Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

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MellonCollie
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby MellonCollie » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:40 am

Dignan wrote:Huh. I'm not sure I agree. BigLaw is the strength of CLS. In many areas of biglaw, CLS graduates do as well as HLS graduates. When I think of the differences between HLS and CLS, I don't think of big law; I think of how well HLS places in academia and in elite public interest jobs. If, for example, someone is interested in securing a PI job with the federal government, a HLS grad will, all things being equal, have more opportunities than a CLS grad. The difference isn't trivial.

Were I the OP, I would probably take the full ride at CLS, but I think the question is closer than some are making it seem.



Dignan, do you have evidence for this? I'm not trying to be combative - just curious as to whether this is "conventional wisdom" or if there is data floating out there on the interwebs.

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beef wellington
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby beef wellington » Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:20 am

Dignan wrote:
crackberry wrote:
tinman wrote:S and H have decent LRAP programs (Yale's is the best, and they are also great for public service, not sure whether that is an option for you).

Just wondering, other than the thing about being able to do any sort of work (ie. non-legal work) and still being covered under LRAP, why is Yale's LRAP so much better than Stanford's? I know Harvard's is the worst of the three, but I thought YS were pretty similar (minus that one advantage).

That's my understanding as well. It's nice that Yale will still pay off your loans if you decide to become a high school teacher or something, but the salary thresholds and contribution amounts are similar to what you would get from Stanford. At the end of the day, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, Berkeley, and NYU all have substantially similar LRAPs. The fairly minor differences between those LRAPs is probably not a good reason to pick one of those schools over the other.


I have YSB>C>N for LRAPs. OP, Stanford's LRAP is basically the equivalent of a full ride, but Columbia's human rights program looks amazing. I'd prolly do CLS, but it's tough.

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tinman
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby tinman » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:15 pm

Dignan wrote:
crackberry wrote:
tinman wrote:S and H have decent LRAP programs (Yale's is the best, and they are also great for public service, not sure whether that is an option for you).

Just wondering, other than the thing about being able to do any sort of work (ie. non-legal work) and still being covered under LRAP, why is Yale's LRAP so much better than Stanford's? I know Harvard's is the worst of the three, but I thought YS were pretty similar (minus that one advantage).

That's my understanding as well. It's nice that Yale will still pay off your loans if you decide to become a high school teacher or something, but the salary thresholds and contribution amounts are similar to what you would get from Stanford. At the end of the day, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, Berkeley, and NYU all have substantially similar LRAPs. The fairly minor differences between those LRAPs is probably not a good reason to pick one of those schools over the other.


I don't know all the details of Stanford's LRAP. It may be similar for most public interest salaries, though I think that the fact that Yale will pay your loans if you become a high school teacher is a huge difference!!!

Yale's LRAP program is extremely straightforward: http://www.law.yale.edu/admissions/COAP.htm
For each of the 10 years after law school, you pay 1) 25% of your income above $60,000 or 2) your normal loan payment (whichever is lower).

At Yale, you can move in and out of the LRAP program during those ten years out of school. I'm not sure whether other schools afford you that same freedom.

I could not find a simple statement about Stanford's LRAP. But at least according to Stupor ITT (and the data from Yale), someone earning $60,000 would pay $0 from Yale, $1,500 from Stanford, and $6,000 from Harvard:
Stupor wrote:FWIW, Stanford's LRAP is more generous than Harvard's for salaries up to ~94000. Someone earning 60000, for eg. would be expected to give 6000 under Harvard's program and only 1500 under Stanford's program. Stanford's seniority adjustment ($1000 more salary allowance for calculating LRAP contributions) also kicks in early than Harvard's, in the 2nd year vs the 5th year.

