Stanford or Columbia – any advice?


This Discussion Board really helped me while I was waiting for the admission decisions. I was checking it as mach as I was checking my email. So thanks for all of you here!

Now its decisions time for me, and I would love to receive your advises. I know both schools are excellent but have no idea where to go. Especially since I want my boyfriend to come with me and isn't sure which place is better socially for couples.

Anyone?

This Discussion Board really helped me while I was waiting for the admission decisions. I was checking it as mach as I was checking my email. So thanks for all of you here!

Now its decisions time for me, and I would love to receive your advises. I know both schools are excellent but have no idea where to go. Especially since I want my boyfriend to come with me and isn't sure which place is better socially for couples.

Anyone?
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Hedek

Stanford, unless you absolutely want to live New York City.

Stanford, unless you absolutely want to live New York City.
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O.K, but why Stanford? Is it considered to be significantly better?

Thanks Hedek

O.K, but why Stanford? Is it considered to be significantly better?

Thanks Hedek
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Hedek

Yes it is *considered* significantly better. It is *perceived* heaps ahead actually. Stanford along with Yale are in a league of their own.
Yet if you look at hard facts, Columbia is almost equal. Its faculty is just as prestigious, its firm placement and median salary are one of the best, its LSAT requirement for JD admission is even higher than at SLS according to http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html

But "prestige and reputation" are mostly a matter of perception and tradition. And rankings exacerbate even further the self-perpetuating nature of "prestige". As such, there's an almost undeserved aura surrounding Harvard Yale and Stanford. They're up there, simply because they were up there in previous years as well.

That said, you don't sound that much impressed and ecstatic about being accepted at SLS. Perhaps you are not as obsessed with rankings and prestige as others and therefore other parameters such as living in New York and/or your friend's preferences should be taken more heavily into account.

Yes it is *considered* significantly better. It is *perceived* heaps ahead actually. Stanford along with Yale are in a league of their own.
Yet if you look at hard facts, Columbia is almost equal. Its faculty is just as prestigious, its firm placement and median salary are one of the best, its LSAT requirement for JD admission is even higher than at SLS according to http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html

But "prestige and reputation" are mostly a matter of perception and tradition. And rankings exacerbate even further the self-perpetuating nature of "prestige". As such, there's an almost undeserved aura surrounding Harvard Yale and Stanford. They're up there, simply because they were up there in previous years as well.

That said, you don't sound that much impressed and ecstatic about being accepted at SLS. Perhaps you are not as obsessed with rankings and prestige as others and therefore other parameters such as living in New York and/or your friend's preferences should be taken more heavily into account.
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yasminm

Agree with Hedek. Though much of it has to do with perception, LLM students invariably want to get into one of HLS, YLS and SLS. Of course between those three, people have different preferences and favorites. If the aim is to sell the degree somewhere, then yes, you can't go wrong with these three at all. That said, a quality education can be gotten without being in any of these institutions (at CLS, you can get a top-quality education for sure), so as Hedek points out, you have to carefully scrutinize your own motivations for doing the LLM and how far studying in a particular institution will allow you to achieve that goal. So, I can imagine for public service / government service / law firm overseas, HLS might be best, for academia, YLS, for IP or IT related fields, SLS; for obtaining a New York perspective: CLS, etc etc etc.

Agree with Hedek. Though much of it has to do with perception, LLM students invariably want to get into one of HLS, YLS and SLS. Of course between those three, people have different preferences and favorites. If the aim is to sell the degree somewhere, then yes, you can't go wrong with these three at all. That said, a quality education can be gotten without being in any of these institutions (at CLS, you can get a top-quality education for sure), so as Hedek points out, you have to carefully scrutinize your own motivations for doing the LLM and how far studying in a particular institution will allow you to achieve that goal. So, I can imagine for public service / government service / law firm overseas, HLS might be best, for academia, YLS, for IP or IT related fields, SLS; for obtaining a New York perspective: CLS, etc etc etc.
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grugani

First, congratulations on your admissions to such reputable institutions!

Both are excelent schools, but personally, I would pick Stanford without a second thought:

- SLS - 15 students x CLS - 220 students
- SLS has a better ranking (and maybe reputation) than CLS
- California weather is significantly better than NYC
- Cheaper living costs
- Real campus experience (CLS campus is in the middle of Manhattan)

Although I agree the choice depends mostly on your personal interests and circumstances...

