic and looks forward to going to the Irish bar (please, no bad Irish jokes):

Don't underestimate the benefit of the US legal teaching method for someone coming from an Irish/UK background. It is perhaps an experience that has to be endured to be believed, but it will immeasurably raise the level of your scholarship. You might not be so worried about this, irishguy, but as you admit to already holding a masters' and doctorate from Irish universities but I have to wonder if we can believe that you don't enjoy academia?!

I encourage you to really focus on what you will be getting out of this masters's beyond (1) the course (as they both must be excellent, or you would not be finding the choice so hard) and (2) the name of the university (because you are already aware of the relative and confusing merits of Oxbridge v. the US in the Irish market).

Also, as other's have pointed out, you could really benefit from experience in a US firm. Let me add that this is an opportunity you might not get in Ireland or England unless you changed your mind and became a solicitor.

As for exposure to links with corporate lawyers that might help you when you do qualify... well, Cambridge and New York are both charming places to live, but there isn't much competition there!

I realise this sounds like a very pro-Columbia post. Let me assure everyone that I think Trinity and Oxbridge are excellent too, but I encourage everyone to broaden in the direction that applies to them.

aurora

P.S. Hmm, it seems I just made a decision myself!
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tortello

Columbia is the best choice..Medellin is a fantastic city..LOL

Columbia is the best choice..Medellin is a fantastic city..LOL
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