Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

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dubs
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Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby dubs » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:47 pm

I'm trying to decide between Harvard and Stanford. I want to do public interest law and from what I hear, Stanford is much better for that. The students also seem a lot happier. The thing is, I want to practice on the East coast and I was wondering if going to Stanford over Harvard would significantly limit my options. Some people have told me that because there aren't as many Stanford grads practicing on the East coast, it can be more difficult to get work as a Stanford grad than as a Harvard grad.

Any thoughts/advice?

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verklempt
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby verklempt » Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:19 pm

I had to make that choice for business school and having spent my undergrad years on the East coast, I went with Stanford. But I have a family member who graduated in 2010 from Harvard Law; he was Stanford ug so wanted the double network.

I looked in the Stanford directory and there are over 900 Stanford Law alums in NY/New England.

Having recently worked in admissions for the GSB -- where our top applicants typically had to choose between the two schools -- we always told people that our alum network was smaller, but stronger. Harvard has great professional programs but their schools are so big that I don't think students develop the same bonds that they do at Stanford. So if you have your eye on a particular NY firm, you can look up your Stanford connections in that firm (undergrad too) and chances are good that those people will go out of their way to help you.

Palo Alto weather vs Boston weather - no contest. The cost of living is higher but if you live on campus, probably a wash. If you have always lived on the East Coast and plan to spend your career there, you might want to experience living in paradise for a few years! Not that I'm biased or anything.

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RVP11
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby RVP11 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:22 pm

dubs wrote:it can be more difficult to get work as a Stanford grad than as a Harvard grad.


Other than in Boston/New England I can't imagine there's a city in the world where it would be harder to get a job as a Stanford grad.

pride09
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby pride09 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:30 pm

Trying to make exact same calculation as OP. Leaning Stanford right now, but wary about alumni network in DC govt/PI

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:35 pm

If you want to practice in the east, I can't see why you would not go the best law school on the east coast not named Yale.

pride09
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby pride09 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:57 pm

1. Stanford LRAP is better.

2. Stanford students seem to enjoy their 3 years more. (Not just the weather--also, better student housing, I've only read about H students getting stuck with awful professors, less "prestige whore" personality among classmates, etc.)

3. My sense is that the big factors for employment are 1) prestige of school, 2) gpa/class rank, 3) extra resume items (eg. law review), 4) professor recs. Prestige seems mostly interchangeable between YHS. School choice won't have much predicable affect on gpa/rank. Smaller student body means proportionally better chance at law review/top clinics. Smaller student body means better chance at close relationships with professors.

I want to clerk and stats seem about equal between the two (per capita).

I look at all this and wonder how I could not choose Stanford. But I get your point; for someone interested in DC govt work, Harvard is supposed to be the obvious answer.

Charles5
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby Charles5 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:16 am

While there obviously is no "bad" choice between S and H, I think it is often an advantage to go to SLS over HLS if you want to practice on the East Coast. It all comes down to supply and demand. S is much more similar to Y than to H. Small class, but big demand for the graduates. All the major East Coast law firms (and prominent boutiques) recruit on-campus at SLS. And they all want SLS grads. But with a class of about 170-175 (about the same size as Yale), the demand far outstrips the supply. While more of the class ends up west of the Mississippi, there are still plenty that want to join a major East Coast law firm, or PI, or Government, or a federal clerkship, or academia. I've never met an SLS grad who wanted to end up on the East Coast--in any private or public capacity--who had any trouble at all. Usually, quite the contrary. Instead, the vast majority of the SLS class ends up with the "stress" of having so many interesting and seemingly attractive opportunities (whether in the private sphere or the public sphere or academia), that it's tough to make a decision. Again, supply and demand imbalances, akin to Yale (but with a warm, sunny climate--and part of a truly beautiful campus). I believe the % of the SLS graduating class that lands Article III clerkships exceeds H's; it's 2nd only to Y.

