What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

average of Yale versus top of Columbia

Yale, middle of the pack
12
36%
Columbia. top 10% and law review
21
64%
 
Total votes: 33

IvyHater
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What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby IvyHater » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:37 pm

I was wondering what you all think: is it better to be top 10% and, say, on law review at a great school like Columbia. Or is it better to be an average or below average student at Yale (for example, middle of the road, all passes and no honors, no journals).

Obviously, the same person would not likely do so well at Columbia and so poorly at Yale, but please assume for the sake of my question that the persons ability is the same and they will perform similarly when they leave their schools and begin work.

Which is better for firms, clerkships, and academia?

Is the Columbia student better off for all?
Last edited by IvyHater on Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

letsdoit1982
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby letsdoit1982 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:38 pm

IvyHater wrote:I was wondering what you all think: is it better to be top 10% and, say, on law review at a great school like Columbia. Or is it better to be an average or below average student at Yale (for example, middle of the road, all passes and no honors, no journals).

Obviously, the same person would not likely do so well at Columbia and so poorly at Yale, but please assume for the sake of my question that the persons ability is the same and they will perform similarly when they leave their schools and begin work.

Which is better for firms, clerkships, and academia?

Is the Columbia student better off for all?


I would definitely say Yale for each one of those and especially for clerkships and academia.

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dbt
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby dbt » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:40 pm

Columbia student for anything.

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1800calturk
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby 1800calturk » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:40 pm

I'd say the Columbia student may have the edge at a NY private firm, but I agree Yale probably takes the clerkship/academia

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98234872348
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby 98234872348 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:41 pm

dbt wrote:Columbia student for anything.

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Unemployed
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby Unemployed » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:43 pm

dbt wrote:Columbia student for anything.


+1 for all of T14

letsdoit1982
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby letsdoit1982 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:43 pm

What exactly of this question anyway? Are you planning on being in the top 10% at Columbia and the top 50 %at Yale?

letsdoit1982
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby letsdoit1982 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:44 pm

Unemployed wrote:
dbt wrote:Columbia student for anything.


+1 for all of T14



Ya right. Definitely not Cornell or Georgetttown.

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Unemployed
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby Unemployed » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:48 pm

letsdoit1982 wrote:
Unemployed wrote:
dbt wrote:Columbia student for anything.


+1 for all of T14



Ya right. Definitely not Cornell or Georgetttown.


Georgetown 10% + LR is pretty much guaranteed V10 and fed clerkship. He/she also has a good shot at academia.

Not sure I can say the same about Yale median.

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vanwinkle
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:48 pm

Being on Law Review is hugely relevant for academic success, as are grades. If you're assuming no journals, no published notes, nothing at all at Yale, well, that's going to hold them back quite a bit in that regard. You can, of course, build up an academic resume by writing and getting published post-graduation, and scholarship + YLS degree could still be leveraged to teach, but being on Law Review would give you a huge leg up there since 1) you've got it on your resume and 2) doing Law Review gives you a lot of exposure on what it takes to get published, making that task easier if you want to pursue academia later.

This is not to mention that many LRs have a writing requirement and you should have to write a note for your LR before you graduate, and if you polish it enough to get the LR to actually publish it, that would give you a huge edge. Of course, you're free at YLS to attempt this even if you're not on LR, but if you're only top 50% there and not on a journal or anything like that at all, I find it hard to believe you're going to take time entirely on your own to do this and do it well enough to get it published in the YLJ.

So in this particular situation I'd be inclined to say CLS for academia, slightly. The YLS grad can still make up for it later, but I doubt they will if they're just going to coast and not do any journals or anything. Law firms, however, I feel differently about:

The thing about law firms is that Yalies are so rare due to the small class size that it doesn't take being near the top 10% of the class for you to stand out at all. Not only that, but a lot of those who end up at the top of their class go off to do other things (like clerk or work for the DOJ Honors Program or go straight into academia somewhere). If you're not talking one of the very top law firms, you might be the only person grading from YLS who'd seriously go work for that law firm, and in that case they'd be much more inclined to take you just so they can add one more YLS grad to their employee roster. (It always impresses clients to be able to say "We have X Yale Law grads in this department" or something to that effect.) On the other hand, there might be several CLS grads competing there for a few spots.

But if you're top 10% at CLS, even if you're competing against a number of other CLS grads you're going to do well. Honestly for BigLaw either would be highly useful, though you'd have some variances based on each individual firm and how the market is behaving at the time (if the market picks up again soon I'd expect being top 50% at Y to be worth even more).

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OperaSoprano
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:51 pm

mistergoft wrote:
dbt wrote:Columbia student for anything.


Anything?

Sorry, I was just amused by the phrasing. Too many hours writing this brief has done something to my mind. :D

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dbt
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby dbt » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:52 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
mistergoft wrote:
dbt wrote:Columbia student for anything.


Anything?

Sorry, I was just amused by the phrasing. Too many hours writing this brief has done something to my mind. :D


well def Columbia student for sex!

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OperaSoprano
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:03 pm

dbt wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
mistergoft wrote:
dbt wrote:Columbia student for anything.


Anything?

Sorry, I was just amused by the phrasing. Too many hours writing this brief has done something to my mind. :D


well def Columbia student for sex!


I am terrible today, though I have no personal experience in this area. My T14 boy involvement has thus far been limited to non CLS students. (Not that I'm being purposefully exclusionary, or anything.)

