Public International Law - NYU, Columbia or Harvard?


eponce
I am having trouble deciding between the three of them (HLS, CLS, NYU). I am interested in public international law, investment and int. trade.

Unfortunately, I have not been offered financial asistance, so it's not a deciding factor.

My concerns are: prestrige in my country (Colombia) and the U.S., teachers and program of PIL, class size, labor market after graduation in international organizations or law firms specialized in PIL.

Any ideas????
I am having trouble deciding between the three of them (HLS, CLS, NYU). I am interested in public international law, investment and int. trade.

Unfortunately, I have not been offered financial asistance, so it's not a deciding factor.

My concerns are: prestrige in my country (Colombia) and the U.S., teachers and program of PIL, class size, labor market after graduation in international organizations or law firms specialized in PIL.

Any ideas????
quote
nirbith
That's a no-brainer. NYU. Got the best teachers, got the best program, got the best PIL students.
That's a no-brainer. NYU. Got the best teachers, got the best program, got the best PIL students.
quote
ILAW
As to public international law:

1. NYU is NOT considered the best as Columbia stands 1st according to the latest US News ranking:
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/international-law

2. Columbia allows its LLM students to intern at the United Nations Headquarters during the respective academic year and earn credits for that. NYU does NOT offer such an excellent opportunity.

3. In the area of International Criminal Law, which has gained tremendous momentum due to the establishment of the International Criminal Court, Columbia offers up to four courses-seminars. NYU does not even offer an introductory course. Also, considering the enormous importance of the above-mentioned area for other branches of public international law such as international human rights law and international humanitarian law, NYU does not qualify as the best option in public international-human rights law.

4. Needless to say that Columbia not only as a law school but also as a university ranks better than NYU. As to the latter, the difference is especially overwhelming: 11th vs 52nd according to the THE-World Ranking of Universities. In the case of the Academic ranking of world universities: 7 th for Columbia vs. 32 for NYU. If selectivity when admitting students to one or another LLM program is a criterion to be considered, those results are not a surprise at all. In addition, the LLM applicants-admitted ratio is: 8-1 (Columbia) vs 4-1 (NYU). This obviously includes the LLM public international law students.

5. Harvard has always ranked third in public international law after Columbia and NYU.
As to public international law:

1. NYU is NOT considered the best as Columbia stands 1st according to the latest US News ranking:
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/international-law

2. Columbia allows its LLM students to intern at the United Nations Headquarters during the respective academic year and earn credits for that. NYU does NOT offer such an excellent opportunity.

3. In the area of International Criminal Law, which has gained tremendous momentum due to the establishment of the International Criminal Court, Columbia offers up to four courses-seminars. NYU does not even offer an introductory course. Also, considering the enormous importance of the above-mentioned area for other branches of public international law such as international human rights law and international humanitarian law, NYU does not qualify as the best option in public international-human rights law.

4. Needless to say that Columbia not only as a law school but also as a university ranks better than NYU. As to the latter, the difference is especially overwhelming: 11th vs 52nd according to the THE-World Ranking of Universities. In the case of the Academic ranking of world universities: 7 th for Columbia vs. 32 for NYU. If selectivity when admitting students to one or another LLM program is a criterion to be considered, those results are not a surprise at all. In addition, the LLM applicants-admitted ratio is: 8-1 (Columbia) vs 4-1 (NYU). This obviously includes the LLM public international law students.

5. Harvard has always ranked third in public international law after Columbia and NYU.
quote
nirbith
Yes, if you value rankings over genuine PIL street cred I recommend going to Columbia or Harvard. Besides its PIL, Tax and Legal Theory programs, NYU prolly isn't as good as the other schools. The corporate law program is putrid, and admits a whole bunch of nitwits. However, if you want serious exposure to international law, it is really is a no-brainer. NYU just bought over the biggest Columbia PIL and investment law guru Jose Alvarez, and have also stolen Ryan Goodman from Harvard. Not to mention the existing star-studded list of IL profs starting with Joseph Weiler, Philip Alston, Rob Howse, Benedict Kingsbury, Ian Johnstone, visiting prof Ted Meron...I mean, it's not even a debate. Having that many stars who would by themselves attract students to a program is just obscene, and perhaps a little unfair.

The other stuff like Columbia's UN credits vs. NYU post-grad funding for internships, number of courses in International Criminal Law v. number of NYU courses in investment law etc is secondary to what you really should be thinking about, which is, where do I get to hang out with the people who make international law?
Yes, if you value rankings over genuine PIL street cred I recommend going to Columbia or Harvard. Besides its PIL, Tax and Legal Theory programs, NYU prolly isn't as good as the other schools. The corporate law program is putrid, and admits a whole bunch of nitwits. However, if you want serious exposure to international law, it is really is a no-brainer. NYU just bought over the biggest Columbia PIL and investment law guru Jose Alvarez, and have also stolen Ryan Goodman from Harvard. Not to mention the existing star-studded list of IL profs starting with Joseph Weiler, Philip Alston, Rob Howse, Benedict Kingsbury, Ian Johnstone, visiting prof Ted Meron...I mean, it's not even a debate. Having that many stars who would by themselves attract students to a program is just obscene, and perhaps a little unfair.