As noted by another poster above, smaller classes tend to breed strong, deep-seated loyalties--to the school, to classmates, to current students, and to alums. Revealed in giving (donations) to the school after graduation. And evident at both SLS and at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB). Kind of a proxy for grads' appreciation for--and satisfaction with--the two schools, and for the influence SLS or the GSB has had on their lives and their careers.

Just my two cents. Personally, I think it's most important to visit and get a true feel for the two schools when they are in session.

Stanford recently built new Law School-centered housing/apartments right next to the law school that apparrently have been extremely well received. Visit, talk to students and professors about the curriculum, the culture, and the student body. Determine the (real) opportunities to work closely with and get to know your professors; the opportunities to work with meaningful clinics. Ask how they (the students) view their opportunities and career prospects, no matter what they wish to pursue. Get a feel for the general level of happiness and satisfaction amongst the student body.

Again, no "bad" choice between these two. Congrats!
Last edited by Charles5 on Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:53 am

It should be easier to transfer to Harvard from Stanford than vice-versa. Have you ever lived outside of the Northeast US ? If not, then this is a great opportunity to expand your horizons without sacrifice, in my opinion. Do you have a preference for one type of environment over the other since these are quite different law school cultures ?

JakeL
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby JakeL » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:38 pm

Stanford would be my choice if I had it. That campus is like one giant country club.

Casey2889
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby Casey2889 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:07 pm

Making same choice. I'm leaning sls. Would only truly be hard if yls came into the picture later this spring. Better qol, same opportunity, less pressure for grades. Gotta be Stanford

DeepSeaLaw
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby DeepSeaLaw » Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:10 pm

I faced the same decision last year and chose Stanford (I deferred for a year). Here were the important considerations for me:

Harvard
--Closer to family and friends
--More accessible to a big city
--More to do in Cambridge itself than Palo Alto
--Deeper star-studded faculty than SLS (or YLS, for that matter)
--Bigger network in DC, where I think I want to return, and especially in prestigious government agencies and networks that interest me. This is also true of pretty much any non-West Coast market, and even at a lot of prestigious California firms, there are just as many or more HLS grads as SLS.
--Potential for a much wider social scene -- Cambridge/Boston is a great place to meet smart and interesting people
--Not everyone views Stanford as quite on Harvard's level. This isn't a big concern -- especially since even those who see it as Harvard/Yale and then everyone else still universally see SLS as at or near the top of "everyone else" -- but it is a fact on the East Coast.
--A Harvard Law degree is more powerful than a Stanford Law degree outside of the profession, especially if have an interest in getting into something like banking or consulting.
--Slightly cheaper cost of living. I still can't believe what I'll be paying to be in Munger next year...

Stanford
--Smaller student body means less competition for just about everything. This ended up being very important to me. For example -- 30-40 SLS grads probably aim for DC as their primary market each year, compared to well over 100 at HLS. Even if Harvard has a wider alumni network, firms and government agencies still want Stanford representation, and many partners told me that they felt the supply/demand equation was more favorable for SLS students.
--Easier access to professors
--Easier to get law review (although this is a double-edged sword, because employers know how much tougher it is to get onto Harvard's)
--Overall quality of life. This was huge for me. At Harvard's ASW, most people were happy, but pretty much every Stanford student I met LOVED SLS. The weather is a big part of it, but people did seem to enjoy life a little more. Also, there's something romantic about moving to California in your early 20's, and I am very excited.
--Lack of LP grades, combined with the small class size, puts even less pressure on grades. Although HLS students are a lot less stressed about grades than say, Columbia students, they're not quite as relaxed as SLS students. Some Harvard students did report that getting one or two LP's can pretty much sink you for selective firms or clerkships, which isn't something that Stanford students have to worry about.
--The quarter system means you get to take a wider variety of classes, although it does mean more work, especially in the first year.
--The opportunity to take a clinic full-time is very attractive to me.

