Help! Penn vs Chicago


dmannell

Hey guys,

I want to specialize in corporate/securities laws and I have been accepted to Penn and Chicago LLM class. what are your suggestions between Chicago and Penn?

I am inclined to choose UPENN but I would appreciate your opinions as to which is probably the best choice between Penn vs Chicago. Simply put, why would I choose UPENN over chicago!

Thanks!

Hey guys,

I want to specialize in corporate/securities laws and I have been accepted to Penn and Chicago LLM class. what are your suggestions between Chicago and Penn?

I am inclined to choose UPENN but I would appreciate your opinions as to which is probably the best choice between Penn vs Chicago. Simply put, why would I choose UPENN over chicago!

Thanks!
quote
dam

Went to Columbia.
Both great schools, and a tough choice indeed, but faced with your choice I would have gone for Chicago.

Went to Columbia.
Both great schools, and a tough choice indeed, but faced with your choice I would have gone for Chicago.
quote
Wizard

i was in the same situation and choose penn...

i was in the same situation and choose penn...
quote
dmannell

Hey Wizard and Dam,

could you please share with me the strongest arguments which made you choose Penn over Chicago and vice-versa?

What employment prospects in the US: Penn vs Chicago?

Hey Wizard and Dam,

could you please share with me the strongest arguments which made you choose Penn over Chicago and vice-versa?

What employment prospects in the US: Penn vs Chicago?

quote
dmannell

Dam,
I have been rejected by Columbia. However, I really want to go and I will re-apply for next year. I need a significant chance in my application for Columbia to seriously consider as an LLM candidate.

If I still dont get in at Columbia, I would appreicate if you could give 1 or 2 strong reasons why I should go to Chicago over Penn!

Thank you very much!

Dam,
I have been rejected by Columbia. However, I really want to go and I will re-apply for next year. I need a significant chance in my application for Columbia to seriously consider as an LLM candidate.

If I still dont get in at Columbia, I would appreicate if you could give 1 or 2 strong reasons why I should go to Chicago over Penn!

Thank you very much!
quote
dmannell

Wizard,

How was your experience at Penn Law LLM?

Wizard,

How was your experience at Penn Law LLM?
quote
dam

dmannell,

we may very well come from different countries, thus my reasoning may not apply to your legal market. As for landing a job in the US, my priority in doing an LLM was not to stay in the US (pretty much all the people from my country were able to secure 1-2 year positions in the US after Columbia, provided they were experienced attorneys, but I realized that prospect was scarcely realistic in my case, having, at that time, no work experience in private practice and adding to that the economic crisis).
In terms of 'brand recognition' I would say that Chicago fares better than Penn where I come from (it may very well be different in your country, of course): that was a strong reason for me, since I wanted my LLM to be the key opening the doors to biglaw in my contry (as it turned out to be with CLS).
Plus, before applying I was in academia and, based on my personal judgement, Chicago appeared to be a more vibrant and stimulating school from a purely intellectual point of view.
Finally, I don't have any data to confirm this, but I came to believe that the admission rate at Chicago was lower than Penn's, and that employers knew that.
However, that was just a feeling unsupported by hard numbers.

Anyway, let me restate that Both Chicago and Penn are great places to study (don't forget the Ivy brand: if you are talking about the US it does matter, at least to a degree).

dmannell,

we may very well come from different countries, thus my reasoning may not apply to your legal market. As for landing a job in the US, my priority in doing an LLM was not to stay in the US (pretty much all the people from my country were able to secure 1-2 year positions in the US after Columbia, provided they were experienced attorneys, but I realized that prospect was scarcely realistic in my case, having, at that time, no work experience in private practice and adding to that the economic crisis).
In terms of 'brand recognition' I would say that Chicago fares better than Penn where I come from (it may very well be different in your country, of course): that was a strong reason for me, since I wanted my LLM to be the key opening the doors to biglaw in my contry (as it turned out to be with CLS).
Plus, before applying I was in academia and, based on my personal judgement, Chicago appeared to be a more vibrant and stimulating school from a purely intellectual point of view.
Finally, I don't have any data to confirm this, but I came to believe that the admission rate at Chicago was lower than Penn's, and that employers knew that.
However, that was just a feeling unsupported by hard numbers.