The other stuff like Columbia's UN credits vs. NYU post-grad funding for internships, number of courses in International Criminal Law v. number of NYU courses in investment law etc is secondary to what you really should be thinking about, which is, where do I get to hang out with the people who make international law?
quote
ILAW
1. I am not going to enumerate the list of public international law professors AND practitioners who lecture at Columbia and whose reputation is second to none of the NYU international law faculty. Anyone interested in specific areas of public international law, after checking out CLS's web site, can build his/her own opinion. However, what I need to precise is that referring to Theodor Meron as an NYU visiting professor is misleading as he has not taught international criminal law, which is his area of expertise, since 2001!!! This may be just considered an example of how tricky the mere 'obscene' enumeration of A, B and C as professors is to qualify a law school as superior. By the way, it is a paradox that precisely last year when José Alvarez moved to NYU, Columbia got the first place in the international law LLM rankings.

2. Networking holds pivotal importance and by definition one of the best places to do so, in the realm of public international law, is the UN headquarters. It is also necessary to remember that in order to intern at UN headquarters, one must be registered as a student during the internship period. In this regard, those who will go for NYU and think of doing a UN headquarters internship upon completion of studies will find that restriction which is not applicable to Columbia LLM students: LLM plus externship on parallel basis.

3. In my humble opinion, and without any intention of undermining NYU's reputation, one can only compare universities which are at the same league: Harvard and Columbia, in this case. NYU as an institution is not very strong even though they have recruited some -just some- international law top professors. The problem that NYU has is a simple one: It s not very selective when admitting students. You will be sitting in the same classroom with formidable students but also mediocre ones. In the case of Columbia or Harvard, I would dare to say that this situation is less frequent.
It is not a simple matter of rankings -for example it will make no sense focusing only on the Harvard aura. Probably, the day that NYU stops accepting so many students and find more creative ways to keep its budget, it will be feasible to get involved in a discussion about which is better in public international law. Until then, as it was said before, this is not even a debate.
1. I am not going to enumerate the list of public international law professors AND practitioners who lecture at Columbia and whose reputation is second to none of the NYU international law faculty. Anyone interested in specific areas of public international law, after checking out CLS's web site, can build his/her own opinion. However, what I need to precise is that referring to Theodor Meron as an NYU visiting professor is misleading as he has not taught international criminal law, which is his area of expertise, since 2001!!! This may be just considered an example of how tricky the mere 'obscene' enumeration of A, B and C as professors is to qualify a law school as superior. By the way, it is a paradox that precisely last year when José Alvarez moved to NYU, Columbia got the first place in the international law LLM rankings.

2. Networking holds pivotal importance and by definition one of the best places to do so, in the realm of public international law, is the UN headquarters. It is also necessary to remember that in order to intern at UN headquarters, one must be registered as a student during the internship period. In this regard, those who will go for NYU and think of doing a UN headquarters internship upon completion of studies will find that restriction which is not applicable to Columbia LLM students: LLM plus externship on parallel basis.

3. In my humble opinion, and without any intention of undermining NYU's reputation, one can only compare universities which are at the same league: Harvard and Columbia, in this case. NYU as an institution is not very strong even though they have recruited some -just some- international law top professors. The problem that NYU has is a simple one: It s not very selective when admitting students. You will be sitting in the same classroom with formidable students but also mediocre ones. In the case of Columbia or Harvard, I would dare to say that this situation is less frequent.
It is not a simple matter of rankings -for example it will make no sense focusing only on the Harvard aura. Probably, the day that NYU stops accepting so many students and find more creative ways to keep its budget, it will be feasible to get involved in a discussion about which is better in public international law. Until then, as it was said before, this is not even a debate.
quote
nirbith
Eponce, this NYU v Columbia pissing game is prolly of no use to you. My advice is to speak to someone who is a renowned name in PIL in your part of the world, and compare the profs teaching PIL and investment at both institutions.

Many congrats on being admitted to all three though. I'm sure you will have a great time at either of these stellar institutions.
Eponce, this NYU v Columbia pissing game is prolly of no use to you. My advice is to speak to someone who is a renowned name in PIL in your part of the world, and compare the profs teaching PIL and investment at both institutions.