I'm not sure how helpful this is (I started off making a pro/con list for each and then got lazy), but you need to go to both Admit Weekends. To be honest, I was leaning heavily toward Harvard until Stanford's ASW, but Stanford just felt like the place for me. Everything from the campus to the deans just excited me more: the thesis of Dean Minnow's talk was essentially, "we're Harvard, and we have a dizzying array of programs and opportunities that no other school can match, while Dean Kramer more or less said, "you've all gotten into multiple schools that can catapult you to great success; I believe that Stanford is gearing itself toward the future in a unique way, and if you like that direction, you should come here." The breadth of opportunities at Harvard are unmatched, but Stanford allows you to really pursue your interests and graduate with fantastic job prospects while living in a fairly paradisaical environment. Approach each with an open mind, and follow your gut.

pride09
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby pride09 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:40 pm

Thanks for posting that. Last night I typed up an email for my parents explaining the factors in the choice that looked very similar to what you wrote. It's reassuring to hear other people making the exact same cost/benefit analysis (especially regarding DC govt work) also come out leaning Stanford. I expect ASW to be pretty influential, and right now I'm hoping that the visits reinforce my preference for Stanford rather than throwing everything in flux again.

Harvard's big selling point seems to be that it is big enough that everyone can find their unique niche. Every single corner of legal academia is covered. But I don't really have any specialized interests--just basic constitutional law is all I want, not "labor law and women in the 19th century" or whatever. Despite Harvard's lengthy course catalogue, I can't imagine I'll struggle to find interesting classes at Stanford.

pride09
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby pride09 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:43 pm

Another question:

Ease of access to professors seems like a big advantage for Stanford. I'm curious just how much this is true. Schools talk up their professor:student ration (I think 11:1 vs. 8:1 or something), but I don't know how meaningful that is--it's not like you're choosing between classes of 11 students vs. classes of 8 students. The number of classes a professor teaches would matter just as much as simply how many professors there are. If Harvard's first year section classes are 80, and Stanford combines 2 sections of 30, I don't know how influential that difference is (LRW is 40 students vs. 30). Harvard boasts it has 135 classes of 15 of fewer students--is that a lot? And Harvard's reading groups of 10-12 people with a professor sounds pretty cool, too.

So I guess I'd like to hear more (from anyone who knows) about why Stanford gets credited for the edge in class sizes and relationships from professors. I think the Stanford admit packet mentioned professors who host class at their homes over supper, but I'm sure that's not representative. How big are the "average" classes at both schools (particularly after 1L)? I've also heard that a handful of Harvard professors can be pretty stuffy, and much more into their brilliant research than teaching, which might also be part of what this is about.

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tgir
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby tgir » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:13 pm

DeepSeaLaw wrote:I faced the same decision last year and chose Stanford (I deferred for a year). Here were the important considerations for me:

Harvard
--Closer to family and friends
--More accessible to a big city
--More to do in Cambridge itself than Palo Alto
--Deeper star-studded faculty than SLS (or YLS, for that matter)
--Bigger network in DC, where I think I want to return, and especially in prestigious government agencies and networks that interest me. This is also true of pretty much any non-West Coast market, and even at a lot of prestigious California firms, there are just as many or more HLS grads as SLS.
--Potential for a much wider social scene -- Cambridge/Boston is a great place to meet smart and interesting people
--Not everyone views Stanford as quite on Harvard's level. This isn't a big concern -- especially since even those who see it as Harvard/Yale and then everyone else still universally see SLS as at or near the top of "everyone else" -- but it is a fact on the East Coast.
--A Harvard Law degree is more powerful than a Stanford Law degree outside of the profession, especially if have an interest in getting into something like banking or consulting.
--Slightly cheaper cost of living. I still can't believe what I'll be paying to be in Munger next year...