Anyway, let me restate that Both Chicago and Penn are great places to study (don't forget the Ivy brand: if you are talking about the US it does matter, at least to a degree).

quote
dmannell

Hello Dam,

I am very pleased with the email you sent me. You seem to be a very humble person compared with many other threads (persons I have come across) I have read thus far. I will keep in mind all your insightful comments about the UofChicago and PENN LLMs. I am from Canada (Montreal) and both schools are well recognized but, as you mentioned, it seems a non-written rule that Chicago enjoys a greater reputation than UPENN and as for employment opportunities again it seems Chicago has an edge over UPENN.

I will apply to HLS, CLS, SLS, NYU and Chicago and I will then make up my mind when I will have the answers with me. I do not get in into one of those Law Schools above, I will definitely head to UPENN!!!

If I may ask, where are you from? It might help in my decision-making process in being a foreing-trained lawyer just like you!!

Time and again, I thank you for your comments and I welcome you, whenever it suits you, to perhaps give me additional information as to which LLM to choose amongst all of the above, provided I get accepted.

My dream has always been Harvard or Columbia!!!

Thanks!

Hello Dam,

I am very pleased with the email you sent me. You seem to be a very humble person compared with many other threads (persons I have come across) I have read thus far. I will keep in mind all your insightful comments about the UofChicago and PENN LLMs. I am from Canada (Montreal) and both schools are well recognized but, as you mentioned, it seems a non-written rule that Chicago enjoys a greater reputation than UPENN and as for employment opportunities again it seems Chicago has an edge over UPENN.

I will apply to HLS, CLS, SLS, NYU and Chicago and I will then make up my mind when I will have the answers with me. I do not get in into one of those Law Schools above, I will definitely head to UPENN!!!

If I may ask, where are you from? It might help in my decision-making process in being a foreing-trained lawyer just like you!!

Time and again, I thank you for your comments and I welcome you, whenever it suits you, to perhaps give me additional information as to which LLM to choose amongst all of the above, provided I get accepted.

My dream has always been Harvard or Columbia!!!

Thanks!
quote
dam

Hallo, dmannell

unfortunately I'm not from Canada, so my perception of the job market might not perfectly overlap with your situation.
I'm from Italy.
Anyway, thinking about informal rankings it occurred to me that one of the factors that convinced me that there might actually be some advantages in choosing Chicago over Penn was the US Supreme Court Clerk ranking by Leiter:

http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2000_08_scotus_clerks.shtml

As I wrote you, as I came from an academic environment this kind of rankings had significant weight in my own choices.
see also:

http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2009job_teaching.shtml

As for jobs in biglaw (and although I realized that foreign markets may be different from the US market) I guess the data from rakings like this:

http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2008job_biglaw.shtml

are actually worth considering.

In all, they seem to give a measurable edge to Chicago over Penn, both in terms of academic jobs and in terms of the interest shown by deep-pocket employers.

Again, local markets may differ (Italy disproportionately likes Berkeley; France seems to love Cornell etc.), but it seemed to me that those data were somehow reflected in the way the Italian legal market treated graduates from Penn and Chicago (again: Penn graduates are treated very well indeed).

Good luck with your applications next fall!

Hallo, dmannell

unfortunately I'm not from Canada, so my perception of the job market might not perfectly overlap with your situation.
I'm from Italy.
Anyway, thinking about informal rankings it occurred to me that one of the factors that convinced me that there might actually be some advantages in choosing Chicago over Penn was the US Supreme Court Clerk ranking by Leiter:

http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2000_08_scotus_clerks.shtml

As I wrote you, as I came from an academic environment this kind of rankings had significant weight in my own choices.
see also:

http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2009job_teaching.shtml

As for jobs in biglaw (and although I realized that foreign markets may be different from the US market) I guess the data from rakings like this:

http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2008job_biglaw.shtml

are actually worth considering.

