HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

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

What would you do?

Harvard Law School
133
43%
T-14 (just think of your favorite) with full Scholarship
173
57%
 
Total votes: 306

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:18 pm

LawandOrder wrote:The debt is transient, the prestige lasts a lifetime.


Transient how? Sure, the numbers in your bank account may be -- but the very real effects that significant debt can have on your decision-making, happiness, family life, general options, etc., are hardly transient.

I'm not advocating against HLS in this case -- honestly OP, I'm not sure what I would do in your situation, and Harvard is quite tempting. But I don't exactly agree with the notion that prestige lasts a lifetime whereas debt does not. Conversely, the ramifications of debt can most certainly last a lifetime...even if you're a Harvard grad.

EDIT: All this aside, I still voted Harvard. :D

keg411
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby keg411 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:34 pm

Good luck, OP. This is an extremely tough one. Not voting, but you have to figure out if, in your case, the opportunities at H will outweigh the debt-free-ness of the other school (which I'm guessing is M or V, based on the "7-10" and I don't think Berk and Penn give full rides).

aad
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby aad » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:40 pm

One factor you don't consider is the quality of your classmates. You mention networking with professors, etc. but you should also consider the potential value of the network you'll develop with your peers. Having the right contacts may pay dividends in the long-run. Who knows, at HLS you might be having happy hour drinks with the next Obama.

And, beyond selfish professional reasons, your peers will probably determine whether you have an intellectually stimulating experience at law school. An article on the YLS website makes the case best for why you should value the quality of your peers: http://www.law.yale.edu/admissions/11467.htm

I think the classmate argument at YLS is still applicable to HLS...... although I might want to do some harvard-yale trash talking and say it doesn't :)

APimpNamedSlickback
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:42 pm

if you have any ambitions at all outside of the narrow confines of law, say in business or politics, you might want to think twice about turning down h's alumni network

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neimanmarxist
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby neimanmarxist » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:43 pm

I voted for HLS sticker.

Debt is only temporary. Your HLS degree is forever. It's what I'd do without thinking twice :) Congrats and good luck.

pleasebehappy
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby pleasebehappy » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:47 pm

I'm actually more afraid of being under employed graduating in the lower part of Harvard's class.

I have been told that almost no one with 2 or more Low Passes at HLS got a decent OCI offer.

It seems easy enough to not end up in the bottom 8% of every class. However, if the H/P/LP are distributed more-or-less randomly (everyone's smart, so why wouldn't they be?), it becomes a bit scary. HLS students have 10 graded first-year classes (included legal writing). On a random distribution, only 43% of students come out of the first year without a single low pass. That means that 57% of the class (over 40 people in each section) have at least one low pass.

Approximately 15% of the class has 2 low passes.
Approximately 3.5% of the class has 3 low passes...and about .5% of the class has 4+ low passes.

Everyone would like to think that they're not in the bottom 19%; however, about 14 students in every section of about 75 people end up basically ineligible for any OCI jobs...not just the top firms. This puts the bottom 99 students (or so) having to go through not OCI to get a job.

I'm sure that a higher number of Michigan, Penn, Virginia, Duke, Northwestern students are kept out of OCI - but is it that much harder to be in the top half ofthose schools than the top 81% of Harvard?

Does this change anyone's opinion? And I really have no idea to the last question posed, which is why this is such a difficult decision.
Last edited by pleasebehappy on Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby 09042014 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:50 pm

I'd have to look at OCI data from HLS and CCN before I could decide this. I definitely would take HLS over the rest of the lower T13, but I think I'd take Chicago or Columbia if it were free.
Last edited by 09042014 on Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:52 pm

pleasebehappy wrote:I have been told that almost no one with 2 or more Low Passes at HLS got a decent OCI offer.

This would motivate me to not get any Low Passes.

pleasebehappy
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby pleasebehappy » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:57 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
pleasebehappy wrote:I have been told that almost no one with 2 or more Low Passes at HLS got a decent OCI offer.

This would motivate me to not get any Low Passes.