Stanford
--Smaller student body means less competition for just about everything. This ended up being very important to me. For example -- 30-40 SLS grads probably aim for DC as their primary market each year, compared to well over 100 at HLS. Even if Harvard has a wider alumni network, firms and government agencies still want Stanford representation, and many partners told me that they felt the supply/demand equation was more favorable for SLS students.
--Easier access to professors
--Easier to get law review (although this is a double-edged sword, because employers know how much tougher it is to get onto Harvard's)
--Overall quality of life. This was huge for me. At Harvard's ASW, most people were happy, but pretty much every Stanford student I met LOVED SLS. The weather is a big part of it, but people did seem to enjoy life a little more. Also, there's something romantic about moving to California in your early 20's, and I am very excited.
--Lack of LP grades, combined with the small class size, puts even less pressure on grades. Although HLS students are a lot less stressed about grades than say, Columbia students, they're not quite as relaxed as SLS students. Some Harvard students did report that getting one or two LP's can pretty much sink you for selective firms or clerkships, which isn't something that Stanford students have to worry about.
--The quarter system means you get to take a wider variety of classes, although it does mean more work, especially in the first year.
--The opportunity to take a clinic full-time is very attractive to me.

I'm not sure how helpful this is (I started off making a pro/con list for each and then got lazy), but you need to go to both Admit Weekends. To be honest, I was leaning heavily toward Harvard until Stanford's ASW, but Stanford just felt like the place for me. Everything from the campus to the deans just excited me more: the thesis of Dean Minnow's talk was essentially, "we're Harvard, and we have a dizzying array of programs and opportunities that no other school can match, while Dean Kramer more or less said, "you've all gotten into multiple schools that can catapult you to great success; I believe that Stanford is gearing itself toward the future in a unique way, and if you like that direction, you should come here." The breadth of opportunities at Harvard are unmatched, but Stanford allows you to really pursue your interests and graduate with fantastic job prospects while living in a fairly paradisaical environment. Approach each with an open mind, and follow your gut.


Wow, my feelings *exactly*. Actually kinda scary how similar my own mental pro-con list looks after reading yours.

legends159
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby legends159 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:28 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:If you want to practice in the east, I can't see why you would not go the best law school on the east coast not named Yale.


b/c SLS = guaranteed biglaw on the East Coast (sans DC b/c that's competitive for any school). I don't know what it's like at HLS but with a class of over 600 (including transfers) I don't know if everyone who wanted biglaw actually got it.

Having gone through OCI from SLS, if you want East Coast biglaw you got it regardless of your grades. Why? B/c so few are willing to leave CA that if you want the east coast you will only be competing with a small handful of students each year. I bid exclusively NY and my callbacks were with the same group of people.

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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby sarahh » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:29 pm

Students from Harvard have told me they feel that most of the professors are accessible and that they do not feel that the atmoshpere is competitive. I think that Harvard is a good place to do public interest. They have a lot of public interest clinics (although it seems that some of the clinics, such as the Legal Aid Bureau are pretty hard to get into.) I talked to someone from the Office of Public Interest Advising a few weeks ago who was pretty helpful. They offer a lot of events during the year. Also, they have a pretty decent LRAP, and they will be rolling out the Public Service Venture fund in 2013. People have told me that Stanford is terrible for public interest - but these people did not go to Stanford. I would definitely talk to some Stanford students. I don't think Stanford's reputation itself will be a problem when looking on the east coast, but it may be logistically difficult. I don't think there is much on-campus public interest recruiting, and I especially would not expect east coast organizations to come out to Stanford. Would you want to have to fly out repeatedly to the east coast to interview during your 3L year? (I don't know if you have to do this to get a job - this would be a good thing to talk to students about.)

Stanford's campus is beautiful and the weather is certaintly nicer than in Cambridge. However, it is a bit more isolated. It is a bit of a trek to get to San Francisco from there. With Harvard, it is very easy to hop on the T and get to Boston. I think the cost of living is roughly the same for both - expensive.

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tgir
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby tgir » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:30 pm

legends159 wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:If you want to practice in the east, I can't see why you would not go the best law school on the east coast not named Yale.


b/c SLS = guaranteed biglaw on the East Coast (sans DC b/c that's competitive for any school). I don't know what it's like at HLS but with a class of over 600 (including transfers) I don't know if everyone who wanted biglaw actually got it.

Having gone through OCI from SLS, if you want East Coast biglaw you got it regardless of your grades. Why? B/c so few are willing to leave CA that if you want the east coast you will only be competing with a small handful of students each year. I bid exclusively NY and my callbacks were with the same group of people.