In all, they seem to give a measurable edge to Chicago over Penn, both in terms of academic jobs and in terms of the interest shown by deep-pocket employers.

Again, local markets may differ (Italy disproportionately likes Berkeley; France seems to love Cornell etc.), but it seemed to me that those data were somehow reflected in the way the Italian legal market treated graduates from Penn and Chicago (again: Penn graduates are treated very well indeed).

Good luck with your applications next fall!
quote
trout_face

I had offers from both Penn and Chicago - and I chose Penn. The reasons were:

(1) Penn seems to have a better reputation in my country (at least among legal academics). I'm from the UK.

(2) I am interested in criminal law. Penn is extremely good in this area, and every criminal law scholar I spoke to said to go to Penn.

(3) Penn also has better professors in other areas that interest me - e.g. law and religion. Chicago seems too preoccupied with law and economics/corporate stuff for my liking. Then again, I think you said you were looking to study that kind of thing so that wouldn't bother you.

(4) I am told that the law school at Chicago is located in quite a bad area. Although the actual city of Chicago may be better than philly, I realised that much of my time would be spent in and around the campus. Penn has one of the nicest campuses in America (about 250 acres self-contained, green, etc. and it's virtually in the middle of the city).

Obviously both schools are great and especially so in your area of interest. So I really wouldn't get caught up with "prestige" etc. There's nothing in it in that respect. Good luck with your decision!

I had offers from both Penn and Chicago - and I chose Penn. The reasons were:

(1) Penn seems to have a better reputation in my country (at least among legal academics). I'm from the UK.

(2) I am interested in criminal law. Penn is extremely good in this area, and every criminal law scholar I spoke to said to go to Penn.

(3) Penn also has better professors in other areas that interest me - e.g. law and religion. Chicago seems too preoccupied with law and economics/corporate stuff for my liking. Then again, I think you said you were looking to study that kind of thing so that wouldn't bother you.

(4) I am told that the law school at Chicago is located in quite a bad area. Although the actual city of Chicago may be better than philly, I realised that much of my time would be spent in and around the campus. Penn has one of the nicest campuses in America (about 250 acres self-contained, green, etc. and it's virtually in the middle of the city).

Obviously both schools are great and especially so in your area of interest. So I really wouldn't get caught up with "prestige" etc. There's nothing in it in that respect. Good luck with your decision!
quote
dmannell

Hello trout_face,

I really appreciate your comments. It is a hard decision to take between UPENN and Chicago but, in the overall scheme of things, I think that UPENN has an edge for corporate laws and banking laws over Chicago. I still have some time to make up my mind, but everything you have said in your email-I agree.

However, I think that in terms of employment prospects data Chicago has an edge (Brian Leither's ranking), but again UPENN is an Ivy League and has a great US and international reputation.

We can't go wrong with either or.

Thanks!

Hello trout_face,

I really appreciate your comments. It is a hard decision to take between UPENN and Chicago but, in the overall scheme of things, I think that UPENN has an edge for corporate laws and banking laws over Chicago. I still have some time to make up my mind, but everything you have said in your email-I agree.

However, I think that in terms of employment prospects data Chicago has an edge (Brian Leither's ranking), but again UPENN is an Ivy League and has a great US and international reputation.

We can't go wrong with either or.

Thanks!
quote
dmannell

Hello dam,

Your comments are extremely relevant and I will make further research in order to have a clear picture as to my personal decision.

I think both Chicago and UPENN have a great reputation and programs for our respective legal fields. However, as you pointed out, it seems that Chicago has indeed an edge over UPENN for reasons which I still dont fully understand.

