Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

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

Where should I go?

Harvard
40
7%
Yale
295
53%
UChicago w/ Rubenstein
163
29%
Columbia w/ Hamilton
63
11%
 
Total votes: 561

Obi-Wan Kenobi
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Obi-Wan Kenobi » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:22 pm

Emma. wrote:Career options can include the option to choose a $120K job at a midlaw firm OP prefers, or a job in academia or something, rather than being locked into biglaw to pay down $200K.


So are you arguing that going to YLS will preclude OP from taking a 120k midlaw job? Or going into academia? Or that it would be more difficult to do so with YLS debt? That seems wrong.

If he makes 120k he contributes $15k a year to loans. Even after taxes that is plenty to live comfortably.

If he goes into academia he won't be making 120k right away, and COAP will kick in for even more.

So the options remain.

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ebeth
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby ebeth » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:25 pm

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Emma. wrote:Career options can include the option to choose a $120K job at a midlaw firm OP prefers, or a job in academia or something, rather than being locked into biglaw to pay down $200K.


So are you arguing that going to YLS will preclude OP from taking a 120k midlaw job? Or going into academia? Or that it would be more difficult to do so with YLS debt? That seems wrong.

If he makes 120k he contributes $15k a year to loans. Even after taxes that is plenty to live comfortably.


That may or may not be true, depending on where he lives and if he is supporting a family.

Obi-Wan Kenobi
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Obi-Wan Kenobi » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:32 pm

ebeth wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Emma. wrote:Career options can include the option to choose a $120K job at a midlaw firm OP prefers, or a job in academia or something, rather than being locked into biglaw to pay down $200K.


So are you arguing that going to YLS will preclude OP from taking a 120k midlaw job? Or going into academia? Or that it would be more difficult to do so with YLS debt? That seems wrong.

If he makes 120k he contributes $15k a year to loans. Even after taxes that is plenty to live comfortably.


That may or may not be true, depending on where he lives and if he is supporting a family.


Even in NYC 105k pre-tax is fine for a single dude and not substantially worse than 120k pre-tax. In terms of supporting a family, right now OP doesn't have one, and if he wants to start one, COAP adjusts one's income downward for expenses related to childcare and support of dependents.
Last edited by Obi-Wan Kenobi on Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Emma.
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Emma. » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:34 pm

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Emma. wrote:Career options can include the option to choose a $120K job at a midlaw firm OP prefers, or a job in academia or something, rather than being locked into biglaw to pay down $200K.


So are you arguing that going to YLS will preclude OP from taking a 120k midlaw job? Or going into academia? Or that it would be more difficult to do so with YLS debt? That seems wrong.

If he makes 120k he contributes $15k a year to loans. Even after taxes that is plenty to live comfortably.

If he goes into academia he won't be making 120k right away, and COAP will kick in for even more.

So the options remain.


Of course it won't preclude these things, but paying down $230K in debt based on a $120K income is not necessarily "plenty to live comfortably."

The options remain, but I think that debt does have serious implications on the financial feasibility of some of them.

FiveSermon
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby FiveSermon » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:35 pm

You are smart enough to have these options. I'm sure you can choose better than us mere mortals can.

Obi-Wan Kenobi
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Obi-Wan Kenobi » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:38 pm

Emma. wrote:Of course it won't preclude these things, but paying down $230K in debt based on a $120K income is not necessarily "plenty to live comfortably."

The options remain, but I think that debt does have serious implications on the financial feasibility of some of them.


You don't think 105k in pre-tax income is enough to live comfortably? When you say "120k income, 230k debt in the abstract," yes, it sounds bad. But COAP changes the picture the lower the income gets.

HowdyYall
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby HowdyYall » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:39 pm

FiveSermon wrote:You are smart enough to have these options. I'm sure you can choose better than us mere mortals can.


hahahahaha so true!

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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby 09042014 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:41 pm

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Emma. wrote:Of course it won't preclude these things, but paying down $230K in debt based on a $120K income is not necessarily "plenty to live comfortably."

The options remain, but I think that debt does have serious implications on the financial feasibility of some of them.


You don't think 105k in pre-tax income is enough to live comfortably? When you say "120k income, 230k debt in the abstract," yes, it sounds bad. But COAP changes the picture the lower the income gets.


Not if you want to pay that debt off before you get laid of from your firm. It'll take 5 years of paying 50K in post tax money to get your loans paid off.

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Emma.
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Emma. » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:42 pm

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Emma. wrote:Of course it won't preclude these things, but paying down $230K in debt based on a $120K income is not necessarily "plenty to live comfortably."

The options remain, but I think that debt does have serious implications on the financial feasibility of some of them.