That's really interesting (and pleasant) information. Thanks.

Have you gotten any sense of what SLS OCI is like for those aiming for DC? And for the West Coast?

legends159
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby legends159 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:51 pm

tgir wrote:Have you gotten any sense of what SLS OCI is like for those aiming for DC? And for the West Coast?


DC is popular so it's more competitive than NYC. But with that said, majority of people want to stay in CA. From the facebook pages, about 45-50 people end up in DC each year.

CA can be very competitive depending on what kind of firm. If you're talking Keker, Irell, or Munger we send anywhere from 2-5 each year (more to Munger b/c it's bigger than the other two). And they interview about 30 people I think (and most people who get the offer take it). If you're talking Orrick, Wilson Sonsini, MoFo or Latham (bigger shops) we send 8-10. The offer rate is probably 12-15 each firm.

Most people in my year (2012) had 4+ offers; some with 8+ but I also know some who only had 1-2 offers. But those with 1-2 offers also had close to straight P's and no prior work experience. Those with 6+ offers either had good grades (more H's than P's) or great work experience (including Phd in IP).

It's also important to note that about 1/5 of the class did not do OCI b/c they didn't want private practice. Many of them are doing top PI internships.

I think only YLS & SLS can guarantee biglaw employment to every student that wants it b/c of the small class sizes, diversity of interests (both geographically and type of work), and the "X factor" (you can't just get in w/ numbers alone suggesting you have something else interesting about you).

Yes we lose in lay prestige to HLS, and that matters to people. But i'll trade lay prestige for an amazing campus, beautiful weather and job security any day.

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arvcondor
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby arvcondor » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:58 am

verklempt wrote:...you might want to experience living in paradise for a few years!
I grew up in Palo Alto. Please take it back.

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Knock
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby Knock » Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:04 am

This thread is interesting, tag.

DeepSeaLaw
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby DeepSeaLaw » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:19 pm

sarahh wrote: People have told me that Stanford is terrible for public interest - but these people did not go to Stanford.


Huh? Stanford and Harvard have basically equivalent percentages of students go into public interest, not that that means much. Stanford's LRAP is more generous for people really focused on public interest (although LIPP is much more flexible), and guaranteed summer public interest funding is roughly equivalent for 1Ls and more generous for 2Ls. There are tons of opportunities to get involved in East Palo Alto, and the Levin Center is a great resource for public interest careers. Harvard has more clinics (as you would expect, since there are over three times as many students), but Stanford still has 11. And while statistics like this aren't everything, SLS has graduated more Skadden fellows relative to student body size than any school except Yale (Harvard is #3). I'm sure Harvard offers a wider range of opportunities because of its size and alumni network, but I'm completely at a loss as to how anyone could describe Stanford as "terrible for public interest."

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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby d34d9823 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:31 pm

Knock wrote:This thread is interesting, tag.

dubs
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby dubs » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:13 pm

sarahh wrote:Students from Harvard have told me they feel that most of the professors are accessible and that they do not feel that the atmoshpere is competitive. I think that Harvard is a good place to do public interest. They have a lot of public interest clinics (although it seems that some of the clinics, such as the Legal Aid Bureau are pretty hard to get into.) I talked to someone from the Office of Public Interest Advising a few weeks ago who was pretty helpful. They offer a lot of events during the year. Also, they have a pretty decent LRAP, and they will be rolling out the Public Service Venture fund in 2013. People have told me that Stanford is terrible for public interest - but these people did not go to Stanford. I would definitely talk to some Stanford students. I don't think Stanford's reputation itself will be a problem when looking on the east coast, but it may be logistically difficult. I don't think there is much on-campus public interest recruiting, and I especially would not expect east coast organizations to come out to Stanford. Would you want to have to fly out repeatedly to the east coast to interview during your 3L year? (I don't know if you have to do this to get a job - this would be a good thing to talk to students about.)

Stanford's campus is beautiful and the weather is certaintly nicer than in Cambridge. However, it is a bit more isolated. It is a bit of a trek to get to San Francisco from there. With Harvard, it is very easy to hop on the T and get to Boston. I think the cost of living is roughly the same for both - expensive.