In any event, I have deferred UPENN for a year and I will apply to Columbia, Harvard, Stanford and NYU. If In get in into of of those 4 universities I will definitely go. If not, UPENN will be my choice.

What do you think?

Thank you!

Hello dam,

Your comments are extremely relevant and I will make further research in order to have a clear picture as to my personal decision.

I think both Chicago and UPENN have a great reputation and programs for our respective legal fields. However, as you pointed out, it seems that Chicago has indeed an edge over UPENN for reasons which I still dont fully understand.

In any event, I have deferred UPENN for a year and I will apply to Columbia, Harvard, Stanford and NYU. If In get in into of of those 4 universities I will definitely go. If not, UPENN will be my choice.

What do you think?

Thank you!
quote
dam

I totally agree. If you don't face excessive pressures to hasten things, take your time and apply to the schools you like most.
I was not so young as compared to my classmates at CLS, but that did not have any negative effect on my job offers. One year more doesn't change anything. Going to a better school might change a lot.

I totally agree. If you don't face excessive pressures to hasten things, take your time and apply to the schools you like most.
I was not so young as compared to my classmates at CLS, but that did not have any negative effect on my job offers. One year more doesn't change anything. Going to a better school might change a lot.
quote

I don't understand this thread. I've never heard anyone characterize Penn law as being better than Chicago before. For me, this would be a simple choice. Chicago is typically regarded as being in the same tier as Columbia & NYU. Penn is grouped with Michigan, Virginia & Berkeley. Chicago's faculty is far better. Chicago's reputation scores are consistently higher. Its placement into top firms, academia and clerkships is better. And Chicago's harder to get into.

Many of you seem to suggest that Penn has a better reputation than UofC, which I find confusing. Don't get me wrong: Penn is an amazing law school and, if you're interested in taking some classes at the business school, Wharton would be a major draw. And if there are particular faculty at Penn you'd like to work with, then Penn might make sense. But otherwise Chicago is the way to go.

Last, but not least, no one cares about the Ivy League in the world of law. In fact, many of the most prestigious law schools are not Ivies. e.g. Stanford, NYU, Berkeley, Michigan, Chicago, Northwestern...

I don't understand this thread. I've never heard anyone characterize Penn law as being better than Chicago before. For me, this would be a simple choice. Chicago is typically regarded as being in the same tier as Columbia & NYU. Penn is grouped with Michigan, Virginia & Berkeley. Chicago's faculty is far better. Chicago's reputation scores are consistently higher. Its placement into top firms, academia and clerkships is better. And Chicago's harder to get into.

Many of you seem to suggest that Penn has a better reputation than UofC, which I find confusing. Don't get me wrong: Penn is an amazing law school and, if you're interested in taking some classes at the business school, Wharton would be a major draw. And if there are particular faculty at Penn you'd like to work with, then Penn might make sense. But otherwise Chicago is the way to go.

Last, but not least, no one cares about the Ivy League in the world of law. In fact, many of the most prestigious law schools are not Ivies. e.g. Stanford, NYU, Berkeley, Michigan, Chicago, Northwestern...
quote
dmannell

hello randomfella,

What you are saying appears to be my understaning as well that Chicago has an edge over Penn, without any doubt!!!!

As for placement into top firms, acaedmia and clerkship Chicago is far ahead Penn. I totally agree!

I read many threads, however, that characterize Penn with Wharton Certificate to be almost as good as NYU and Chicago, not Columbia though. Columbia belongs with Harvard and Stanford I so believe. That is why I will wait one year and apply to all of those schools.

Chicago seems to be a great choice, but If I can get into a TOP 5 I will go for that for sure; if not it seems that Chicago will open more doors for me than Penn.

Thanks for your comments!

hello randomfella,

What you are saying appears to be my understaning as well that Chicago has an edge over Penn, without any doubt!!!!

As for placement into top firms, acaedmia and clerkship Chicago is far ahead Penn. I totally agree!

