Why is going to a big school disadvantageous?

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Re: Why is going to a big school disadvantageous?

Postby one&only » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:05 pm

Ha, well I am not sending my application. Thank you.


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Re: Why is going to a big school disadvantageous?

Postby ughOSU » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:10 pm

bahama wrote:I get the theoretical arguement for this (although I am a bit skeptical of whether it has a meaningful influence) but does anyone have any empirical data? If going to a smaller school is better for OCI we'd expect to see:

Chicago > Columbia
Duke > UVA
Vanderbilt > Texas

Can anyone substantiate this? Even if the above is true, could it have more to do with the choice of markets students are interviewing (for example hypothetically more Duke students going after NYC which was easier to get this year while more UVA students went after DC) rather than anything due to the size of the school?

I don't think it's possible to quantitatively prove any of this, even if we had the numbers. However, I do think that g-town's OCI has suffered far more than the rest of the T14 largely because of its size.

e: I also believe none of this logic applies to Harvard.

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Re: Why is going to a big school disadvantageous?

Postby NayBoer » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:18 pm

Maybe alumni connections works once you've been out and about for a few years in the field, but it seems like larger class size would be a negative in OCI situations. If I'm the only guy from X applying, then I get the boost; if there are seven of us applying from X, then the alumni boost is nullified unless my co-students are disqualified from consideration by personality, grades or whatever.

This is why people use things like ethnic origin, fraternity connection, industry experience, and volunteer experience (e.g. Peace Corps) to try and bond with interviewers and employers. It's something to get a rapport going. If several other people share it, then it's less special.

The best situation from this standpoint would be a law school with untold thousands of alumni out in the industry but a very small number of 2Ls looking to get hired.

If alumni network were really that powerful, then Hastings would still be number 1 or 2 in CA.

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Re: Why is going to a big school disadvantageous?

Postby Aeon » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:33 pm

sfdreaming09 wrote:
ntzsch wrote:larger school = larger alumni network = advantageous ?

Yeah, that's a good point. I just stumbled over this interview with Harvard's JR and here's what he had to say about the issue:

"Question: Given the current legal hiring market, there is a lot of concern – especially among applicants to law schools outside the Top 20 – that summer associate jobs just won’t be there when they begin interviewing as 2Ls. While your graduates are always in high demand, HLS cannot be immune to the downturn in the economy. In fact, one reason cited for pulling the plug on the Public Service Initiative was because so many of your students were already turning to public interest as a way to seek refuge from the dismal BigLaw hiring prospects, and they figured that taking advantage of the PSI program was an easy way to save themselves 3L tuition. What are your thoughts about the prospects of legal hiring and whether in these uncertain times law school remains a good investment?

JR: I think it’s a great question. I’ve always urged students to think long and hard about law school before making a commitment of 3 years and thousands of dollars of debt. That being said, I think what we’re seeing is that attending a high-quality law school can still be a great investment in yourself and your career.

While the legal job market is certainly more challenging to navigate this year, our students are doing extremely well, aided by our incredibly hard-working Career Services team. Additionally, the size of HLS, and especially our large alumni network, is proving to be a boon in a time when personal connections are more important than ever. In fact, while it’s still early, we anticipate that our graduate employment statistics will look extremely similar to those in recent years."


But is Harvard an appropriately representative case for all large law schools?

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