I am going to fail this brief.

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Borhas
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby Borhas » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:05 pm

you probably have to work and do stuff at CLS

I vote Yale for QOL

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Unemployed
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby Unemployed » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:06 pm

dbt wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
mistergoft wrote:
dbt wrote:Columbia student for anything.


Anything?

Sorry, I was just amused by the phrasing. Too many hours writing this brief has done something to my mind. :D


well def Columbia student for sex!


Interesting theory.

OS! +1 on the brief.

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RVP11
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby RVP11 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:07 pm

Unemployed wrote:Georgetown 10% + LR is pretty much guaranteed V10 and fed clerkship. He/she also has a good shot at academia.


:shock:

So apparently top 10% at GULC means more than top 10% at UVA? Cause none of that stuff is pretty much guaranteed here.

Oh, and to answer OP's question: CLS + Law Review >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> average student at Yale.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:12 pm

Unemployed wrote:Interesting theory.

OS! +1 on the brief.


I could set up a study, if you could get your classmates to participate. Do we know median Yale students?

If I had a choice right now between finishing writing this and donating a kidney without anesthesia, guess which one I'd pick?

legends159
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby legends159 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:13 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
Oh, and to answer OP's question: CLS + Law Review >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> average student at Yale.


seriously, what is this naive idea that Yale is like manna from heaven?

and what does 50% at Yale even mean? There is no rank, there are no caps on how many H's they give out, how would you even know you're 50% at Yale. What distinguishes one yalie from another might end up being their students notes or other publications since it's difficult to compare H's and P's across different classes.

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Unemployed
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby Unemployed » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:14 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
Unemployed wrote:Georgetown 10% + LR is pretty much guaranteed V10 and fed clerkship. He/she also has a good shot at academia.


:shock:

So apparently top 10% at GULC means more than top 10% at UVA? Cause none of that stuff is pretty much guaranteed here.

Oh, and to answer OP's question: CLS + Law Review >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> average student at Yale.


Really? I mean I would have gotten into a pissing match with most other posters, but you actually know what you are talking about...

Is that ITE pwnage? I heard from recent Georgetown grads (three of whom were 10%+LR) that v10 or a district clerkship was pretty much guaranteed.

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Unemployed
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby Unemployed » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:16 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
Unemployed wrote:Interesting theory.

OS! +1 on the brief.


I could set up a study, if you could get your classmates to participate. Do we know median Yale students?

If I had a choice right now between finishing writing this and donating a kidney without anesthesia, guess which one I'd pick?


<----- qualifies.

I know plenty of median Yale students. Like 10 of them.

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im_blue
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby im_blue » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:16 pm

Unemployed wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
Unemployed wrote:Georgetown 10% + LR is pretty much guaranteed V10 and fed clerkship. He/she also has a good shot at academia.


:shock:

So apparently top 10% at GULC means more than top 10% at UVA? Cause none of that stuff is pretty much guaranteed here.

Oh, and to answer OP's question: CLS + Law Review >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> average student at Yale.


Really? I mean I would have gotten into a pissing match with most other posters, but you actually know what you are talking about...

Is that ITE pwnage? I heard from recent Georgetown grads (three of whom were 10%+LR) that v10 or a district clerkship was pretty much guaranteed.


Yes, because those recent GULC grads did OCI several years ago. It's a whole different ballgame ITE.

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Unemployed
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby Unemployed » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:23 pm

im_blue wrote:
Unemployed wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
Unemployed wrote:Georgetown 10% + LR is pretty much guaranteed V10 and fed clerkship. He/she also has a good shot at academia.


:shock:

So apparently top 10% at GULC means more than top 10% at UVA? Cause none of that stuff is pretty much guaranteed here.

Oh, and to answer OP's question: CLS + Law Review >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> average student at Yale.


Really? I mean I would have gotten into a pissing match with most other posters, but you actually know what you are talking about...

Is that ITE pwnage? I heard from recent Georgetown grads (three of whom were 10%+LR) that v10 or a district clerkship was pretty much guaranteed.


Yes, because those recent GULC grads did OCI several years ago. It's a whole different ballgame ITE.


I get the point about OCI, but isn't clerkship hiring done during 3L? Two of them are district court clerks right now, and also have COA spots waiting for them next year.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:27 pm

Unemployed wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
Unemployed wrote:Interesting theory.

OS! +1 on the brief.


I could set up a study, if you could get your classmates to participate. Do we know median Yale students?

If I had a choice right now between finishing writing this and donating a kidney without anesthesia, guess which one I'd pick?


<----- qualifies.

I know plenty of median Yale students. Like 10 of them.


Congratulations! Will you prove the validity of our assertions by staying, and continuing to kick serious ass at CLS?

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Borhas
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby Borhas » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:31 pm

The study you are talking about and the study others are hoping you are talking about are probably not the same thing.

hth

270910
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Re: What's better: top 10% at Columbia or 50% at Yale?

Postby 270910 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:34 pm

People seem to conflate 'zOMG YAAL IS NUMBAR ONE!1!!!11' with some magical power for all of their class to get anything they want.

Top quarter + at Yale is probably set, top 5-10% (defined perhaps by publications and professorial interactions as much as grades) with legit chances at heading to feader clerkships / SCOTUS. Median student at Yale will get a firm job, but top 10% at Columbia is going to be sitting MUCH prettier.




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