Cornell, Columbia or Cambridge


jusme
Hello all,
I just received offers from Columbia, Cornell and Cambridge and I am looking for opinions on which school would be the best for someone interested in international and comparative law.

I know the rankings but also have experience in my home country with these being notoriously unreliable as indicators of actual opinions. I am currently an associate at a law school and am looking at taking the course to establish myself as a law professor.

I am still waiting to hear from several other schools (Oxford, Yale and a few others), but am torn about the choice between the schools I already have offers from and have to pay deposits for this month. Any advice? opinions? Anyone in the same situation?
Hello all,
I just received offers from Columbia, Cornell and Cambridge and I am looking for opinions on which school would be the best for someone interested in international and comparative law.

I know the rankings but also have experience in my home country with these being notoriously unreliable as indicators of actual opinions. I am currently an associate at a law school and am looking at taking the course to establish myself as a law professor.

I am still waiting to hear from several other schools (Oxford, Yale and a few others), but am torn about the choice between the schools I already have offers from and have to pay deposits for this month. Any advice? opinions? Anyone in the same situation?
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V-2007
Have you applied to NYU which would be definately one of the first choices in international law?
Have you applied to NYU which would be definately one of the first choices in international law?

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bjorn
for intl law as well as for ranking there is no doubt that columbia is better than cornell. cambridge is of course excellent as well but it is not a U.S. law school.
for intl law as well as for ranking there is no doubt that columbia is better than cornell. cambridge is of course excellent as well but it is not a U.S. law school.
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dam
It depends on which country you are from, but I would say that from a purely academic perspective there is not so much difference between Columbia and Cambridge.
I applied only to American schools (was also admitted at Columbia) and now I regret I didn't give Oxford and Cambridge a try.
It depends on which country you are from, but I would say that from a purely academic perspective there is not so much difference between Columbia and Cambridge.
I applied only to American schools (was also admitted at Columbia) and now I regret I didn't give Oxford and Cambridge a try.
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fg
I went to Columbia and would recommend it over the UK schools or Cornell for one reason - location. Not only is NYC the coolest place to live ever you are a subway ride away from the United Nations and lots of other international organizations which the other schools aren't. While at Columbia I did an externship at the United Nations so I got to sit in on a lot of their sessions and it counted for credits! There are also a lot of other options like that such as NGOs etc.
Plus I think Cassese (sp?) - the judge from the ICC - is teaching at Columbia this year. Very cool!
All that being said, I am off to Cambridge or Oxford for my doctorate so think those places are great too!
I went to Columbia and would recommend it over the UK schools or Cornell for one reason - location. Not only is NYC the coolest place to live ever you are a subway ride away from the United Nations and lots of other international organizations which the other schools aren't. While at Columbia I did an externship at the United Nations so I got to sit in on a lot of their sessions and it counted for credits! There are also a lot of other options like that such as NGOs etc.
Plus I think Cassese (sp?) - the judge from the ICC - is teaching at Columbia this year. Very cool!
All that being said, I am off to Cambridge or Oxford for my doctorate so think those places are great too!
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jusme
Thanks all! A little more clarity is occuring. Life gets more complex however... I just got an offer from UCLA with money attached. I didn't apply to NYU because I don't like huge classes and really want to get to know people as well. Columbia is probably the biggest I would go! I really appreciate all your help (esp. from those who went to each of these schools) Is there anything you would note about your experiences and employment after graduation. Looking at rankings is one thing, but hearing about the school and experiences I think will help me make the best decision. Also, I would just like to wish good luck to all of you who are waiting to find out and are making decision too!
Thanks all! A little more clarity is occuring. Life gets more complex however... I just got an offer from UCLA with money attached. I didn't apply to NYU because I don't like huge classes and really want to get to know people as well. Columbia is probably the biggest I would go! I really appreciate all your help (esp. from those who went to each of these schools) Is there anything you would note about your experiences and employment after graduation. Looking at rankings is one thing, but hearing about the school and experiences I think will help me make the best decision. Also, I would just like to wish good luck to all of you who are waiting to find out and are making decision too!