Many congrats on being admitted to all three though. I'm sure you will have a great time at either of these stellar institutions.
quote
ILAW
Dear Colombian fellow, it only rests to wish you all the best in your election and academic-professional development.
Dear Colombian fellow, it only rests to wish you all the best in your election and academic-professional development.
quote
yasminm
Harvard - CLS - NYU, in that order. The reality is that the name of the school matters as much if not more than the sort of professors you get, and the hierachy of law schools dictates that HLS be on top of the list you mentioned.
Harvard - CLS - NYU, in that order. The reality is that the name of the school matters as much if not more than the sort of professors you get, and the hierachy of law schools dictates that HLS be on top of the list you mentioned.
quote
You got to HLS and you are still thinking?
You got to HLS and you are still thinking?
quote
nirbith
Does HLS even have an international law program?
Does HLS even have an international law program?
quote
ILAW
For those who say Harvard without any special reason: here the topic of discussion is the best LLM in Public international law NOT the best undergraduate program of law or law in general terms - in whose case Yale rules over HLS.
Harvard has NEVER been considered as the best in the area subject matter of discussion by people who are really informed. I personally verified that because some years ago I interned at an international tribunal. I used to have the same misrepresentation of HLS as the best in everything and because of being first place in my class, any law school was easily accessible to me. Fortunately, I decided to talk with some senior lawyers at that tribunal about what would be the best option in public international law. Even the one who studied at the HLS undergradute program advised me to go to Columbia or even NYU for a LLM in INTERNATIONAL LAW instead of Harvard.
For those who say Harvard without any special reason: here the topic of discussion is the best LLM in Public international law NOT the best undergraduate program of law or law in general terms - in whose case Yale rules over HLS.
Harvard has NEVER been considered as the best in the area subject matter of discussion by people who are really informed. I personally verified that because some years ago I interned at an international tribunal. I used to have the same misrepresentation of HLS as the best in everything and because of being first place in my class, any law school was easily accessible to me. Fortunately, I decided to talk with some senior lawyers at that tribunal about what would be the best option in public international law. Even the one who studied at the HLS undergradute program advised me to go to Columbia or even NYU for a LLM in INTERNATIONAL LAW instead of Harvard.
quote
Happy to admit that Harvard programme might be worse then the other two...it is just Harvard makes it easier to get a job, however, I would say that Columbia is very close. I personally would have gone to Columbia, but this is because I think tgat the programme is more hip
Happy to admit that Harvard programme might be worse then the other two...it is just Harvard makes it easier to get a job, however, I would say that Columbia is very close. I personally would have gone to Columbia, but this is because I think tgat the programme is more hip
quote
Oldtimer
To be honest, this has been a pretty silly discussion, and not very helpful for the giving guidance on the question. Warning: I will be going on the tangent with my response here, but these are the things I would have liked to hear from somebody before taking the decision that I did some years ago.

Here are some pretty inconvenient truths:

1. Public International Law is a very interesting field, but chances of getting a job on anything relating to it are very, very slim. Don't believe me? Check yourself how many people actually work on this. The field is circumscribed mainly to academics and practitioners dealing with disputes amongst States. Yes, there are some jobs at very specialized Law firms and in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, but competition to get in is fierce and you better have a plan B. WTO disputes also deal in part with Public International Law, but this is a pretty specialized field and you do not gain much by studying PIL. If your interest is in the academia, an Ll.M. would only be a stepping stone towards a SJD/JSD, and even one of these would not warranty much. Yale would be a much better place to go if academia is your thing, even if their PIL program is not that good. So you would need to have a clear picture of where you are heading to plan accordingly.

2. Internships at the UN: sorry, but this one is laughable. Interns at the UN are there mostly to make photocopies, work on Powerpoint presentations, deal with logistical issues (bring people here and there during meetings) or, if they are extremely lucky, prepare summaries of communications or reports. The UN is overcrowded with professionals who do not have much to do and are very territorial with what they do. The only internships worth considering for PIL are those in the International Court of Justice in the Hague and the new Court dealing with Criminal issues. And you can only do these ones after you finish your Ll.M. WTO internships are quite good for learning, but again I would put it in a separate category.

3. With whom will you be competing for a job???: One thing you really have to understand before going to the US is that Law Firms are a business, and as such they will only take you if they see that you can bring something to their business. This could be in the form of specialized knowledge they cannot get anywhere else (admit it, not much), because of the connections you will bring with you (probably the most important one), or because you come from a place where they are planning to expand their business (those from Europe, Japan, and the BRICs have a much better chance of landing a job than those from small or poor countries). They do not normally hire Ll.Ms with a long-term view because they have plenty of highly qualified JDs to choose from that meet the points mentioned above. They do not care if you a genius and got straight As in your grades. And if they do hire you, you will then be there for one year and go back home with an associate firm, or if you are lucky, sent overseas to work in a regional branch. So be aware that your competition will be with other Ll.Ms from the same region which studied the same you did. It is only at this point where the ranking stuff comes in, NOT before. If working on a Law firm is your thing and you want do something to improve your chances, well do it NOW before you go.

4. Relevance of the "World ranking" of the University: Sorry, this is just bullocks. This is only relevant if your only objective in life is to impress friends and family hanging a title on the wall. This is probably the expression of a psychological phenomenon: in most of the countries where Ll.Ms. come from there is often one or two good universities with the rest being crap, and that is why we tend to think the same happens in the US. You extrapolate the knowledge of your world to what happens in the US. The problem? That is not how it works in the USA. A good ranking of the university means absolutely nothing if the reputation of the school in your field is not good. And there are many good schools on any given field, not just one or two. Would you attend Harvard's Acting School (making it up) just because it has the "Harvard" name on it? If your answer is yes, then stop reading and go to Harvard.