I read many threads, however, that characterize Penn with Wharton Certificate to be almost as good as NYU and Chicago, not Columbia though. Columbia belongs with Harvard and Stanford I so believe. That is why I will wait one year and apply to all of those schools.

Chicago seems to be a great choice, but If I can get into a TOP 5 I will go for that for sure; if not it seems that Chicago will open more doors for me than Penn.

Thanks for your comments!
quote
dmannell

Hey Dam,

I have applied to Columbia and got rejected. do you think a year of working experience in a top Canadian law firm might tip the balance in my favour?

Thanks!

Hey Dam,

I have applied to Columbia and got rejected. do you think a year of working experience in a top Canadian law firm might tip the balance in my favour?

Thanks!
quote
MAB79

I don't understand this thread. I've never heard anyone characterize Penn law as being better than Chicago before. For me, this would be a simple choice. Chicago is typically regarded as being in the same tier as Columbia & NYU. Penn is grouped with Michigan, Virginia & Berkeley. Chicago's faculty is far better. Chicago's reputation scores are consistently higher. Its placement into top firms, academia and clerkships is better. And Chicago's harder to get into.

Many of you seem to suggest that Penn has a better reputation than UofC, which I find confusing. Don't get me wrong: Penn is an amazing law school and, if you're interested in taking some classes at the business school, Wharton would be a major draw. And if there are particular faculty at Penn you'd like to work with, then Penn might make sense. But otherwise Chicago is the way to go.

Last, but not least, no one cares about the Ivy League in the world of law. In fact, many of the most prestigious law schools are not Ivies. e.g. Stanford, NYU, Berkeley, Michigan, Chicago, Northwestern...


UPenn ranks almost equal with Chicago and Berkeley...so, they are in the same tier, while HLS, YLS, Stanford and CLS are top 5, the others - incl. UPenn - are top 10.

UPenn has a great tradition as well as Chicago has. That's why it is not quite clear which school to chose. As a matter of fact there are many details that might turn in favor of one of them depending on the respective applicant. So, for me Chicago is the nicer place, while another applicant likes Philly etc. But still, both schools are in the same tier and have about the same reputation.

With respect to Ivy League: Of course this is a factor that can be considered. And your argument is funny, because there are only 5 Ivy League Law Schools and guess what: YLS, HLS and CLS are ranked 1st, 2nd and 4th...UPenn is ranked 8th and Cornell is ranked 13th...This means that 3 of 5 Ivy League Law Schools are in the top 5, 4 are in the top ten and all 5 are in the top 15....even if you take other rankings, it looks the same or even more in favor of Ivy League...

But I agree that both are great schools! And I think that you can't go wrong picking one of them...

<blockquote>I don't understand this thread. I've never heard anyone characterize Penn law as being better than Chicago before. For me, this would be a simple choice. Chicago is typically regarded as being in the same tier as Columbia & NYU. Penn is grouped with Michigan, Virginia & Berkeley. Chicago's faculty is far better. Chicago's reputation scores are consistently higher. Its placement into top firms, academia and clerkships is better. And Chicago's harder to get into.

Many of you seem to suggest that Penn has a better reputation than UofC, which I find confusing. Don't get me wrong: Penn is an amazing law school and, if you're interested in taking some classes at the business school, Wharton would be a major draw. And if there are particular faculty at Penn you'd like to work with, then Penn might make sense. But otherwise Chicago is the way to go.

Last, but not least, no one cares about the Ivy League in the world of law. In fact, many of the most prestigious law schools are not Ivies. e.g. Stanford, NYU, Berkeley, Michigan, Chicago, Northwestern... </blockquote>

UPenn ranks almost equal with Chicago and Berkeley...so, they are in the same tier, while HLS, YLS, Stanford and CLS are top 5, the others - incl. UPenn - are top 10.

UPenn has a great tradition as well as Chicago has. That's why it is not quite clear which school to chose. As a matter of fact there are many details that might turn in favor of one of them depending on the respective applicant. So, for me Chicago is the nicer place, while another applicant likes Philly etc. But still, both schools are in the same tier and have about the same reputation.