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tinman
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby tinman » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:37 pm

michaela0085 wrote:What are the details of the public interest fellowship at CLS? Is it just tuition or do they give you any extra stipend? And do you have to devote many years to public service after law school? If you do have to commit to years of public service, I almost think it could be silly to turn down S and H for CLS. S and H have decent LRAP programs (Yale's is the best, and they are also great for public service, not sure whether that is an option for you). Whether you do the LRAP programs or the public interest fellowships that require you to do public service, you are committing yourself to years of indentured servitude.

So, I don't think that CLS with scholarship is such a good deal relative to S and H if your scholarship requires years of commitment to public service.



the public interest fellowship only requires that you do (already funded) public interest work anywhere in the world for your two summers in law school and that you work in the public interest arena for 5 years after law school. as far as i've seen there's not even a salary cap there... which is nice when you consider, say, stanford's lrap of 10 yrs plus salary cap.
also they hook you up with a faculty adviser and an adviser who is a student who got this scholarship a year or two before.

my big concern is that i've heard columbia is overwhelmingly biglaw focused and uber-competitive. what are people's thoughts on this?[/quote]

Yale funds your public interest work in the summers; I bet Stanford and Harvard do as well. But it's nice that your scholarship does too.

It's also nice that you don't have a salary cap. And 5 years does not sound too bad.

I have a couple questions that might help you assess the value of this scholarship to you: 1) What qualifies as public interest? Does any government job? Would working for the DOJ count? If even the DOJ or U.S. attorney work counts, that makes the deal that much sweeter; 2) do you want to clerk after graduation? I imagine clerking is not covered. 3) Any interest in becoming a law professor? In this regard I think Y>SH>>>CLS. 4) are you looking for super prestigious government or PI jobs? There are a lot of PI jobs out there, but I think that some of them are easier to get coming from Y or H. 5) Do you have a prestigious undergrad degree? Even PI institutions can be prestige whores, as far as I know. If you have a degree from a top undergrad plus this PI scholarship from CLS, I think that would help close any prestige gap. 6) is there any minimal grade requirement for keeping the scholarship? I am guessing no, but it would of course matter a lot if there is.

I think that the public interest scholarship from CLS can actually help you get PI jobs. Especially for non-governmental PI work, a commitment to PI helps a lot. You can demonstrate a commitment at any of these schools by working PI jobs both summers, but your scholarship will be prima facie evidence of a commitment to PI. This should help you coming out of undergrad.

Also, how you do in law school will largely determine the jobs open to you. I think CLS is very competitive, largely because so many people want corporate jobs. The corporate focus of CLS could actually help you while you are at CLS (that is, less competition for PI jobs). But the competitiveness can effect your post-graduate opportunities by making the curve worse.

I think one of the key questions you should ask yourself is how much does prestige matter to you. I think there are doors open to you from YHS that are not open to you from CLS. I can't tell you what they are exactly, but I am confident that they exist. But there will be a ton of doors open to you from CLS!! So if there are no particular doors that you are dying to go though, that makes CLS a better choice.

One final consideration: Yale's LRAP covers any need-based loans taken to cover living expenses (housing, etc), as well as need-based loans taken as an undergraduate. I'm not sure whether S and H do the same, but to me this would be a huge consideration! CLS may perhaps cover any need-based loans taken for living expenses, but I suspect they may not.

You obviously have some amazing options, and I think you will be fine no matter what you choose.

There are no right answers to life's most important questions.

Good luck with this one.

heyguys
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby heyguys » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:45 pm

For PI:

Y>Columbia Full Ride>>>>>HS

For Biglaw:

Columbia Full Ride>>>Y>>H>S

That's not in terms of opportunities, but in terms of risk mitigation.

For Academia

Y>>Columbia Full Ride>>HLS>>SLS

I think you just have to ask yourself how sure you are that you want to go into public interest. If you're in India this year already doing something related to what you're planning on doing, then planning for PI seems reasonable. However, a ton of people come to law school 'wanting' to do PI, but then end up just going into biglaw.