5. Relevance of the Law School ranking: This is one IS relevant for many reasons. But be aware that getting into the highest ranked Law School is not a guarantee of anything. You do have stupid people going to Yale and Harvard, just as you have Ll.Ms from these schools ending-up unemployed. Why? Because of the way Law Firms hire (re-read 3 above). There is without a doubt a difference between being in a Top 5 or Top 10, but there is not much difference in perception amongst the Top 5 schools. They are all good, and those looking to hire know it. The rest is stupid pride.

6. Specialized ranking: Firstly, it's probably silly to remind you of this, but this one is only important if you really are going to work on that area. From my experience, there are tons of young, inexperienced lawyers who take an Ll.M. in an area which they think is interesting, but then end working in completely unrelated areas (I talk from experience here). That's a complete waste of time and money. Try to work first on the area to see if you really like it before taking a decision based solely on how good the law school is in X or Y area. As a rule of thumb, and subject to case specific exceptions where some schools are really THE place to go, the specialized ranking should only be a tie breaker between schools with a similar Law School Ranking. If you have to choose between Florida University and NYU for taxes with everything else equal, you will be a fool to take Florida. Secondly, remember that competition is fierce and that rankings keep changing all the time. Is the trend of the school to go up or down over time? For example, NYU and Columbia are always fighting for the top spot on PIL with Harvard not too behind it. Go back then years ago and the rankings where slightly different. You may not like it, but your School may go down the drain in the future, just as a school with less reputation may go up a lot.

7. Reputation of the Law School in your home country: Sorry to drop the bomb on you, but you have a 90% chance of not getting a job in the US and having to go back to where you are coming from. In this scenario, the Law School's reputation is key, as it will help you to market yourself when getting a job in a local Law Firm. To give you a silly, but real, example I once mentioned to an important lawyer the possibility of going to Cambridge and the response was: "Ahh, the town where Harvard is!". As it turned out, in my country the only two UK universities that exist are Oxford and LSE, so I shouldn't have been surprised by the admittedly sacrilegious comment (no hate responses on this one please). But again, this is the situation IN MY COUNTRY. Only you can find out which are the ones with the good reputation in your country.

8. NYU vs. Columbia: Finally my view on the issue. From the strictly point of view of academics, I would see them as equivalent. Both have great faculty and both have good programs. I assume those defending one or the other are just trying to justify their decisions or gain peace of mind, but the truth is that they are both very good. What makes the difference, in my humble opinion, are not the academics but rather the place where you will be studying and the kind of people you will be studying with.

The place? But they are both in Manhattan! Well, yes and no. Columbia has a huge, isolated campus in the north of Manhattan. Or, better said, in the middle of Harlem. If you are in the campus, you could be anywhere else, and going out to the real NYC is not that safe nor convenient at certain hours (try to return at 2 am in the morning walking through Harlem!!!). Most of your life will take palace there. NYU, on the other hand, has THE best location for experiencing Manhattan. You do not live in a campus. Rather, NYU buildings are spread throughout Greenwich Village and close to Washington Square. This means you are walking distance to so many great places, bars, theatres and restaurants that in fact it may be better avoided if you get easily distracted. So, here the choice is between being relatively isolated and concentrating in your studies (I am sure Columbia guys will not like this comment, but sorry it is true), or in the heart of Manhattan resisting temptation all the time (or indulging in them in them from time to time, which is what most people do). Only you can choose what's better for you.

The people? Well, my perception (which could be completely wrong) was that NYU people tend to be less "lawyerly" and square than Columbia people. Emphasis on the "tend to be", as there are of course exceptions. NYU people are also pretty smart on average, like Columbia, but they tend to be more on the adventurous side of life (except those in the tax program who are all library rats and often boring people). Talk to Columbia people and the only thing in their mind is studying and getting into a Law firm. Talk to NYU people and they are also thinking of that, but they can also talk about other issues and often do not exclude the possibility of going abroad or working in non-legal positions. It could have been a sampling issue, but that was my perception. Try to talk to people in those schools and see if you get the same impression. Which one are you? Where would you feel more comfortable?

Enough already. Good luck with your decision.
To be honest, this has been a pretty silly discussion, and not very helpful for the giving guidance on the question. Warning: I will be going on the tangent with my response here, but these are the things I would have liked to hear from somebody before taking the decision that I did some years ago.

Here are some pretty inconvenient truths:

1. Public International Law is a very interesting field, but chances of getting a job on anything relating to it are very, very slim. Don't believe me? Check yourself how many people actually work on this. The field is circumscribed mainly to academics and practitioners dealing with disputes amongst States. Yes, there are some jobs at very specialized Law firms and in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, but competition to get in is fierce and you better have a plan B. WTO disputes also deal in part with Public International Law, but this is a pretty specialized field and you do not gain much by studying PIL. If your interest is in the academia, an Ll.M. would only be a stepping stone towards a SJD/JSD, and even one of these would not warranty much. Yale would be a much better place to go if academia is your thing, even if their PIL program is not that good. So you would need to have a clear picture of where you are heading to plan accordingly.