There is no wrong choice among those two. But if you look the posts in the threads here, I guess you'll find more people who would do anything to get a place in Stanford than in CLS. Honestly: I had some difficulties to decide which school to attend, and it was harder for me to decide after asking for advice here (exactly because there are a lot of different people with different interests and points of view). So: take a look inside of you and listen to what your mind and heart tells you to do. If you are going together with someone else, listen to this person also. I know it seems totally dummy, but it worked for me and I am absolutely comfortable with my decision.

Once again, congratulations!

First, congratulations on your admissions to such reputable institutions!

Both are excelent schools, but personally, I would pick Stanford without a second thought:

- SLS - 15 students x CLS - 220 students
- SLS has a better ranking (and maybe reputation) than CLS
- California weather is significantly better than NYC
- Cheaper living costs
- Real campus experience (CLS campus is in the middle of Manhattan)

Although I agree the choice depends mostly on your personal interests and circumstances...

There is no wrong choice among those two. But if you look the posts in the threads here, I guess you'll find more people who would do anything to get a place in Stanford than in CLS. Honestly: I had some difficulties to decide which school to attend, and it was harder for me to decide after asking for advice here (exactly because there are a lot of different people with different interests and points of view). So: take a look inside of you and listen to what your mind and heart tells you to do. If you are going together with someone else, listen to this person also. I know it seems totally dummy, but it worked for me and I am absolutely comfortable with my decision.

Once again, congratulations!
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Hedek

- SLS - 15 students x CLS - 220 students
- SLS has a better ranking (and maybe reputation) than CLS
- California weather is significantly better than NYC
- Cheaper living costs
- Real campus experience (CLS campus is in the middle of Manhattan)


Just want to clear things up.
- SLS enrolls 15 students per program. That's 30 total.
- Some people actually prefer colder weather. Grugani, you're from Brazil right? Then you're biased :p
- Life is cheaper indeed, not by much though. And as a couple in Palo Alto, you're going to need a car.
- NYU is the one in the middle of Manhattan. CLS, located in the upper west side of Manhattan, actually offers a true campus experience.

(but I agree with you, I'd prefer living in Palo Alto, but that's a personal opinion and I doubt it's very helpful)

<blockquote>- SLS - 15 students x CLS - 220 students
- SLS has a better ranking (and maybe reputation) than CLS
- California weather is significantly better than NYC
- Cheaper living costs
- Real campus experience (CLS campus is in the middle of Manhattan)</blockquote>

Just want to clear things up.
- SLS enrolls 15 students per program. That's 30 total.
- Some people actually prefer colder weather. Grugani, you're from Brazil right? Then you're biased :p
- Life is cheaper indeed, not by much though. And as a couple in Palo Alto, you're going to need a car.
- NYU is the one in the middle of Manhattan. CLS, located in the upper west side of Manhattan, actually offers a true campus experience.

(but I agree with you, I'd prefer living in Palo Alto, but that's a personal opinion and I doubt it's very helpful)
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Jenny1980

Stanford!

As Grugani said, Stanford has a smaller pregram (30 students, divided in two groups of 15); whereas CLS has 230 students (altouhght they state in their website that are 220,in March admission email they said that the law class will have 230 students).

Stanford is considred -along with Yale- the best law school, even better than Harvard.

Last, NYC is so expensive!

Stanford!

As Grugani said, Stanford has a smaller pregram (30 students, divided in two groups of 15); whereas CLS has 230 students (altouhght they state in their website that are 220,in March admission email they said that the law class will have 230 students).

Stanford is considred -along with Yale- the best law school, even better than Harvard.

Last, NYC is so expensive!


quote
Hedek

Standford!

As Grugani said, Standford has a smaller pregram (30 students, divided in two groups of 15); whereas CLS has 230 students (altouhght they state in their website that are 220,in March admission email they said that the law class will have 230 students).

Standford is considred -along with Yale- the best law school, even better than Harvard.

Last, NYC is so expensive!


I like Sitford too!

(ok sorry that was easy)

<blockquote>Standford!

As Grugani said, Standford has a smaller pregram (30 students, divided in two groups of 15); whereas CLS has 230 students (altouhght they state in their website that are 220,in March admission email they said that the law class will have 230 students).

Standford is considred -along with Yale- the best law school, even better than Harvard.

Last, NYC is so expensive! </blockquote>

I like Sitford too!