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tinman
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby tinman » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:18 pm

heyguys wrote:For PI:

Y>Columbia Full Ride>>>>>HS

For Biglaw:

Columbia Full Ride>>>Y>>H>S

That's not in terms of opportunities, but in terms of risk mitigation.

For Academia

Y>>Columbia Full Ride>>HLS>>SLS

I think you just have to ask yourself how sure you are that you want to go into public interest. If you're in India this year already doing something related to what you're planning on doing, then planning for PI seems reasonable. However, a ton of people come to law school 'wanting' to do PI, but then end up just going into biglaw.


I think Heyguys's post is about as accurate a subjective opinion as you will get ;)

Of course, the Columbia full ride for OP is not a full ride UNLESS they go into PI. For the Hamilton, your analysis is likely right (especially for BigLaw in short term), but OP will lose scholarship if she goes into Academia or Biglaw.

Does that change your analysis?

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crackberry
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby crackberry » Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:04 pm

tinman wrote:I don't know all the details of Stanford's LRAP. It may be similar for most public interest salaries, though I think that the fact that Yale will pay your loans if you become a high school teacher is a huge difference!!!

Yale's LRAP program is extremely straightforward: http://www.law.yale.edu/admissions/COAP.htm
For each of the 10 years after law school, you pay 1) 25% of your income above $60,000 or 2) your normal loan payment (whichever is lower).

At Yale, you can move in and out of the LRAP program during those ten years out of school. I'm not sure whether other schools afford you that same freedom.

You can definitely move in and out of Stanford's LRAP during those 10 years out of school. Not sure about Harvard.

Also, I think the notion of going to law school only to become a high school teacher is somewhat ludicrous.

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Dignan
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby Dignan » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:01 pm

MellonCollie wrote:
Dignan wrote:Huh. I'm not sure I agree. BigLaw is the strength of CLS. In many areas of biglaw, CLS graduates do as well as HLS graduates. When I think of the differences between HLS and CLS, I don't think of big law; I think of how well HLS places in academia and in elite public interest jobs. If, for example, someone is interested in securing a PI job with the federal government, a HLS grad will, all things being equal, have more opportunities than a CLS grad. The difference isn't trivial.

Were I the OP, I would probably take the full ride at CLS, but I think the question is closer than some are making it seem.


Dignan, do you have evidence for this? I'm not trying to be combative - just curious as to whether this is "conventional wisdom" or if there is data floating out there on the interwebs.

A bit of both. First, with respect to placement in academia, Brian Leiter has compiled data that shows that HLS is about twice as successful as CLS. Here is one of Leiter's more readable tables:

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

I am not aware of similar data for elite PI jobs in the federal government. But whenever I browse a list of attorneys who work in a federal government agency (e.g., DOJ, EPA), it sure seems like there are a lot more HLS grads than CLS grads. One (admittedly crude) proxy for elite PI job placement is clerkship placement; many of those who land elite PI jobs were clerks beforehand. Here is a breakdown of the percentage of clerks from top law schools last year:

http://lawclerkaddict2009.blogspot.com/2009/01/top-31-law-school-chart.html

As you can see, CLS gets killed by HYS, and even does a little worse than some other schools in the T14.

I really think that the HLS grad is going to have better opportunities in elite PI than the CLS grad. Those opportunities may not be work $150K, but they're definitely worth something.

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beef wellington
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby beef wellington » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:10 pm

Dignan wrote:
MellonCollie wrote:
Dignan wrote:Huh. I'm not sure I agree. BigLaw is the strength of CLS. In many areas of biglaw, CLS graduates do as well as HLS graduates. When I think of the differences between HLS and CLS, I don't think of big law; I think of how well HLS places in academia and in elite public interest jobs. If, for example, someone is interested in securing a PI job with the federal government, a HLS grad will, all things being equal, have more opportunities than a CLS grad. The difference isn't trivial.

Were I the OP, I would probably take the full ride at CLS, but I think the question is closer than some are making it seem.