2. Internships at the UN: sorry, but this one is laughable. Interns at the UN are there mostly to make photocopies, work on Powerpoint presentations, deal with logistical issues (bring people here and there during meetings) or, if they are extremely lucky, prepare summaries of communications or reports. The UN is overcrowded with professionals who do not have much to do and are very territorial with what they do. The only internships worth considering for PIL are those in the International Court of Justice in the Hague and the new Court dealing with Criminal issues. And you can only do these ones after you finish your Ll.M. WTO internships are quite good for learning, but again I would put it in a separate category.

3. With whom will you be competing for a job???: One thing you really have to understand before going to the US is that Law Firms are a business, and as such they will only take you if they see that you can bring something to their business. This could be in the form of specialized knowledge they cannot get anywhere else (admit it, not much), because of the connections you will bring with you (probably the most important one), or because you come from a place where they are planning to expand their business (those from Europe, Japan, and the BRICs have a much better chance of landing a job than those from small or poor countries). They do not normally hire Ll.Ms with a long-term view because they have plenty of highly qualified JDs to choose from that meet the points mentioned above. They do not care if you a genius and got straight As in your grades. And if they do hire you, you will then be there for one year and go back home with an associate firm, or if you are lucky, sent overseas to work in a regional branch. So be aware that your competition will be with other Ll.Ms from the same region which studied the same you did. It is only at this point where the ranking stuff comes in, NOT before. If working on a Law firm is your thing and you want do something to improve your chances, well do it NOW before you go.

4. Relevance of the "World ranking" of the University: Sorry, this is just bullocks. This is only relevant if your only objective in life is to impress friends and family hanging a title on the wall. This is probably the expression of a psychological phenomenon: in most of the countries where Ll.Ms. come from there is often one or two good universities with the rest being crap, and that is why we tend to think the same happens in the US. You extrapolate the knowledge of your world to what happens in the US. The problem? That is not how it works in the USA. A good ranking of the university means absolutely nothing if the reputation of the school in your field is not good. And there are many good schools on any given field, not just one or two. Would you attend Harvard's Acting School (making it up) just because it has the "Harvard" name on it? If your answer is yes, then stop reading and go to Harvard.

5. Relevance of the Law School ranking: This is one IS relevant for many reasons. But be aware that getting into the highest ranked Law School is not a guarantee of anything. You do have stupid people going to Yale and Harvard, just as you have Ll.Ms from these schools ending-up unemployed. Why? Because of the way Law Firms hire (re-read 3 above). There is without a doubt a difference between being in a Top 5 or Top 10, but there is not much difference in perception amongst the Top 5 schools. They are all good, and those looking to hire know it. The rest is stupid pride.

6. Specialized ranking: Firstly, it's probably silly to remind you of this, but this one is only important if you really are going to work on that area. From my experience, there are tons of young, inexperienced lawyers who take an Ll.M. in an area which they think is interesting, but then end working in completely unrelated areas (I talk from experience here). That's a complete waste of time and money. Try to work first on the area to see if you really like it before taking a decision based solely on how good the law school is in X or Y area. As a rule of thumb, and subject to case specific exceptions where some schools are really THE place to go, the specialized ranking should only be a tie breaker between schools with a similar Law School Ranking. If you have to choose between Florida University and NYU for taxes with everything else equal, you will be a fool to take Florida. Secondly, remember that competition is fierce and that rankings keep changing all the time. Is the trend of the school to go up or down over time? For example, NYU and Columbia are always fighting for the top spot on PIL with Harvard not too behind it. Go back then years ago and the rankings where slightly different. You may not like it, but your School may go down the drain in the future, just as a school with less reputation may go up a lot.

7. Reputation of the Law School in your home country: Sorry to drop the bomb on you, but you have a 90% chance of not getting a job in the US and having to go back to where you are coming from. In this scenario, the Law School's reputation is key, as it will help you to market yourself when getting a job in a local Law Firm. To give you a silly, but real, example I once mentioned to an important lawyer the possibility of going to Cambridge and the response was: "Ahh, the town where Harvard is!". As it turned out, in my country the only two UK universities that exist are Oxford and LSE, so I shouldn't have been surprised by the admittedly sacrilegious comment (no hate responses on this one please). But again, this is the situation IN MY COUNTRY. Only you can find out which are the ones with the good reputation in your country.

8. NYU vs. Columbia: Finally my view on the issue. From the strictly point of view of academics, I would see them as equivalent. Both have great faculty and both have good programs. I assume those defending one or the other are just trying to justify their decisions or gain peace of mind, but the truth is that they are both very good. What makes the difference, in my humble opinion, are not the academics but rather the place where you will be studying and the kind of people you will be studying with.

The place? But they are both in Manhattan! Well, yes and no. Columbia has a huge, isolated campus in the north of Manhattan. Or, better said, in the middle of Harlem. If you are in the campus, you could be anywhere else, and going out to the real NYC is not that safe nor convenient at certain hours (try to return at 2 am in the morning walking through Harlem!!!). Most of your life will take palace there. NYU, on the other hand, has THE best location for experiencing Manhattan. You do not live in a campus. Rather, NYU buildings are spread throughout Greenwich Village and close to Washington Square. This means you are walking distance to so many great places, bars, theatres and restaurants that in fact it may be better avoided if you get easily distracted. So, here the choice is between being relatively isolated and concentrating in your studies (I am sure Columbia guys will not like this comment, but sorry it is true), or in the heart of Manhattan resisting temptation all the time (or indulging in them in them from time to time, which is what most people do). Only you can choose what's better for you.