With respect to Ivy League: Of course this is a factor that can be considered. And your argument is funny, because there are only 5 Ivy League Law Schools and guess what: YLS, HLS and CLS are ranked 1st, 2nd and 4th...UPenn is ranked 8th and Cornell is ranked 13th...This means that 3 of 5 Ivy League Law Schools are in the top 5, 4 are in the top ten and all 5 are in the top 15....even if you take other rankings, it looks the same or even more in favor of Ivy League...

But I agree that both are great schools! And I think that you can't go wrong picking one of them...
quote
dmannell

Hey MAB79,

Couldnt agree more with you:) However, I still think Chicago has an edge over Penn for the reasons already given. However, for me, Philly is closer to home and is near New York so it is really tempting....Penn!

Hey MAB79,

Couldnt agree more with you:) However, I still think Chicago has an edge over Penn for the reasons already given. However, for me, Philly is closer to home and is near New York so it is really tempting....Penn!
quote

Hey dmannell,

It sounds like you're in great shape - congrats on being admitted to Chicago & Penn! I understand what you mean about Wharton - if you want to study finance, for example, it'd be great to take classes there.

If I may ask, why do you think Columbia belongs with Harvard & Stanford? I know for sure that Harvard, Stanford & Yale are widely regarded as being in their own league. Those schools' academic & clerkship placement (which are the most competitive law positions) blow everyone else out of the water.

I think you may be exaggerating the prestige of Columbia vis-a-vis NYU & Chicago. These schools are very comparable. Indeed, NYU is considered to have a stronger faculty than Columbia now, at least in some areas. The entering numbers (LSAT & GPA) for NYU & Columbia are virtually identical. Columbia has the stronger historical reputation, but JD applicants usually see NYU & Columbia as interchangeable. With respect to the LL.M. program, perhaps NYU is not quite as good due to its size (~450), which makes it less selective. But Chicago's program (50) is one of the most selective LL.M. degrees - you should be very pleased with your admission!

Of course, if you are particularly taken with the Columbia name, perhaps you can work for a year or two (I think CLS requires a minimum of 2 years' work experience for LL.M. applicants) and then reapply. If I were you, though, I'd take the Chicago offer and look forward to an amazing year next year! Congrats once more.

p.s. Montreal is one of my favorite cities! A great place.

Hey dmannell,

It sounds like you're in great shape - congrats on being admitted to Chicago & Penn! I understand what you mean about Wharton - if you want to study finance, for example, it'd be great to take classes there.

If I may ask, why do you think Columbia belongs with Harvard & Stanford? I know for sure that Harvard, Stanford & Yale are widely regarded as being in their own league. Those schools' academic & clerkship placement (which are the most competitive law positions) blow everyone else out of the water.

I think you may be exaggerating the prestige of Columbia vis-a-vis NYU & Chicago. These schools are very comparable. Indeed, NYU is considered to have a stronger faculty than Columbia now, at least in some areas. The entering numbers (LSAT & GPA) for NYU & Columbia are virtually identical. Columbia has the stronger historical reputation, but JD applicants usually see NYU & Columbia as interchangeable. With respect to the LL.M. program, perhaps NYU is not quite as good due to its size (~450), which makes it less selective. But Chicago's program (50) is one of the most selective LL.M. degrees - you should be very pleased with your admission!

Of course, if you are particularly taken with the Columbia name, perhaps you can work for a year or two (I think CLS requires a minimum of 2 years' work experience for LL.M. applicants) and then reapply. If I were you, though, I'd take the Chicago offer and look forward to an amazing year next year! Congrats once more.

p.s. Montreal is one of my favorite cities! A great place.
quote
MAB79

Hey dmannell,

It sounds like you're in great shape - congrats on being admitted to Chicago & Penn! I understand what you mean about Wharton - if you want to study finance, for example, it'd be great to take classes there.