Dignan, do you have evidence for this? I'm not trying to be combative - just curious as to whether this is "conventional wisdom" or if there is data floating out there on the interwebs.

A bit of both. First, with respect to placement in academia, Brian Leiter has compiled data that shows that HLS is about twice as successful as CLS. Here is one of Leiter's more readable tables:

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

I am not aware of similar data for elite PI jobs in the federal government. But whenever I browse a list of attorneys who work in a federal government agency (e.g., DOJ, EPA), it sure seems like there are a lot more HLS grads than CLS grads. One (admittedly crude) proxy for elite PI job placement is clerkship placement; many of those who land elite PI jobs were clerks beforehand. Here is a breakdown of the percentage of clerks from top law schools last year:

http://lawclerkaddict2009.blogspot.com/2009/01/top-31-law-school-chart.html

As you can see, CLS gets killed by HYS, and even does a little worse than some other schools in the T14.

I really think that the HLS grad is going to have better opportunities in elite PI than the CLS grad. Those opportunities may not be work $150K, but they're definitely worth something.

Interesting point. Perhaps Stanford is TCR then, since their LRAP is better than HLS and their prestige is about equal?

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mpasi
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby mpasi » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:18 pm

Dignan wrote:
mpasi wrote:It's already been said, but since you're doing public interest, go to Columbia. Harvard et al. is for people with BigLaw ambitions, aka, grads who make enough to pay off their LS debt.

Huh. I'm not sure I agree. BigLaw is the strength of CLS. In many areas of biglaw, CLS graduates do as well as HLS graduates. When I think of the differences between HLS and CLS, I don't think of big law; I think of how well HLS places in academia and in elite public interest jobs. If, for example, someone is interested in securing a PI job with the federal government, a HLS grad will, all things being equal, have more opportunities than a CLS grad. The difference isn't trivial.

Were I the OP, I would probably take the full ride at CLS, but I think the question is closer than some are making it seem.



I was thinking of the bottom line...law school debt. You misunderstood the point I was making.

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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby OG Loc » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:28 am

I find it a little perplexing that the main point of contention here is a few grand in loan repayments. I would be more concerned with the capacity to pursue my interests - faculty, clinics/coursework/journals, connections to PI organizations, etc - at each school. I don't know a thing about the size or quality of intl human rights programs at any of those schools, but that is how I would evaluate them. LRAPs are good enough to live comfortably on a low(er) salary graduating from any of those schools. Just my two cents.

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mpasi
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby mpasi » Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:43 am

OG Loc wrote:I find it a little perplexing that the main point of contention here is a few grand in loan repayments. I would be more concerned with the capacity to pursue my interests - faculty, clinics/coursework/journals, connections to PI organizations, etc - at each school. I don't know a thing about the size or quality of intl human rights programs at any of those schools, but that is how I would evaluate them. LRAPs are good enough to live comfortably on a low(er) salary graduating from any of those schools. Just my two cents.



It would be insane to not consider it. Being in debt for the next thirty years isn't something to be taken lightly, especially since the OP is devoting herself to a section of law that is patently underpaid. I'd like to spend the next two or three years volunteering in a refugee camp, but I have bills to pay and I can't. Passion and idealism have to meet reality at some point. I think the OP should at least see what she can get from the other schools and then decide, but it might be in her best interest to take the free legal education. Yeah, debt can be managed, but her law school debt won't be the only one she'll have to pay off. Think about it...a car, a house, kids, bills, etc. ain't cheap. Doesn't it make more sense to take on as little debt as possible? If OP takes Columbia's offer, she's getting a (free) law degree from the Ivy League...isn't that good enough?


And, lol at you referring to tens of thousands of dollars in loan debt as "a few grand". OP will be lucky to crack the upper five figures after 10-20 years of practice. Silly rabbit. :p


EDIT: That comes last line off as condescending and snide, but I didn't mean that way. I was just amused by what you said.