The people? Well, my perception (which could be completely wrong) was that NYU people tend to be less "lawyerly" and square than Columbia people. Emphasis on the "tend to be", as there are of course exceptions. NYU people are also pretty smart on average, like Columbia, but they tend to be more on the adventurous side of life (except those in the tax program who are all library rats and often boring people). Talk to Columbia people and the only thing in their mind is studying and getting into a Law firm. Talk to NYU people and they are also thinking of that, but they can also talk about other issues and often do not exclude the possibility of going abroad or working in non-legal positions. It could have been a sampling issue, but that was my perception. Try to talk to people in those schools and see if you get the same impression. Which one are you? Where would you feel more comfortable?

Enough already. Good luck with your decision.
quote
Santa
Harvard, unless you want to live in NY: then Columbia.
Harvard, unless you want to live in NY: then Columbia.
quote
ILAW
@ oldtimer, please, consider the following about what you commented :
- When you say that only once you finish your LLM studies, you can intern at the ICJ, ICC or the other courts based in The Hague, this is NOT correct. I myself have done two internships before heading for my LLM studies. If you have enough professional/academic credentials/experience, you will be recruited.
- You say that interns at UN headquarters basically take photocopies and other administrative tasks unlike those who intern at the ICJ, ICC, etc. Well, that is incorrect again. In those courts interns who studied law but were sent to the respective Registry of the Court normally ended up with a heavy administrative workload. At the UN headquarters, it will depend on the section in which you land an internship. Precisely, here comes the advantage of externing via CLS and not on your own: in the case of Columbia the externship has a seminar companion and your professor is obviously checking out that CLS students who extern at the UN do legal and not administrative work. BTW, even those who are already working at UN and the The Hague-based courts and holding a junior/low level (P1-P2) normally have to conduct some administrative tasks: only judges and middle-ranking/senior officers can exclusively focus on legal analysis
Based on the above, your qualification about the pros of interning at UN as something 'laughable' not only shows some arrogance but also ignorance and may mislead others.
- Regarding the rankings in international law: one assumes that if one is going to invest a fortune and time in attending a US law school for its public international law program, it is because one seriously considers that stands some chances to work in that area abroad or at home. These chances are obviously build up through years and actually not only by merely attending this or that law school.
- Finally, regarding your depiction of CLS graduates vis-a-vis NYU, as you say it is only your impression. However, trying to make an argument out of your very subjective -if not biased- opinion to undermine CLS graduates is a little unfair.

@ Santa
- If you are really interested in or informed of public international law, please, let us know your arguments about qualifying HLS as the best. Otherwise, agreeing with Oldtimer, one can conclude that you may be one of those blinfolded by the general HLS prestige.
@ oldtimer, please, consider the following about what you commented :
- When you say that only once you finish your LLM studies, you can intern at the ICJ, ICC or the other courts based in The Hague, this is NOT correct. I myself have done two internships before heading for my LLM studies. If you have enough professional/academic credentials/experience, you will be recruited.
- You say that interns at UN headquarters basically take photocopies and other administrative tasks unlike those who intern at the ICJ, ICC, etc. Well, that is incorrect again. In those courts interns who studied law but were sent to the respective Registry of the Court normally ended up with a heavy administrative workload. At the UN headquarters, it will depend on the section in which you land an internship. Precisely, here comes the advantage of externing via CLS and not on your own: in the case of Columbia the externship has a seminar companion and your professor is obviously checking out that CLS students who extern at the UN do legal and not administrative work. BTW, even those who are already working at UN and the The Hague-based courts and holding a junior/low level (P1-P2) normally have to conduct some administrative tasks: only judges and middle-ranking/senior officers can exclusively focus on legal analysis
Based on the above, your qualification about the pros of interning at UN as something 'laughable' not only shows some arrogance but also ignorance and may mislead others.
- Regarding the rankings in international law: one assumes that if one is going to invest a fortune and time in attending a US law school for its public international law program, it is because one seriously considers that stands some chances to work in that area abroad or at home. These chances are obviously build up through years and actually not only by merely attending this or that law school.
- Finally, regarding your depiction of CLS graduates vis-a-vis NYU, as you say it is only your impression. However, trying to make an argument out of your very subjective -if not biased- opinion to undermine CLS graduates is a little unfair.

@ Santa
- If you are really interested in or informed of public international law, please, let us know your arguments about qualifying HLS as the best. Otherwise, agreeing with Oldtimer, one can conclude that you may be one of those blinfolded by the general HLS prestige.


quote
Oldtimer
@ oldtimer, please, consider the following about what you commented :
- When you say that only once you finish your LLM studies, you can intern at the ICJ, ICC or the other courts based in The Hague, this is NOT correct. I myself have done two internships before heading for my LLM studies. If you have enough professional/academic credentials/experience, you will be recruited.