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I applied only to one school (Cambridge) and fortunately was accepted. I too am interested in international law and academia.
While I agree with the obove posts that all the schools mentioned are terrific and thus no real downside exists if any is chosen over the others, I do think that the academic repuation of ox and cambridge is better than even those highly esteemed US schools you mention. Valid or not, there is a perception among academics that these english schools are of a higher quality.
Having said all that, we are talking about infintesimel differences here; and your career prospects would not likely be affected one way or the other if you chose columbia over cambridge, or cornell over oxford.
I should add that flygirl makes some very good points regarding potential employment at the UN, NGO's etc...
I applied only to one school (Cambridge) and fortunately was accepted. I too am interested in international law and academia.
While I agree with the obove posts that all the schools mentioned are terrific and thus no real downside exists if any is chosen over the others, I do think that the academic repuation of ox and cambridge is better than even those highly esteemed US schools you mention. Valid or not, there is a perception among academics that these english schools are of a higher quality.
Having said all that, we are talking about infintesimel differences here; and your career prospects would not likely be affected one way or the other if you chose columbia over cambridge, or cornell over oxford.
I should add that flygirl makes some very good points regarding potential employment at the UN, NGO's etc...
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fg
I am not sure I agree with E's D. that the academic reputation of the UK schools is better. Of course it depends who you are talking to but I have never got that impression from anywhere and not sure who E's D polled for her info about reputation. And of course It is highly subjective. America is very self-focused in terms of scholarship but for what it is worth the UK schools never even get a mention over here. Columbia has an outstanding faculty in international law who produce really interesting scholarship. Personally, I would look at what connections the law school offers in terms of work opportunities, internships, connections etc and go from there.
I am not sure I agree with E's D. that the academic reputation of the UK schools is better. Of course it depends who you are talking to but I have never got that impression from anywhere and not sure who E's D polled for her info about reputation. And of course It is highly subjective. America is very self-focused in terms of scholarship but for what it is worth the UK schools never even get a mention over here. Columbia has an outstanding faculty in international law who produce really interesting scholarship. Personally, I would look at what connections the law school offers in terms of work opportunities, internships, connections etc and go from there.
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Of the four faculty memebers I asked at my LLB school in Canada where I should do a masters, all said go the UK. Now, to be sure, these same people were all oxbridge grads, so that colours their advice; however, no more so than the fact that you've graduated from columbia colours yours, flygirl.
Of the four faculty memebers I asked at my LLB school in Canada where I should do a masters, all said go the UK. Now, to be sure, these same people were all oxbridge grads, so that colours their advice; however, no more so than the fact that you've graduated from columbia colours yours, flygirl.
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fg
To be fair, I don't think going to Columbia has colored my advice at all and where it has I have declared it. My previous posts have expressly said that I don't think the faculty at American schools are supportive of students and the UK is much better in that regard. My post wasn't meant to be a staunch push for Columbia (I don't feel a particularly strong loyalty to the institution at all) but I was confused by your bold statement that the UK universities have a better reputation in international law. I was confused as to where you got that information from and in what circles that reputation information was circulating. It is definitely not the case in the United States nor where I come from. To say broadly that academics think the UK university are better is misleading. Perhaps "academics in Canada" would have been better.
To be fair, I don't think going to Columbia has colored my advice at all and where it has I have declared it. My previous posts have expressly said that I don't think the faculty at American schools are supportive of students and the UK is much better in that regard. My post wasn't meant to be a staunch push for Columbia (I don't feel a particularly strong loyalty to the institution at all) but I was confused by your bold statement that the UK universities have a better reputation in international law. I was confused as to where you got that information from and in what circles that reputation information was circulating. It is definitely not the case in the United States nor where I come from. To say broadly that academics think the UK university are better is misleading. Perhaps "academics in Canada" would have been better.