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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby OG Loc » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:03 pm

mpasi wrote:
OG Loc wrote:I find it a little perplexing that the main point of contention here is a few grand in loan repayments. I would be more concerned with the capacity to pursue my interests - faculty, clinics/coursework/journals, connections to PI organizations, etc - at each school. I don't know a thing about the size or quality of intl human rights programs at any of those schools, but that is how I would evaluate them. LRAPs are good enough to live comfortably on a low(er) salary graduating from any of those schools. Just my two cents.



It would be insane to not consider it. Being in debt for the next thirty years isn't something to be taken lightly, especially since the OP is devoting herself to a section of law that is patently underpaid. I'd like to spend the next two or three years volunteering in a refugee camp, but I have bills to pay and I can't. Passion and idealism have to meet reality at some point. I think the OP should at least see what she can get from the other schools and then decide, but it might be in her best interest to take the free legal education. Yeah, debt can be managed, but her law school debt won't be the only one she'll have to pay off. Think about it...a car, a house, kids, bills, etc. ain't cheap. Doesn't it make more sense to take on as little debt as possible? If OP takes Columbia's offer, she's getting a (free) law degree from the Ivy League...isn't that good enough?


And, lol at you referring to tens of thousands of dollars in loan debt as "a few grand". OP will be lucky to crack the upper five figures after 10-20 years of practice. Silly rabbit. :p


EDIT: That comes last line off as condescending and snide, but I didn't mean that way. I was just amused by what you said.


Pay attention. Graduates from H, S, and other top schools working in public interest or public service will only be paying back a small amount of what they borrow - that being a certain percentage of their income. The school's LRAP program and/or the federal government will pay back the rest:

http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/resour ... orgiveness
http://www.law.stanford.edu/program/tuition/assistance/
http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... /lipp.html

If tinman's figures are correct (they sound at least in the ballpark), a $60,000 salary would yield 1500 at S or 6000 at H in yearly payments over ten years - a few grand, and very reasonable if you ask me. About equal to what someone with 10,000 or 45,000 in law school debt would be paying if they weren't using IBR/LRAP. If you think about that for a second, a good LRAP can be as good or better than a full tuition scholarship for someone working in public interest if they still have to borrow for living expenses (I know OP's wild card is free rent in NYC, but this a general point); especially when the scholarship requires the recipient to work in public interest or else pay it back. Is Columbia good enough? Maybe, but if Harvard or Stanford are better, michaela should go with one of them.

MellonCollie
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby MellonCollie » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:11 pm

OG Loc wrote:Pay attention. Graduates from H, S, and other top schools working in public interest or public service will only be paying back a small amount of what they borrow - that being a certain percentage of their income. The school's LRAP program and/or the federal government will pay back the rest:

http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/resour ... orgiveness
http://www.law.stanford.edu/program/tuition/assistance/
http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... /lipp.html

If tinman's figures are correct (they sound at least in the ballpark), a $60,000 salary would yield 1500 at S or 6000 at H in yearly payments over ten years - a few grand, and very reasonable if you ask me. About equal to what someone with 10,000 or 45,000 in law school debt would be paying if they weren't using IBR/LRAP. If you think about that for a second, a good LRAP can be as good or better than a full tuition scholarship for someone working in public interest if they still have to borrow for living expenses (I know OP's wild card is free rent in NYC, but this a general point); especially when the scholarship requires the recipient to work in public interest or else pay it back. Is Columbia good enough? Maybe, but if Harvard or Stanford are better, michaela should go with one of them.


OG, do the federal programs combine with LRAPs to provide even more benefits?

If not, I don't think it's as simple as a "few grand," at least in the case of HLS. If you run the numbers, you're still paying back a significant portion of your disposable income towards loans, and depending on your salary progression, you may still end up paying back the majority of your loans on a salary that is still far below private-sector salaries.