R/ This means there is a 90% probability that your are European. Am I right? If you come from anywhere else in the World, chances are you will only be considered a serious candidate if you have an Ll.M. But I stand corrected. I mistakenly assumed that readers of this blog were coming from Latin America and Asia, which is evidently not the case.

On the intern stuff, my point is simple: Do not expect an internship at the UN to be a life changing experience. Chances are other internships would be more valuable and I would not choose one university over the other just for this. That's my opinion and you don't have to agree with it.

- Regarding the rankings in international law: one assumes that if one is going to invest a fortune and time in attending a US law school for its public international law program, it is because one seriously considers that stands some chances to work in that area abroad or at home. These chances are obviously build up through years and actually not only by merely attending this or that law school.


R/ We do agree on this one. But you will be surprised as to how frequently this is not the case. Many, many students take this or that specialization because they like it intellectually or because they thint it is "cool", without really considering whether they stand a chance of having a future in that area or giving a careful consideration of whether that's what they want in their lifes (same goes to the "working in a Law firm dream"). Good for those who are convinced and have a plan before applying. But if you are reading this and are not one of those, then my advice is to seriosly consider it.

- Finally, regarding your depiction of CLS graduates vis-a-vis NYU, as you say it is only your impression. However, trying to make an argument out of your very subjective -if not biased- opinion to undermine CLS graduates is a little unfair.


R/ Interesting how the "lawyerly" adjective was taken as demeaning... By the way, I used much worse adjectives to qualify Tax Ll.Ms at NYU (e.g. library rats), but that did not seem to bother you. In any case, as I said, there are great people in both places (I even had some tax lawyers as friends!). But, like all university programs, they do look for specific traits in the students they accept. Some only care about the academic credentials, others more about the extra-curricular activities. Yet others only look for "leaders" (think Harvard). As I also said before, and assuming whoever is reading this agrees with my depiction, only YOU know whether you will be a better fit in one or the other. Hey! There is nothing bad in being a "lawlery" lawyer! ;)

I conclude by stressing that, on this point, you should not take it for granted. Do your homework and talk to others who have been in those universities before deciding.

Cheers
<blockquote>@ oldtimer, please, consider the following about what you commented :
- When you say that only once you finish your LLM studies, you can intern at the ICJ, ICC or the other courts based in The Hague, this is NOT correct. I myself have done two internships before heading for my LLM studies. If you have enough professional/academic credentials/experience, you will be recruited. </blockquote>

R/ This means there is a 90% probability that your are European. Am I right? If you come from anywhere else in the World, chances are you will only be considered a serious candidate if you have an Ll.M. But I stand corrected. I mistakenly assumed that readers of this blog were coming from Latin America and Asia, which is evidently not the case.

On the intern stuff, my point is simple: Do not expect an internship at the UN to be a life changing experience. Chances are other internships would be more valuable and I would not choose one university over the other just for this. That's my opinion and you don't have to agree with it.

<blockquote>- Regarding the rankings in international law: one assumes that if one is going to invest a fortune and time in attending a US law school for its public international law program, it is because one seriously considers that stands some chances to work in that area abroad or at home. These chances are obviously build up through years and actually not only by merely attending this or that law school.</blockquote>

R/ We do agree on this one. But you will be surprised as to how frequently this is not the case. Many, many students take this or that specialization because they like it intellectually or because they thint it is "cool", without really considering whether they stand a chance of having a future in that area or giving a careful consideration of whether that's what they want in their lifes (same goes to the "working in a Law firm dream"). Good for those who are convinced and have a plan before applying. But if you are reading this and are not one of those, then my advice is to seriosly consider it.

<blockquote>- Finally, regarding your depiction of CLS graduates vis-a-vis NYU, as you say it is only your impression. However, trying to make an argument out of your very subjective -if not biased- opinion to undermine CLS graduates is a little unfair. </blockquote>

R/ Interesting how the "lawyerly" adjective was taken as demeaning... By the way, I used much worse adjectives to qualify Tax Ll.Ms at NYU (e.g. library rats), but that did not seem to bother you. In any case, as I said, there are great people in both places (I even had some tax lawyers as friends!). But, like all university programs, they do look for specific traits in the students they accept. Some only care about the academic credentials, others more about the extra-curricular activities. Yet others only look for "leaders" (think Harvard). As I also said before, and assuming whoever is reading this agrees with my depiction, only YOU know whether you will be a better fit in one or the other. Hey! There is nothing bad in being a "lawlery" lawyer! ;)

I conclude by stressing that, on this point, you should not take it for granted. Do your homework and talk to others who have been in those universities before deciding.

Cheers
quote
ILAW
"R/ This means there is a 90% probability that your are European. Am I right?"

My friend, you are wrong in this point. I am not European and indeed I come from a developing country. There are some funded internships in Europe to which lawyers from the global south are eligible as far as you meet their requirements.