If I thought I could get by with no low passes on willpower to succeed alone, I'd have already signed up for Harvard. Hah. Seriously though, from what I've heard from students, it seems like it can be pretty random since your whole grade is on one exam and all of your peers are incredibly intelligent. Especially keeping in mind the balanced student who is a member of extracirricular organizations and who still has a social life.

jmkelly
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby jmkelly » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:59 pm

I'm actually more afraid of being under employed graduating in the lower part of Harvard's class.

I have been told that almost no one with 2 or more Low Passes at HLS got a decent OCI offer.

It seems easy enough to not end up in the bottom 8% of every class. However, if the H/P/LP are distributed more-or-less randomly (everyone's smart, so why wouldn't they be?), it becomes a bit scary. HLS students have 10 graded first-year classes (included legal writing). On a random distribution, only 43% of students come out of the first year without a single low pass. That means that 57% of the class (over 40 people in each section) have at least one low pass.

Approximately 15% of the class has 2 low passes.
Approximately 3.5% of the class has 3 low passes...and about .5% of the class has 4+ low passes.

Everyone would like to think that they're not in the bottom 19%; however, about 14 students in every section of about 75 people end up basically ineligible for any OCI jobs...not just the top firms. This puts the bottom 99 students (or so) having to go through not OCI to get a job.

I'm sure that a higher number of Michigan, Penn, Virginia, Duke, Northwestern students are kept out of OCI - but is it that much harder to be in the top half ofthose schools than the top 81% of Harvard?

Does this change anyone's opinion? And I really have no idea to the last question posed, which is why this is such a difficult decision.


1) LPs aren't mandatory.

2) If you're worried about doing so poorly in a class - twice! - that the professor wants to effectively take a dump on your resume, wouldn't that also be a problem at Michigan?

3) Granting the (incredibly unlikely) premise that 15% of the Harvard class is locked out of oci because of LPs, what percentage of Michigan's class is similarly locked out?

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romothesavior
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby romothesavior » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:59 pm

pleasebehappy wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
pleasebehappy wrote:I have been told that almost no one with 2 or more Low Passes at HLS got a decent OCI offer.

This would motivate me to not get any Low Passes.


If I thought I could get by with no low passes on willpower to succeed alone, I'd have already signed up for Harvard. Hah. Seriously though, from what I've heard from students, it seems like it can be pretty random since your whole grade is on one exam and all of your peers are incredibly intelligent. Especially keeping in mind the balanced student who is a member of extracirricular organizations and who still has a social life.


How is this different than just about any law school in America? No matter where you go, that exam at the end of your year will determine a LOT for your future. A couple of mediocre grades from a UVA, Michigan, Penn, etc. can really hurt you too. And I would rather be in the lower half at Harvard than at one of those other schools.

pleasebehappy
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby pleasebehappy » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:03 pm

jmkelly wrote:1) LPs aren't mandatory.

2) If you're worried about doing so poorly in a class - twice! - that the professor wants to effectively take a dump on your resume, wouldn't that also be a problem at Michigan?

3) Granting the (incredibly unlikely) premise that 15% of the Harvard class is locked out of oci because of LPs, what percentage of Michigan's class is similarly locked out?


For the purpose of this, I assumed that only the top 50% of the other school would be eligible for competitive OCI positions. So the question was, is it more reasonable to be top 50% at MVPBDN or top 80% at HLS, when students at HLS are more competitive in general?

Sorry if I didn't state clearly that I realize that you would have to graduate higher in the class at another school to have the same opportunities! Online posting is still sort of new to me and out of my comfort zone.

aad
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby aad » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:06 pm

pleasebehappy wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
pleasebehappy wrote:I have been told that almost no one with 2 or more Low Passes at HLS got a decent OCI offer.

This would motivate me to not get any Low Passes.


If I thought I could get by with no low passes on willpower to succeed alone, I'd have already signed up for Harvard. Hah. Seriously though, from what I've heard from students, it seems like it can be pretty random since your whole grade is on one exam and all of your peers are incredibly intelligent. Especially keeping in mind the balanced student who is a member of extracirricular organizations and who still has a social life.