Check out this LIPP scenario:
http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... ticesingle


That's not to say that Stanford/Harvard aren't worth it for you - they may very well be. Just realize that you'll be making sacrifices either way.

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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby driveshaft » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:30 pm

Something that hasn't been mentioned yet but has weighed very heavily on my decision is the security offered by Harvard and Stanford's lack of grades.

What are other people's thoughts on this?

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Dignan
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby Dignan » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:47 pm

driveshaft wrote:Something that hasn't been mentioned yet but has weighed very heavily on my decision is the security offered by Harvard and Stanford's lack of grades.

What are other people's thoughts on this?

I think that door swings both ways. A friend of my family is a partner at a V15 firm. A couple of weeks ago, I talked to him about the various schools in the T6. Here's what he said about Stanford (this is paraphrased):

"Stanford is a great school, but I think they shot themselves in the foot by doing away with grades. Yale can get away with it because it's Yale. But it's going to hurt Stanford grads, at least it will outside of California. If there are two applicants--one with a good GPA from Columbia or Chicago and one with a mix of passes and honors or whatever from Stanford--the Columbia/Chicago grad is going to have the advantage."

This is just one opinion, and it comes from the perspective of someone who works in big law instead of in PI. But I thought it was interesting.
Last edited by Dignan on Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby crackberry » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:48 pm

Dignan wrote:
driveshaft wrote:Something that hasn't been mentioned yet but has weighed very heavily on my decision is the security offered by Harvard and Stanford's lack of grades.

What are other people's thoughts on this?

I think that door swings both ways. A friend of my family is a partner at a V15 firm. A couple of weeks ago, I talked to him about the various schools in the T6. Here's what he said about Stanford (this is paraphrased):

"Stanford is a great school, but I think they shot themselves in the foot by doing away with grades. Yale can get away with it because it's Yale. But it's going to hurt Stanford grads, at least it will outside of California. If there are two applicants--one with a good GPA from Columbia or Chicago and one with a mix of passes and honors or whatever for Stanford--the Columbia/Chicago grad is going to have the advantage."

This is just one opinion, and it comes from the perspective of someone who works in big law instead of in PI. But I thought it was interesting.

Same thing goes for HLS or do they get a pass like Yale?

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Dignan
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby Dignan » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:56 pm

crackberry wrote:
Dignan wrote:
driveshaft wrote:Something that hasn't been mentioned yet but has weighed very heavily on my decision is the security offered by Harvard and Stanford's lack of grades.

What are other people's thoughts on this?

I think that door swings both ways. A friend of my family is a partner at a V15 firm. A couple of weeks ago, I talked to him about the various schools in the T6. Here's what he said about Stanford (this is paraphrased):

"Stanford is a great school, but I think they shot themselves in the foot by doing away with grades. Yale can get away with it because it's Yale. But it's going to hurt Stanford grads, at least it will outside of California. If there are two applicants--one with a good GPA from Columbia or Chicago and one with a mix of passes and honors or whatever for Stanford--the Columbia/Chicago grad is going to have the advantage."

This is just one opinion, and it comes from the perspective of someone who works in big law instead of in PI. But I thought it was interesting.

Same thing goes for HLS or do they get a pass like Yale?

He didn't say. I thought of asking him that after I got off the phone with him. He's an HLS grad himself (and he went to Yale for undergrad), and I had the sense that he thought of SLS as being a tick below H and Y in overall prestige. On the other hand, he seemed like a fair and reasonable guy. He wasn't an anti-Stanford troll. In fact, he's hoping his son goes to Stanford for undergrad next year.

As for going to a school without grades, I think it's a benefit for those who would have otherwise finished between 40% - 90% in a graded class. But for those who would have otherwise been in the 10%-40% range, I am getting the sense that being in a school without grades might hurt a little.

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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby driveshaft » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:13 pm

Dignan wrote:
crackberry wrote:
Dignan wrote:
driveshaft wrote:Something that hasn't been mentioned yet but has weighed very heavily on my decision is the security offered by Harvard and Stanford's lack of grades.