I definitely see the advantages to a Harvard education that you're talking about, but I work at a human rights law firm and have talked to a lot of the lawyers (most of whom are east coasters and most of whom attended Yale) and they all say that Stanford is way better for public interest. They say that Harvard may have a lot of clinics, but the quality of the clinics at Stanford is better. There is more support from the administration at Stanford apparently and the scholarship opportunities/LRAP are definitely way better. Also, for PI, relationships with your professors can be a really important factor in getting a job. One lawyer who is a Yale grad said that she knows Harvard and Stanford profs and she's found that the Stanford profs are way more willing to go to bat for their students than the Harvard profs.

I'm not saying Harvard doesn't have an excellent program as well, but as far as I can tell, Stanford is superior to Harvard on the PI front and lawyers in the PI world are aware of this.

That being said, Harvard's proximity to the big PI hubs (NYC and D.C.) is a realllly valuable asset and you're right that East coast organizations may not recruit as much from SLS. Also all the lawyers have said that it makes sense to go to school near where you want to work and I know I'm going east coast after law school...

sarahh
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby sarahh » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:37 pm

Yeah, like I said, these people did not go to Stanford - it was more second-hand or third-hand information. One of the nice things about Harvard's LRAP is that it covers any non-profit job, not just legal ones, but the coverage does not seem that great once your income hits $60,000+. With the public service venture fund, funding for public interest will increase in the future. It was a bit tricky for me to find a non-profit job on the west coast while going to college on the east coast. I was a able to get a job with just a phone interview, but it was AmeriCorps. I don't think an employer would have hired me for a regular position just based on a phone interview. I am in the opposite situation as you - I would like to come back to the west coast after graduating - but will probably go to school on the east coast. I do wonder how hard it will be to find a job and if I will wind up staying on the east coast because it will be easier to find a job there.

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tgir
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Re: Harvard v. Stanford for an East coaster

Postby tgir » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:03 pm

sarahh wrote:Yeah, like I said, these people did not go to Stanford - it was more second-hand or third-hand information. One of the nice things about Harvard's LRAP is that it covers any non-profit job, not just legal ones, but the coverage does not seem that great once your income hits $60,000+. With the public service venture fund, funding for public interest will increase in the future. It was a bit tricky for me to find a non-profit job on the west coast while going to college on the east coast. I was a able to get a job with just a phone interview, but it was AmeriCorps. I don't think an employer would have hired me for a regular position just based on a phone interview. I am in the opposite situation as you - I would like to come back to the west coast after graduating - but will probably go to school on the east coast. I do wonder how hard it will be to find a job and if I will wind up staying on the east coast because it will be easier to find a job there.


Yeah, Harvard's LRAP is more flexible in theory. While Stanford's only covers jobs that are "public interest" AND "law-related," Harvard's covers jobs that are "public interest" OR "law-related." Additionally, Harvard's LRAP maintains the maximum 40% bracket for any level of income, whereas after $80,000, Stanford's jumps to 70% of gross income--which, when added to federal and state taxes, almost completely eliminates the marginal benefit of salary increases above that level.

In *practice*, however, Stanford's is more generous for most people: (1) most people coming out of these schools and planning to use LRAP are interested in and able to find work which is both "public interest" and "law related"; (2) most public interest jobs aren't going to get you above $80,000 anyway. I calculated the "break even point" for Harvard v. Stanford LRAP--the point at which Harvard's lower 40% requirement overtakes Stanford's higher income brackets, leading to a higher take-home salary for the Harvard grad--and I think it was around $90,000. And if you get much more income than that, the student contribution that Harvard expects from you would be sufficient to cover most people's debt burden without assistance from the LRAP. In other words, there's a very narrow and unlikely salary range (maybe like $90,000-120,000) for which Harvard's LRAP is more generous.

So maybe if you're worried about ending up in private practice at a midlaw firm, Harvard's might benefit you. But is that really a likely scenario?




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