In 20 years, do you want to look back on your life and say "I didn't go to Harvard because I was scared I wouldn't make it?"
Obviously, you are smart given the fact that you got into HLS and that you got a scholarship to a T14. Stop the self-doubt. The fact that you are so unreasonably paranoid about your academic performance makes it clear that you have the motivation to not be in that bottom 20%.

Go to HLS. After studying hard the first semester, you will see that you have what it takes.

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rayiner
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby rayiner » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:19 pm

There are bigger gaps in employement opportunities between the schools than there are in student quality.

Remeber, the median LSAT at Harvard is 173. The median LSAT at lower T14 is 170. That's not enough of a difference to infer that bottom 20% at HLS would be top half a T14.

Also, grades are not distributed anything approaching randomly. Law school is more about execution than how smart you are, at least within the narrow range of qualifications at a too school. People execute very differently.

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NayBoer
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby NayBoer » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:38 pm

You want to clerk. Go to Harvard.

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kalvano
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby kalvano » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:50 pm

Go to Harvard. You'll have every door open to you, and some things are worth the money. For the rest of your life, your degree will say "Harvard" on it, and that's worth taking on debt. Besides, if you want to work in NYC / DC, your yearly salary will probably start higher than your debt. You'll be able to pay it off quickly and reap the rewards of going to Harvard.

pleasebehappy
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby pleasebehappy » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:06 pm

Thanks for all of the advice! It's a lot to think about.

Best of luck to everyone!

motiontodismiss
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby motiontodismiss » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:58 am

Id go with T14 no debt. Even if my tuition is going to be fully paid for. That way I don't have to listen to my parents moan about the half a million I spent on school.

I don't think the edge that Harvard gives is worth $200k. Btw the highest placement rate for biglaw actually came from NU last year. So by the time you're 30, with no debt you could be completely student debt free, own a house, a nice car and be secure in the fact that your "lesser" degree landed you the same job that the Harvard kid that spent $200k got. So while that kid is gloating in his Harvard JD, you can say you're debt free and you're not enslaved by your job because you don't have a student loan to pay off.

Michigan full ride vs. Harvard sticker, eh? This is easy, take Michigan. Even easier because my target market is Chicago.
Last edited by motiontodismiss on Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:15 am, edited 3 times in total.

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MC Southstar
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby MC Southstar » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:00 am

I'm a prestige whore, I'd go to Harvard anyway.

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LawandOrder
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby LawandOrder » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:03 am

motiontodismiss wrote:...parents moan about the half a million I spent on school.

I don't think the edge that Harvard gives is worth $200k...


Hmm...

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dutchstriker
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby dutchstriker » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:13 am

I don't think grades are as random as everyone wants to believe. When visiting HLS, I met a 1L who had four high passes and one pass in his first semester. What are the chances of that randomly happening?

Also, the difference isn't going to be $200k. I'm looking at full-tuition at Columbia vs $15k in grant aid at HLS, and the difference for me would be around $100k.

When someone gets a full ride, everyone suddenly assumes that they'll absorb 100% of the COA at one school and 0% of the COA at the other (when in reality tuition accounts for about 60-70% of COA). It's still a difference, let's just not get carried away.

motiontodismiss
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby motiontodismiss » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:19 am

You have to pay CoL either way so we can take that out of the equation altogether.

motiontodismiss
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby motiontodismiss » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:10 am

LawandOrder wrote:
motiontodismiss wrote:...parents moan about the half a million I spent on school.

I don't think the edge that Harvard gives is worth $200k...


Hmm...


That's half a million if I include full fare for law school.

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rayiner
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby rayiner » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:14 am

motiontodismiss wrote:
LawandOrder wrote:
motiontodismiss wrote:...parents moan about the half a million I spent on school.

I don't think the edge that Harvard gives is worth $200k...


Hmm...


That's half a million if I include full fare for law school.


How'd you spend $300k on UG?

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HiLine
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Re: HLS vs. T-14 for Free! Need to decide ASAP!

Postby HiLine » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:20 am

Does 'full scholarship' mean 'full tuition scholarship'? If so, the opportunity cost for going to HLS is about $1350000, not $200,000 as some people assume. :wink:




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