(ok sorry that was easy)
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frosty

Not sure if this matters for you. but Stanford is the number 1 choice among recruiters. See this new ranking Vault prepared (Vault is the guide all JDs use to chose firms - after being obsessed with US News Rankings, they get obsessed with Vault):

http://www.vault.com/lawschool/rankingtop25/

Not sure if this matters for you. but Stanford is the number 1 choice among recruiters. See this new ranking Vault prepared (Vault is the guide all JDs use to chose firms - after being obsessed with US News Rankings, they get obsessed with Vault):

http://www.vault.com/lawschool/rankingtop25/

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frosty

Btw, a friend had to make this choice a while ago and she's chosen Stanford. She told me Palo Alto is great for couples and awesome. Of course, you have to like outdoors activities and to study. It is harder to "hide" in a class of 15 people for the LLM class or 25 (average size of the classes with JDs)

Btw, a friend had to make this choice a while ago and she's chosen Stanford. She told me Palo Alto is great for couples and awesome. Of course, you have to like outdoors activities and to study. It is harder to "hide" in a class of 15 people for the LLM class or 25 (average size of the classes with JDs)
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Gloss

I had to make the same decision. I respect Columbia a lot, but I went to Stanford. I took my wife with me, so I lived the "couple" experience in Palo Alto. Besides what was said here (prestige, weather, size of the program, California, etc.) I want to add the following: (i) Stanford allows LLM students to participate in the JD job fair and in the California job fair for LLMs (besides the well known NY Job Fair), which helps if you want to find a job in the US; (ii) Stanford has a very good environment for couples, the school allows most services to be used by your wife or husband (including career advice, free courses - like languages and culinary - and sports classes almost for free - any sports, including golf, polo, sailing, etc.); and (iii) because SLS is a very small school (aprox. 550 students - including JDs, LLMs and JSDs), you will relate not only to LLMs, but also to JDs and JSDs.
Well, it is difficult to talk about everything here, so if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. Good luck!

I had to make the same decision. I respect Columbia a lot, but I went to Stanford. I took my wife with me, so I lived the "couple" experience in Palo Alto. Besides what was said here (prestige, weather, size of the program, California, etc.) I want to add the following: (i) Stanford allows LLM students to participate in the JD job fair and in the California job fair for LLMs (besides the well known NY Job Fair), which helps if you want to find a job in the US; (ii) Stanford has a very good environment for couples, the school allows most services to be used by your wife or husband (including career advice, free courses - like languages and culinary - and sports classes almost for free - any sports, including golf, polo, sailing, etc.); and (iii) because SLS is a very small school (aprox. 550 students - including JDs, LLMs and JSDs), you will relate not only to LLMs, but also to JDs and JSDs.
Well, it is difficult to talk about everything here, so if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. Good luck!
quote

Thank you very much for your good advises.
I actually inclining to choose Stanford due to his prestige and because I believe Stanford program is the most suitable for me professionally.

The thing is, my fiancé is very reluctant to go with me to Palo Alto, as appose to go with me to Columbia. He will need to quit a very good job to go with me, and naturally New York City can provide him with more employment opportunities than other locations in the U.S.

So I am truly torn and not sure what to do. Going to Stanford alone and do "long distance" for one year, or choose Columbia in hope he will come with me (which is still uncertain).

Thank you very much for your good advises.
I actually inclining to choose Stanford due to his prestige and because I believe Stanford program is the most suitable for me professionally.

The thing is, my fiancé is very reluctant to go with me to Palo Alto, as appose to go with me to Columbia. He will need to quit a very good job to go with me, and naturally New York City can provide him with more employment opportunities than other locations in the U.S.

So I am truly torn and not sure what to do. Going to Stanford alone and do "long distance" for one year, or choose Columbia in hope he will come with me (which is still uncertain).
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Hedek

So he's not living in New York right now? He's just basing his opinion on the assumption that odds of finding a new job are higher in NY than in CA? Well then I can only encourage him to start sending resumes to the Palo Alto area, and hopefully you won't have to torment yourself anymore.