If I may ask, why do you think Columbia belongs with Harvard & Stanford? I know for sure that Harvard, Stanford & Yale are widely regarded as being in their own league. Those schools' academic & clerkship placement (which are the most competitive law positions) blow everyone else out of the water.

I think you may be exaggerating the prestige of Columbia vis-a-vis NYU & Chicago. These schools are very comparable. Indeed, NYU is considered to have a stronger faculty than Columbia now, at least in some areas. The entering numbers (LSAT & GPA) for NYU & Columbia are virtually identical. Columbia has the stronger historical reputation, but JD applicants usually see NYU & Columbia as interchangeable. With respect to the LL.M. program, perhaps NYU is not quite as good due to its size (~450), which makes it less selective. But Chicago's program (50) is one of the most selective LL.M. degrees - you should be very pleased with your admission!

Of course, if you are particularly taken with the Columbia name, perhaps you can work for a year or two (I think CLS requires a minimum of 2 years' work experience for LL.M. applicants) and then reapply. If I were you, though, I'd take the Chicago offer and look forward to an amazing year next year! Congrats once more.

p.s. Montreal is one of my favorite cities! A great place.


I agree that HLS, YLS and Stanford are top 3, but I do not agree that the lie far before CLS and NYU! In particular if you live and work in Europe. As a matter of fact, if you are not looking for an academic future, HLS, CLS, NYU may be regarded as better than YLS and Stanford. Last but not least, top 5 is top 5 and Top 5 is top 5 since like forever...so, I think these 5 unis are above the other unis...and if you compare the quantity of applications that CLS and NYU are facing and the amount of actual admitted students and compare it with Chicago etc., the selectivity isn't that bad in NYC...But as I said earlier: The important factor is what you are looking for etc. And for some even San Diego might be the better choice than Harvard...(btw: the class size is small there too;-))

<blockquote>Hey dmannell,

It sounds like you're in great shape - congrats on being admitted to Chicago & Penn! I understand what you mean about Wharton - if you want to study finance, for example, it'd be great to take classes there.

If I may ask, why do you think Columbia belongs with Harvard & Stanford? I know for sure that Harvard, Stanford & Yale are widely regarded as being in their own league. Those schools' academic & clerkship placement (which are the most competitive law positions) blow everyone else out of the water.

I think you may be exaggerating the prestige of Columbia vis-a-vis NYU & Chicago. These schools are very comparable. Indeed, NYU is considered to have a stronger faculty than Columbia now, at least in some areas. The entering numbers (LSAT & GPA) for NYU & Columbia are virtually identical. Columbia has the stronger historical reputation, but JD applicants usually see NYU & Columbia as interchangeable. With respect to the LL.M. program, perhaps NYU is not quite as good due to its size (~450), which makes it less selective. But Chicago's program (50) is one of the most selective LL.M. degrees - you should be very pleased with your admission!

Of course, if you are particularly taken with the Columbia name, perhaps you can work for a year or two (I think CLS requires a minimum of 2 years' work experience for LL.M. applicants) and then reapply. If I were you, though, I'd take the Chicago offer and look forward to an amazing year next year! Congrats once more.

p.s. Montreal is one of my favorite cities! A great place.</blockquote>

I agree that HLS, YLS and Stanford are top 3, but I do not agree that the lie far before CLS and NYU! In particular if you live and work in Europe. As a matter of fact, if you are not looking for an academic future, HLS, CLS, NYU may be regarded as better than YLS and Stanford. Last but not least, top 5 is top 5 and Top 5 is top 5 since like forever...so, I think these 5 unis are above the other unis...and if you compare the quantity of applications that CLS and NYU are facing and the amount of actual admitted students and compare it with Chicago etc., the selectivity isn't that bad in NYC...But as I said earlier: The important factor is what you are looking for etc. And for some even San Diego might be the better choice than Harvard...(btw: the class size is small there too;-))
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