krj02004 wrote:If he wants to practice in Texas or Cali... I see no reason to go to Harvard and assume all that debt. I lived in MA for a bit.... it's very expensive in Cambridge. Texas is a T15 school and will easily land you as good a paying job in Cali and for sure in TX. Austin has a better cost of living, arguably a better quality of life...you'll be going to school debt free.... I don't understand the debate here. If he wanted to practice on the East Coast, I can see Harvard entering the picture. But if not... he wants to assume $200k+ in debt just to say you went to "Harvard"?
When you are looking at starting salaries and then salary to debt ratio, it's going to favor Texas IMO. Is there a specific type of law he wants to practice where Harvard has a significant advantage over Texas?
You should not be giving advice. OP's friend: do not listen to this poster.
Why? Because I actually have experience in the legal field in Cali? I've dined with with MANY attorneys from biglaw firms in LA, gone to conventions and dinners... only met a couple of Harvard grads... mostly Texas, UCLA, Standford, and USC. THe most important thing is to makes sure your graduated top of your class. WIth zero debt graduating.... you have more job options to choose from as well. What if the OP changes his mind about biglaw employment?
If the OP for sure knows he wants to practice in Texas or Cali, and is not even thinking about the East Coast, I think the logical choice is to accept Texas at full-ride. Just because Harvard accepts you it doesn't mean in all cases it's the best or only place to go. Get your head outta your a**.
Like I said, having lived in MA for 5 years previously, Austin will have a higher quality of life because it's cheaper as well. Unless his parents are paying his way, if you live in Austin you can have a better apartment than a crummy, cramped, and old studio apartment in Cambridge. Then there is the commute factor if you choose to live farther out. I mean, if the OP's parents are paying for anything anyways, then I guess Harvard would make sense. That's my opinion having lived on both sides of the country.