So he's not living in New York right now? He's just basing his opinion on the assumption that odds of finding a new job are higher in NY than in CA? Well then I can only encourage him to start sending resumes to the Palo Alto area, and hopefully you won't have to torment yourself anymore.
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Gloss

I understand your concern. I dont know what is his field of work or his citizenship, but my feeling is that your statement would be true at any other time, but now. NY is one of the most difficult places, if not the most, to find a job in the US these days. It is the origin and the center of the economic crisis. Unfortunately, it will be very hard for him to find a position there in the near future. If it is easy for him to find a job there for any particular reason, you should consider going to Columbia. If not, you should go to Stanford (because you will be apart anyway) and ask him to keep trying to find a job in NY. Odds are that you will be in NY after your LLM if you go to Stanford (because the market should be better by the end of 2010). So, if he is there, its is perfect for you. If he is not there yet, it is because he could not find a job, so you have to think if you want to go back to your country, or not. If you go to Columbia placing a bet that he will find a job in NY while you are there, he may end up finding the job, but you may end up not being able to stay in NY, because you cant find a job. Again, I dont know your citizenship, but my understanding is that, because of the size of the program and reputation, it is easier for an Stanford LLM to find a job in the US. Finally, the LLM program is not really a one year program, it is an 8 months program. You will have so many breaks to go to your country or to NY that your relationship should be fine (winter break, spring break, etc). One of my friends is doing it and left his wife in his home country because of her job. It is going fine and he will be over in 2 weeks now. Good luck!

I understand your concern. I dont know what is his field of work or his citizenship, but my feeling is that your statement would be true at any other time, but now. NY is one of the most difficult places, if not the most, to find a job in the US these days. It is the origin and the center of the economic crisis. Unfortunately, it will be very hard for him to find a position there in the near future. If it is easy for him to find a job there for any particular reason, you should consider going to Columbia. If not, you should go to Stanford (because you will be apart anyway) and ask him to keep trying to find a job in NY. Odds are that you will be in NY after your LLM if you go to Stanford (because the market should be better by the end of 2010). So, if he is there, its is perfect for you. If he is not there yet, it is because he could not find a job, so you have to think if you want to go back to your country, or not. If you go to Columbia placing a bet that he will find a job in NY while you are there, he may end up finding the job, but you may end up not being able to stay in NY, because you cant find a job. Again, I dont know your citizenship, but my understanding is that, because of the size of the program and reputation, it is easier for an Stanford LLM to find a job in the US. Finally, the LLM program is not really a one year program, it is an 8 months program. You will have so many breaks to go to your country or to NY that your relationship should be fine (winter break, spring break, etc). One of my friends is doing it and left his wife in his home country because of her job. It is going fine and he will be over in 2 weeks now. Good luck!
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Hedek

Umh Cassiopeia I hope you can read this message. I have received your PM but I unfortunately can not answer your question as you appear to have blocked me by mistake. At least I assume you did ;-)

Umh Cassiopeia I hope you can read this message. I have received your PM but I unfortunately can not answer your question as you appear to have blocked me by mistake. At least I assume you did ;-)
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Oops... Sorry Hedek. Of course by mistake

Oops... Sorry Hedek. Of course by mistake
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Irish_Guy

Hey Cassiopeia,

I came over from Ireland to study at SLS, and had the time of my life. I'd be happy to share any advice, if you have any questions. Feel free to shoot me a message.

Hey Cassiopeia,

I came over from Ireland to study at SLS, and had the time of my life. I'd be happy to share any advice, if you have any questions. Feel free to shoot me a message.
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Pitch

Everything said in this post is 100% true BUT if you are not married (single) and you like to have fun (i.e., not only study!) choose CLS (or NYU)...
Living in NYC as a student is the best thing you can do in your life...
In addition, I have a lot of JDs friend (and really cool ones), the weather in NYC is not that bad. The City can offer you everything (museums, opera, openings every night, jazz, concerts, musicals, etc...) and being a CLS students you get free or discounted tickets...

Plus if you are interested in Bankruptcy Law (and in this economic environment you better be) CLS has the best professors in the world (Morrison and Miller!) much much better than Cole at SLS.

So, consider also these factors before making your decision!
Cheers

Everything said in this post is 100% true BUT if you are not married (single) and you like to have fun (i.e., not only study!) choose CLS (or NYU)...
Living in NYC as a student is the best thing you can do in your life...
In addition, I have a lot of JDs friend (and really cool ones), the weather in NYC is not that bad. The City can offer you everything (museums, opera, openings every night, jazz, concerts, musicals, etc...) and being a CLS students you get free or discounted tickets...

Plus if you are interested in Bankruptcy Law (and in this economic environment you better be) CLS has the best professors in the world (Morrison and Miller!) much much better than Cole at SLS.

So, consider also these factors before making your decision!
Cheers

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Cassiopeia

"advices" ?

Just curious, who wrote your SoP? ;)

Cassiopeia

"advices" ?

Just curious, who wrote your SoP? ;)

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