You don't think 105k in pre-tax income is enough to live comfortably? When you say "120k income, 230k debt in the abstract," yes, it sounds bad. But COAP changes the picture the lower the income gets.


If OP is paying down $230K over 10 years his payments are more like $30K per year. Factoring in interest payments OP will pay something like $320K for his Yale education or $80K for UChi.

I also don't think $105K goes as far as you think it does.

Obi-Wan Kenobi
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Obi-Wan Kenobi » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:44 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Emma. wrote:Of course it won't preclude these things, but paying down $230K in debt based on a $120K income is not necessarily "plenty to live comfortably."

The options remain, but I think that debt does have serious implications on the financial feasibility of some of them.


You don't think 105k in pre-tax income is enough to live comfortably? When you say "120k income, 230k debt in the abstract," yes, it sounds bad. But COAP changes the picture the lower the income gets.


Not if you want to pay that debt off before you get laid of from your firm. It'll take 5 years of paying 50K in post tax money to get your loans paid off.



If you get laid off and don't get another high-paying job, COAP kicks in!!!!

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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Obi-Wan Kenobi » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:50 pm

Emma. wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Emma. wrote:Of course it won't preclude these things, but paying down $230K in debt based on a $120K income is not necessarily "plenty to live comfortably."

The options remain, but I think that debt does have serious implications on the financial feasibility of some of them.


You don't think 105k in pre-tax income is enough to live comfortably? When you say "120k income, 230k debt in the abstract," yes, it sounds bad. But COAP changes the picture the lower the income gets.


If OP is paying down $230K over 10 years his payments are more like $30K per year. Factoring in interest payments OP will pay something like $320K for his Yale education or $80K for UChi.

I also don't think $105K goes as far as you think it does.


OP got 17k a yr from YLS. So knock 51k of the 230k to get 179k.
If he goes Biglaw, 179k is the number--about 100k more than UChicago.
If he doesn't go Biglaw, the difference becomes less and less as his salary decreases.

Re: second pt. If 105k doesn't go very far, why think 120k will? That's not an enormous difference after taxes.

I really don't see any plausible argument for the claim that his options will be constrained by going to YLS.

09042014
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby 09042014 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:51 pm

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
If you get laid off and don't get another high-paying job, COAP kicks in!!!!


Or you could have huge savings and zero debt.

Obi-Wan Kenobi
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Obi-Wan Kenobi » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:54 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
If you get laid off and don't get another high-paying job, COAP kicks in!!!!


Or you could have huge savings and zero debt.


AGAIN: I'm arguing about CAREER OPTIONS, not money. It's obvious he will have more money out of Chicago. But the claim that his career options will be constrained out of YLS is completely wrong.

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Emma.
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Emma. » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:55 pm

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Emma. wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Emma. wrote:Of course it won't preclude these things, but paying down $230K in debt based on a $120K income is not necessarily "plenty to live comfortably."

The options remain, but I think that debt does have serious implications on the financial feasibility of some of them.


You don't think 105k in pre-tax income is enough to live comfortably? When you say "120k income, 230k debt in the abstract," yes, it sounds bad. But COAP changes the picture the lower the income gets.


If OP is paying down $230K over 10 years his payments are more like $30K per year. Factoring in interest payments OP will pay something like $320K for his Yale education or $80K for UChi.

I also don't think $105K goes as far as you think it does.


OP got 17k a yr from YLS. So knock 51k of the 230k to get 179k.
If he goes Biglaw, 179k is the number--about 100k more than UChicago.
If he doesn't go Biglaw, the difference becomes less and less as his salary decreases.

Re: second pt. If 105k doesn't go very far, why think 120k will? That's not an enormous difference after taxes.

I really don't see any plausible argument for the claim that his options will be constrained by going to YLS.


I missed the aid at YLS. Still, $179K in debt = annual repayments of ~$25K, for a total cost of education of ~$250K.

If you don't think a difference of ~$17K annually in loan repayments makes a difference to the financial viability of your options I think you are crazy.

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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby RoyBatty » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:55 pm

Sorry to drop in out of the blue. I'm V20 partner involved in firm recruiting. I've lurked off and on for a while; with employer roundtables and interviews on the horizon I've been catching up. I'm writing on a phone watching NBA playoffs; pardon the many typos and grammar issues I'm bound to make. I'm observing and providing some insight. Not answering questions. Hope you'll forgive me that.

First, an observation: prospective students have much more information now and are assessing options in a more thoughtful and methodical way than I could have 13 years ago. That's great. (Though polling strangers that don't have the same options or information as you has marginal value except as entertainment.).

Some key misconceptions/uncertainties prevail in the discussion here. I'll try to be thread-specific. I'm only addressing big firm behavior here and I'm basing this on personal experience plus discussions with partners at other firms.