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I thought that my post was sufficently equivocal to avoid being misleading; hence the reference to "infentesimel differences". The differences, if any, in the repuations of the aforementioned schools is marginal at best, and terribly subjective. This was the primary point of my post and one that I believe was communicated clearly.
And I do stick by it: I believe that, deserved or not, the reputation among academics (not businesses, remeber, but academics) is that oxbridge is more rigourous than the American schools mentioned above (with Yale being the big exception, as it is probably regarded as the place for aspiring academics, or at least as well regarded as oxbridge in this respect).
Mybe this isn't the case in the US-- a jurisdiction notoriously self-obsessed. But it is true throughout the rest of the Common Law world, and I'd wager on the Continent too.
I thought that my post was sufficently equivocal to avoid being misleading; hence the reference to "infentesimel differences". The differences, if any, in the repuations of the aforementioned schools is marginal at best, and terribly subjective. This was the primary point of my post and one that I believe was communicated clearly.
And I do stick by it: I believe that, deserved or not, the reputation among academics (not businesses, remeber, but academics) is that oxbridge is more rigourous than the American schools mentioned above (with Yale being the big exception, as it is probably regarded as the place for aspiring academics, or at least as well regarded as oxbridge in this respect).
Mybe this isn't the case in the US-- a jurisdiction notoriously self-obsessed. But it is true throughout the rest of the Common Law world, and I'd wager on the Continent too.
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fg
Yes, yes. I acknowledged in my post that America is self-focused. That is definitely true. I actually think that the UK schools' BCL/LLM courses are better simply because they are graduate schools whereas in the US you are put in with the JDs.
I just don't think they their reputation is better in international law (especially given the original poster wants to focus on international law) and perhaps that is where there is some confusion.
We should give this up. It is getting petty.
Yes, yes. I acknowledged in my post that America is self-focused. That is definitely true. I actually think that the UK schools' BCL/LLM courses are better simply because they are graduate schools whereas in the US you are put in with the JDs.
I just don't think they their reputation is better in international law (especially given the original poster wants to focus on international law) and perhaps that is where there is some confusion.
We should give this up. It is getting petty.
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And that is a good point I had intended to metion and forgot: the graduate nature of the programmes is a big plus for oxbridge. it's interesting, I had two professors at my law school (both harvard llm grads) who told me flat out that harvard was a poor eductaional experience and very overrated (except in respect of networking and the prestige that may be advantageus in securing interviews at big New York firms). But in academic circles, it is regarded at least according to these harvard llm grads, as being little more than another year of law school, with very limited access to professors, no feedback, and learnig based largely on jd style exam barf contests. They encouraged me to avoid it, if academia is my intertest.
I'm sure others will disagree, but this was the advice I was given. I'm not endorsing it; just repeating it, since that is, after all, the point of this board...
And that is a good point I had intended to metion and forgot: the graduate nature of the programmes is a big plus for oxbridge. it's interesting, I had two professors at my law school (both harvard llm grads) who told me flat out that harvard was a poor eductaional experience and very overrated (except in respect of networking and the prestige that may be advantageus in securing interviews at big New York firms). But in academic circles, it is regarded at least according to these harvard llm grads, as being little more than another year of law school, with very limited access to professors, no feedback, and learnig based largely on jd style exam barf contests. They encouraged me to avoid it, if academia is my intertest.
I'm sure others will disagree, but this was the advice I was given. I'm not endorsing it; just repeating it, since that is, after all, the point of this board...
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I am in same position -- I have Cornell and Cambridge but think it will be Cornell becase they giving me funding. Your thoughts are helping me. Thank you!!!!
It sounds like Equtys Darling's professors are helping and he has strong pull of them but U.S.A. has great reptuation in my country. Second to none!
Good luck to all out there!!!!!!
: ) ) )
I am in same position -- I have Cornell and Cambridge but think it will be Cornell becase they giving me funding. Your thoughts are helping me. Thank you!!!!
It sounds like Equtys Darling's professors are helping and he has strong pull of them but U.S.A. has great reptuation in my country. Second to none!
Good luck to all out there!!!!!!
: ) ) )
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Aurelius
Yes very clever! My grocer (he has two (2!) people working for him! halleluja!) would do the same.
Yes very clever! My grocer (he has two (2!) people working for him! halleluja!) would do the same.
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Danny Boy
Hi people!