What are other people's thoughts on this?

I think that door swings both ways. A friend of my family is a partner at a V15 firm. A couple of weeks ago, I talked to him about the various schools in the T6. Here's what he said about Stanford (this is paraphrased):

"Stanford is a great school, but I think they shot themselves in the foot by doing away with grades. Yale can get away with it because it's Yale. But it's going to hurt Stanford grads, at least it will outside of California. If there are two applicants--one with a good GPA from Columbia or Chicago and one with a mix of passes and honors or whatever for Stanford--the Columbia/Chicago grad is going to have the advantage."

This is just one opinion, and it comes from the perspective of someone who works in big law instead of in PI. But I thought it was interesting.

Same thing goes for HLS or do they get a pass like Yale?

He didn't say. I thought of asking him that after I got off the phone with him. He's an HLS grad himself (and he went to Yale for undergrad), and I had the sense that he thought of SLS as being a tick below H and Y in overall prestige. On the other hand, he seemed like a fair and reasonable guy. He wasn't an anti-Stanford troll. In fact, he's hoping his son goes to Stanford for undergrad next year.

As for going to a school without grades, I think it's a benefit for those who would have otherwise finished between 40% - 90% in a graded class. But for those who would have otherwise been in the 10%-40% range, I am getting the sense that being in a school without grades might hurt a little.


Right, this is what I mean by security. It's sort of like paying for an insurance policy against being in the 40th-90th %ile. Since I've gotten the impression that grades are unpredictable in law school, that seems like the safer route. If you would be ranked at, let's say, the 75%ile, you kind of get to hide at median at a school without grades, which would open up more opportunities. It would also, I imagine, take a lot of the pressure off (which admittedly would be 3-years-of-school-short-term).

Your friend is probably right, but he may be comparing apples to oranges. It depends on what he means by the CCN grad with "a good GPA." If he means top 20% at CCN, the top 20% at H and S will probably have distinguished itself (themselves? I don't know how the grammar works here) by getting so many Hs. If he means median at CCN has the advantage over median at HS, then that's something different. I feel like I'm having trouble explaining my point. Does this make sense?

To the OP: One more consideration is what you mean by PI. If it's something political, or if you're open to considering it in the future, the lay prestige may really help.

sfdreaming09
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby sfdreaming09 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:35 pm

[quote/]To the OP: One more consideration is what you mean by PI. If it's something political, or if you're open to considering it in the future, the lay prestige may really help.[/quote]

True if you’re a Democrat, but not if you have right-leaning tendencies. There is a very profound anti-intellectual, anti-“elite” strain within the Republican Party. Just look at how riled up the Republican base gets when Palin/Limbaugh/all the other right-wing demagogues ridicule Obama for being a “Professor in Chief” instead of a “Commander in Chief.” Or when they ridicule him for being too involved in the Columbia-Harvard-Chicago “elite” crowd.

Look at every presidential election since Adlai Stevenson ran in 1952/1956 and you’ll quickly notice one recurring theme: Republicans painting Democrats as elitist eggheads who are out of touch with ordinary Americans.

Also, look at where current members of Congress went to school…the vast majority of Congresspeople with Ivy League Degrees (or similarly well regarded universities) are Democrats. I think Republicans prefer a guy (yes, I used “guy” intentionally) who went to a local state college or something.

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crackberry
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby crackberry » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:38 pm

sfdreaming09 wrote:True if you’re a Democrat, but not if you have right-leaning tendencies. There is a very profound anti-intellectual, anti-“elite” strain within the Republican Party. Just look at how riled up the Republican base gets when Palin/Limbaugh/all the other right-wing demagogues ridicule Obama for being a “Professor in Chief” instead of a “Commander in Chief.” Or when they ridicule him for being too involved in the Columbia-Harvard-Chicago “elite” crowd.