First, let me confirm that each top firm (at least in the markets where I mostly practice - NY, DC, Chi, Bos) essentially saves summer spots for kids from each of Y-Chi. (NYU is a bit different in a couple of markets for historical reasons. UM or UVA get spots held for Chi and DC, for example. NYU is golden in NY and the grads tend to stay there, so not much thought is given to it in some other markets, relatively speaking, IME. Cal is a similar example.

(The flip side of this point is that, yes, T6 (with minor variations at the "bottom") is real. Be very careful with the common wisdom I see here that "after HYS T14 is mostly the same". For the tippy-top firms, that's just not true.)

So, as a law student you are not competing with other schools so much as your classmates. Once an SA and then an associate, you are generally judged on your individual merits and you compete with your peers at the firm.)

While a top firm (or USAO or judge) might be go "deeper" into Yale's class than UofC's, now would seem to be an odd time for the OP to bet against himself and pay a lot of money for that cushion just in case he doesn't do splendidly his first year at Chi (or Harvard or Colombia for that matter).

Also, since the very most OP can make as a first year is capped at 160k plus bonuses, I don't understand arguments about the marginal extra earning value of the Y degree. OP has little reason to think he won't be at least mediocre at a non-Y T6, which is in fact all he needs to get in the game at a big firm. Not getting a good job in 2014 from a T6 is a remote and I'd say unlikely risk. The debt, a risk in its own right, is real and much more certain.

Finally, anyone who thinks there's more "prestige" in the name Yale than in Hamilton or Rubenstein is nuts. People get into Yale (and Stanford) for all sorts of quirky and good reasons. But the top full ride T6 scholarships are rare and signify top credentials.

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Knock
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Knock » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:59 pm

RoyBatty wrote:Sorry to drop in out of the blue. I'm V20 partner involved in firm recruiting. I've lurked off and on for a while; with employer roundtables and interviews on the horizon I've been catching up. I'm writing on a phone watching NBA playoffs; pardon the many typos and grammar issues I'm bound to make. I'm observing and providing some insight. Not answering questions. Hope you'll forgive me that.

First, an observation: prospective students have much more information now and are assessing options in a more thoughtful and methodical way than I could have 13 years ago. That's great. (Though polling strangers that don't have the same options or information as you has marginal value except as entertainment.).

Some key misconceptions/uncertainties prevail in the discussion here. I'll try to be thread-specific. I'm only addressing big firm behavior here and I'm basing this on personal experience plus discussions with partners at other firms.

First, let me confirm that each top firm (at least in the markets where I mostly practice - NY, DC, Chi, Bos) essentially saves summer spots for kids from each of Y-Chi. (NYU is a bit different in a couple of markets for historical reasons. UM or UVA get spots held for Chi and DC, for example. NYU is golden in NY and the grads tend to stay there, so not much thought is given to it in some other markets, relatively speaking, IME. Cal is a similar example.

(The flip side of this point is that, yes, T6 (with minor variations at the "bottom") is real. Be very careful with the common wisdom I see here that "after HYS T14 is mostly the same". For the tippy-top firms, that's just not true.)

So, as a law student you are not competing with other schools so much as your classmates. Once an SA and then an associate, you are generally judged on your individual merits and you compete with your peers at the firm.)

While a top firm (or USAO or judge) might be go "deeper" into Yale's class than UofC's, now would seem to be an odd time for the OP to bet against himself and pay a lot of money for that cushion just in case he doesn't do splendidly his first year at Chi (or Harvard or Colombia for that matter).

Also, since the very most OP can make as a first year is capped at 160k plus bonuses, I don't understand arguments about the marginal extra earning value of the Y degree. OP has little reason to think he won't be at least mediocre at a non-Y T6, which is in fact all he needs to get in the game at a big firm. Not getting a good job in 2014 from a T6 is a remote and I'd say unlikely risk. The debt, a risk in its own right, is real and much more certain.

Finally, anyone who thinks there's more "prestige" in the name Yale than in Hamilton or Rubenstein is nuts. People get into Yale (and Stanford) for all sorts of quirky and good reasons. But the top full ride T6 scholarships are rare and signify top credentials.


Thanks for the post from someone who has law firm experience, it was really informative.

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Emma.
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Emma. » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:59 pm

Knock wrote:
Thanks for the post from someone who has law firm experience, it was really informative.

Curry

Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Curry » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:05 pm

Emma. wrote:
Knock wrote:
Thanks for the post from someone who has law firm experience, it was really informative.

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Knock
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Knock » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:06 pm

Also, I saw you said you weren't taking questions, but if you ever change your mind, I think a lot of TLSers would be appreciative and grateful if you decided to start a thread and take some questions. It would be nice to get information from a credible source, and clear up some misconceptions.