Equity and fly girl emphasise on academia. What about someone like me who is looking at a career in practise? What schools offer the best package in terms of legal scholarship, networking etc. Specific reference to International Business Law
Hi people!

Equity and fly girl emphasise on academia. What about someone like me who is looking at a career in practise? What schools offer the best package in terms of legal scholarship, networking etc. Specific reference to International Business Law
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MissKatie
I am not sure about for business but I would presume a New York school would be better since it is a financial center.

On another note, I am really hanging out for the Columbia Associateship as I heard from my Canadian friends that it is a sure gateway into academia. The Cambridge LLM is a bit of a cash cow from my understanding with lots of people being admitted and very little supervision.
I am not sure about for business but I would presume a New York school would be better since it is a financial center.

On another note, I am really hanging out for the Columbia Associateship as I heard from my Canadian friends that it is a sure gateway into academia. The Cambridge LLM is a bit of a cash cow from my understanding with lots of people being admitted and very little supervision.
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jusme
Thanks for all the help everybody. I am increasingly going for a US school based on everyones advice and thinking of leaving the UK to doctoral study (if I chose to do it)! Does anyone who went to the other US schools have an opinion on them (e.g. UCLA and Cornell)? What was Columbia actually like to live, study etc? Is the class friendly or very competitive? Your advice has been invaluable though, so again thanks. Good luck to those still waiting to hear- I wish you all the best!
Thanks for all the help everybody. I am increasingly going for a US school based on everyones advice and thinking of leaving the UK to doctoral study (if I chose to do it)! Does anyone who went to the other US schools have an opinion on them (e.g. UCLA and Cornell)? What was Columbia actually like to live, study etc? Is the class friendly or very competitive? Your advice has been invaluable though, so again thanks. Good luck to those still waiting to hear- I wish you all the best!
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fg
That is exactly what I am doing - I did my LLM at Columbia and am going on to Cambridge or Oxford for my doctorate since the doctoral programs are almost non-existent at the US schools.
I really loved living on campus at Columbia. It is far enough from the center of Manhattan to have lots of green space but only about a 30 min subway right into Greenwich Village, Soho etc. It is only ten blocks from Central Park and right on Riverside Park is close to lots of jazz clubs, good restaurants etc. It is gated so it feels like a proper campus with very grand buildings. I really liked the accommodation too - old buildings with lots of character and subsidized so you aren't paying market rental. My place had a view of Central Park and the Empire State even.
Because everyone works hard at Columbia (like at any top US law school), I had to also work pretty hard to get good grades so from that perspective it was competitive but I didn't sense any aggression from my classmates and there was a lot of collaborative learning. I found the LLM class very friendly since most people are foreign and keen to meet people. There are lots of activities organized (almost too many!) so you have lots of opportunities to make friends. I guess that is the case with any LLM program though.
I don't know anything about UCLA or Cornell. I have heard University of Texas is good, as is Berkeley and Michigan.
Hope that helps.
That is exactly what I am doing - I did my LLM at Columbia and am going on to Cambridge or Oxford for my doctorate since the doctoral programs are almost non-existent at the US schools.
I really loved living on campus at Columbia. It is far enough from the center of Manhattan to have lots of green space but only about a 30 min subway right into Greenwich Village, Soho etc. It is only ten blocks from Central Park and right on Riverside Park is close to lots of jazz clubs, good restaurants etc. It is gated so it feels like a proper campus with very grand buildings. I really liked the accommodation too - old buildings with lots of character and subsidized so you aren't paying market rental. My place had a view of Central Park and the Empire State even.
Because everyone works hard at Columbia (like at any top US law school), I had to also work pretty hard to get good grades so from that perspective it was competitive but I didn't sense any aggression from my classmates and there was a lot of collaborative learning. I found the LLM class very friendly since most people are foreign and keen to meet people. There are lots of activities organized (almost too many!) so you have lots of opportunities to make friends. I guess that is the case with any LLM program though.
I don't know anything about UCLA or Cornell. I have heard University of Texas is good, as is Berkeley and Michigan.
Hope that helps.
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Dear all;

Warning: The content of the message herein below may offend some of the viewers. However it provides an additional point of view to those trying to compare 3 of the most reputable law schools in the English speeking world (if not the world as a whole).

During a private converstation with an american friend about Ivy League law cchools and UK law Schools he mentioned the fact that people were brain storming in Oxford and Cambridge way before the founding fathers moved to the new continent. Futhermore, law has been thaught in Cambridge for almost 800 years, in the mean time Americans were still dealing with the Indians and the conquest of the West. One should also consider the fact that Cambridge by its own, has provided more Nobel Prize winners than any country in the world with the exception of the U.K. (quite normal) and the USA.
Oh one more thing, don't forget that Harvard has been founded by scholars from Cambridge.

After this short historic brief, my humble opignion is that reputation wise Cambridge must be way above Columbia and Cornell. However we all know that reputation is also built-up by PR and advertisement (and no one can beat the US schools on that).
Dear all;

Warning: The content of the message herein below may offend some of the viewers. However it provides an additional point of view to those trying to compare 3 of the most reputable law schools in the English speeking world (if not the world as a whole).

During a private converstation with an american friend about Ivy League law cchools and UK law Schools he mentioned the fact that people were brain storming in Oxford and Cambridge way before the founding fathers moved to the new continent. Futhermore, law has been thaught in Cambridge for almost 800 years, in the mean time Americans were still dealing with the Indians and the conquest of the West. One should also consider the fact that Cambridge by its own, has provided more Nobel Prize winners than any country in the world with the exception of the U.K. (quite normal) and the USA.
Oh one more thing, don't forget that Harvard has been founded by scholars from Cambridge.

After this short historic brief, my humble opignion is that reputation wise Cambridge must be way above Columbia and Cornell. However we all know that reputation is also built-up by PR and advertisement (and no one can beat the US schools on that).
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