Look at every presidential election since Adlai Stevenson ran in 1952/1956 and you’ll quickly notice one recurring theme: Republicans painting Democrats as elitist eggheads who are out of touch with ordinary Americans.

Also, look at where current members of Congress went to school…the vast majority of Congresspeople with Ivy League Degrees (or similarly well regarded universities) are Democrats. I think Republicans prefer a guy (yes, I used “guy” intentionally) who went to a local state college or something.

Sad, but true. Excepting SCOTUS.

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beef wellington
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby beef wellington » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:49 pm

This is easily solved by affecting a Texas accent and visibly struggling to form coherent sentences. Buying a "ranch" with lots of brush to clear also helps.

keg411
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby keg411 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:52 pm

sfdreaming09 wrote:True if you’re a Democrat, but not if you have right-leaning tendencies. There is a very profound anti-intellectual, anti-“elite” strain within the Republican Party. Just look at how riled up the Republican base gets when Palin/Limbaugh/all the other right-wing demagogues ridicule Obama for being a “Professor in Chief” instead of a “Commander in Chief.” Or when they ridicule him for being too involved in the Columbia-Harvard-Chicago “elite” crowd.

Look at every presidential election since Adlai Stevenson ran in 1952/1956 and you’ll quickly notice one recurring theme: Republicans painting Democrats as elitist eggheads who are out of touch with ordinary Americans.

Also, look at where current members of Congress went to school…the vast majority of Congresspeople with Ivy League Degrees (or similarly well regarded universities) are Democrats. I think Republicans prefer a guy (yes, I used “guy” intentionally) who went to a local state college or something.


I think it depends what you want to do with politics. I know a 3L Republican at Columbia who has done a ton of political stuff while there. I don't think it would hurt. After all, Bush went to freakin' Yale.

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crackberry
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby crackberry » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:05 pm

keg411 wrote:I think it depends what you want to do with politics. I know a 3L Republican at Columbia who has done a ton of political stuff while there. I don't think it would hurt. After all, Bush went to freakin' Yale.

Yeah, but Bush doesn't exactly exude "Ivy League" the way Obama/Clinton do. Also, I think SCOTUS and POTUS are exceptions to this rule, to a certain extent. Look at senators. A definite majority (no time to look up numbers now) of GOP Sens. went to local/state schools, and those that went to law schools often went to the state law school. For instance, I know Shelby and Sessions both went to Univ. of Alabama Law School. Of course, Alabama is a relatively good state law school, but still, I think the point holds.

Obviously there are Republican politicians who went to good schools, but I think it is more common for a Dem to have gone to a good school than a GOPer.

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Dignan
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Re: Columbia Full Ride v. Harvard/Stanford for Public Interest

Postby Dignan » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:15 pm

crackberry wrote:
keg411 wrote:I think it depends what you want to do with politics. I know a 3L Republican at Columbia who has done a ton of political stuff while there. I don't think it would hurt. After all, Bush went to freakin' Yale.

Yeah, but Bush doesn't exactly exude "Ivy League" the way Obama/Clinton do. Also, I think SCOTUS and POTUS are exceptions to this rule, to a certain extent. Look at senators. A definite majority (no time to look up numbers now) of GOP Sens. went to local/state schools, and those that went to law schools often went to the state law school. For instance, I know Shelby and Sessions both went to Univ. of Alabama Law School. Of course, Alabama is a relatively good state law school, but still, I think the point holds.

Obviously there are Republican politicians who went to good schools, but I think it is more common for a Dem to have gone to a good school than a GOPer.

I think the answer here depends on what driveshaft meant by "something political" in PI. If he means running for public office, then I mostly agree with sfdreaming and crackberry. But if he means a political appointment to a prestigious PI job (e.g., solicitor general), then I disagree that going to an elite school will harm a conservative. To the contrary, Republicans seem to have the same T14 bias--for legal appointments and hiring--as do Democrats.




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