"I mistakenly assumed that readers of this blog were coming from Latin America and Asia, which is evidently not the case".
I do not know how you made that mistake. The fact that the person who started this board comes from Latin America has nothing to do with the nationalities of those dropping their comments.

Anyway, good luck to you and to everybody who wants to build up a career in public international law.
"R/ This means there is a 90% probability that your are European. Am I right?"

My friend, you are wrong in this point. I am not European and indeed I come from a developing country. There are some funded internships in Europe to which lawyers from the global south are eligible as far as you meet their requirements.

"I mistakenly assumed that readers of this blog were coming from Latin America and Asia, which is evidently not the case".
I do not know how you made that mistake. The fact that the person who started this board comes from Latin America has nothing to do with the nationalities of those dropping their comments.

Anyway, good luck to you and to everybody who wants to build up a career in public international law.

quote
Oldtimer
"R/ This means there is a 90% probability that your are European. Am I right?"

My friend, you are wrong in this point. I am not European and indeed I come from a developing country. There are some funded internships in Europe to which lawyers from the global south are eligible as far as you meet their requirements.


Dear Ilaw,

Let's see. Internships at the International Court of Justice are not financed by the court: http://www.icj-cij.org/registry/index.php?p1=2&p2=5&p3=4

I am not sure whether you are referring to internships at the European Court of Justice or something else, which I would not put in the PIL category. Could you be a bit more specific?

Internships at the UN, including the ICJ and the International Criminal Courts normally have the following requirement: "Applicants should be currently enrolled in a graduate (Masters or equivalent) or post-graduate (Ph.D) programme." Maybe it has changed lately. I don't know.

And even if you manage to be accepted as an intern, you will then have to finance it by yourself (not an option for most people in the South) or earn a degree from a University that will pay for that internship.

Most of the universities with an interest in PIL have programs financing those internships at the ICJ, and hence the benefit of doing it after you take your Ll.M (cause you become "one of them" now). That's the case, for example, of your beloved Columbia which has a 9-month internship available: http://www.law.columbia.edu/center_program/european_legal/european_clerks

I was not aware of european programs financing interns at the ICJ without an advanced degree in Law, but I am sure that would be of interest to a many in this blog.

Would you care sharing the details of those programs with the rest of us?

By the way, I like your enthusiasm and I wish you all the best in CLS (but watch out in the Harlem area when you go out at night!) ; )
<blockquote>"R/ This means there is a 90% probability that your are European. Am I right?"

My friend, you are wrong in this point. I am not European and indeed I come from a developing country. There are some funded internships in Europe to which lawyers from the global south are eligible as far as you meet their requirements.
</blockquote>

Dear Ilaw,

Let's see. Internships at the International Court of Justice are not financed by the court: http://www.icj-cij.org/registry/index.php?p1=2&p2=5&p3=4

I am not sure whether you are referring to internships at the European Court of Justice or something else, which I would not put in the PIL category. Could you be a bit more specific?

Internships at the UN, including the ICJ and the International Criminal Courts normally have the following requirement: "Applicants should be currently enrolled in a graduate (Masters or equivalent) or post-graduate (Ph.D) programme." Maybe it has changed lately. I don't know.

And even if you manage to be accepted as an intern, you will then have to finance it by yourself (not an option for most people in the South) or earn a degree from a University that will pay for that internship.

Most of the universities with an interest in PIL have programs financing those internships at the ICJ, and hence the benefit of doing it after you take your Ll.M (cause you become "one of them" now). That's the case, for example, of your beloved Columbia which has a 9-month internship available: http://www.law.columbia.edu/center_program/european_legal/european_clerks

I was not aware of european programs financing interns at the ICJ without an advanced degree in Law, but I am sure that would be of interest to a many in this blog.

Would you care sharing the details of those programs with the rest of us?

By the way, I like your enthusiasm and I wish you all the best in CLS (but watch out in the Harlem area when you go out at night!) ; )
quote
Oldtimer
The new speciality rankings are in:

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/international-law

1. NYU
2. Columbia
3. Georgetown
4. Harvard
5. Yale
The new speciality rankings are in:

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/international-law

1. NYU
2. Columbia
3. Georgetown
4. Harvard
5. Yale
quote
MAB79
Are the specialities rankings that important for ppl? It's hard to think that somebody would chose Pace over NYU just because they have a better ranking in environmental law...and I am not that much into rankings...but even for me it is hard to imagine this case...
Are the specialities rankings that important for ppl? It's hard to think that somebody would chose Pace over NYU just because they have a better ranking in environmental law...and I am not that much into rankings...but even for me it is hard to imagine this case...
quote

Reply to Post

Related Law Schools

New York City, New York 1714 Followers 1496 Discussions
New York City, New York 1131 Followers 961 Discussions
Cambridge, Massachusetts 934 Followers 841 Discussions
Washington, District of Columbia 875 Followers 873 Discussions
New Haven, Connecticut 274 Followers 360 Discussions

Related Articles

A Dive Into Public International Law LL.M.s

By B. Xu on Aug 30, 2017

More Articles

Related Top 10 Lists

More Top 10 Lists