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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Obi-Wan Kenobi » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:55 pm

Emma. wrote:If you don't think a difference of ~$17K annually in loan repayments makes a difference to the financial viability of your options I think you are crazy.


The only circumstance under which he will actually pay the 17k extra annually is if he gets Biglaw. Are you arguing that taking a Biglaw job out of Yale is not financially viable?

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oxford_don
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby oxford_don » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:22 pm

I don't want to say too much because I haven't fully made up mind and want to inform the prospective schools first, but I wanted to thank everyone for their input and the quality of the discussion. I know there is some paranoid fear that I have "outted" myself to admissions offices, but I think it has been worth getting to have this discussion. I hope it was as helpful to other people as it was to me.

One final point to clarify. My career aspirations have been shifting over the past few weeks. Originally I seemed content to go to biglaw and then eventually find my way to a job that is less soul crushing. But the more I think about the reality of firm life, the less convinced I am that I want to ever work at a firm. In fact, I am becoming more certain that I want to do something besides biglaw. This process has led me to realize that I am capable of more than biglaw. Not to belittle that route, but given my abilities and the things I tend to value more in life (leisure, minimal stress, intellectual engagement, etc), I am pretty sure that it is not for me.

What to do besides biglaw? I would say my current feelings are 75% academia and 25% PI (govt work or more prestigious PI like ACLU). It's a terrifying realization that I want to be a law prof because this seems like a riskier route than the big law job I seemed to be guaranteed to get no matter where I go. But it's somewhat liberating to have a sense of direction that doesn't involve convincing myself that biglaw won't suck that much.

That's enough for now. Obviously this new information cuts both ways and they are new pros and cons for both schools. But I am decided that this will be the calculus I utilize in making my decision.

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Emma.
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Emma. » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:41 pm

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Emma. wrote:If you don't think a difference of ~$17K annually in loan repayments makes a difference to the financial viability of your options I think you are crazy.


The only circumstance under which he will actually pay the 17k extra annually is if he gets Biglaw. Are you arguing that taking a Biglaw job out of Yale is not financially viable?


:roll:

I don't know the details of the YLS COAP, but this seems objectively wrong, and at this point just kind of obstinate.

Of course biglaw at market salary is viable, that was never the point I made. Regardless, I think $17K per year over 10 years is a significant chunk of change, and it would be nice to be putting that in the bank rather than paying off loans.

OP, I think for academia the common wisdom (which I don't necessarily disagree with) is that the scale tips even further in YLS' favor, but I'm not sure that it should put UChi out of the question. Crushing debt is crushing debt, and it would be a pretty huge career safety net to go from a $250K education to a $80K education. Part of me says "are you crazy, go to Yale!" but I am pretty confident you are going to be successful wherever you go so another part of me says "you'll get academia from UChi if you want it, take the money and run!" Not very helpful, I know. :oops:

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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby ExpectLess » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:52 pm

Emma. wrote:OP, I think for academia the common wisdom (which I don't necessarily disagree with) is that the scale tips even further in YLS' favor, but I'm not sure that it should put UChi out of the question. Crushing debt is crushing debt, and it would be a pretty huge career safety net to go from a $250K education to a $80K education. Part of me says "are you crazy, go to Yale!" but I am pretty confident you are going to be successful wherever you go so another part of me says "you'll get academia from UChi if you want it, take the money and run!" Not very helpful, I know. :oops:


One of the professors at a T6 with whom I spoke graduated from Yale and he was still paying his loans back. Part of me was like, "of course you graduated from Yale," but then another part was like, "wait, you're 40-something and you're still paying your loans back?"

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Veyron
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Veyron » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:22 pm

ExpectLess wrote:
Emma. wrote:OP, I think for academia the common wisdom (which I don't necessarily disagree with) is that the scale tips even further in YLS' favor, but I'm not sure that it should put UChi out of the question. Crushing debt is crushing debt, and it would be a pretty huge career safety net to go from a $250K education to a $80K education. Part of me says "are you crazy, go to Yale!" but I am pretty confident you are going to be successful wherever you go so another part of me says "you'll get academia from UChi if you want it, take the money and run!" Not very helpful, I know. :oops:


One of the professors at a T6 with whom I spoke graduated from Yale and he was still paying his loans back. Part of me was like, "of course you graduated from Yale," but then another part was like, "wait, you're 40-something and you're still paying your loans back?"


BHO didn't pay his loans back till he wrote "Dreams from my father." Justice Thomas didn't pay his back till after he was on SCOTUS. Welcome to law.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby TaipeiMort » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:14 pm

Why don't people just pay them off in the first five years at big law?




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