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

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

Postby shortporch » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:09 am

I don't understand this thread. In the original post you say you don't want academia. In a subsequent post you seem fairly confident that's your goal (a remarkable statement from a 0L). If it's academia you seek, it's Yale, and that ends the discussion. If you're unsure or lack the writing itch, then the academia discussion should be off the table and you should weigh the other factors.

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

Postby oxford_don » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:33 am

shortporch wrote:I don't understand this thread. In the original post you say you don't want academia. In a subsequent post you seem fairly confident that's your goal (a remarkable statement from a 0L). If it's academia you seek, it's Yale, and that ends the discussion. If you're unsure or lack the writing itch, then the academia discussion should be off the table and you should weigh the other factors.


I wrote that in February and included a statement that I thought I might be interested in academia. Three months later I have spoken to more practicing lawyers and have a better sense of biglaw. I also said my certainty at this moment is that I want to pursue something outside of the big firm track (this includes academia and PI). I don't think this is a remarkable statement considering that I took plenty of advanced seminars in undergrad and wrote some lengthy papers that could have been published with some tweaking. I have a strong background in political philosophy and can see areas of of the law (constitutional law/theory, election law, and criminal law) that interest me. The process of applying to law school can be just as much a process of discernment as the initial decision to apply. Being confronted with these choices has forced me to confront my career options in a way that I never would have had to if it was just top school or bust. I'm willing to admit that there is still some possibility that this will change and I might end up making my choice on the basis of a career I don't pursue, but I'm willing to risk that. I would regret making this decision on the basis of the following the career path of least resistance.

I also don't think academia=Yale. I have had enough discussions with Leiter to be convinced that anyone can land a teaching job out of Chicago. I am making the decision on the basis of intellectual fit, faculty I want to work with, intellectual environment I want to work in, etc.

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

Postby Emma. » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:50 am

oxford_don wrote:
shortporch wrote:I don't understand this thread. In the original post you say you don't want academia. In a subsequent post you seem fairly confident that's your goal (a remarkable statement from a 0L). If it's academia you seek, it's Yale, and that ends the discussion. If you're unsure or lack the writing itch, then the academia discussion should be off the table and you should weigh the other factors.


I wrote that in February and included a statement that I thought I might be interested in academia. Three months later I have spoken to more practicing lawyers and have a better sense of biglaw. I also said my certainty at this moment is that I want to pursue something outside of the big firm track (this includes academia and PI). I don't think this is a remarkable statement considering that I took plenty of advanced seminars in undergrad and wrote some lengthy papers that could have been published with some tweaking. I have a strong background in political philosophy and can see areas of of the law (constitutional law/theory, election law, and criminal law) that interest me. The process of applying to law school can be just as much a process of discernment as the initial decision to apply. Being confronted with these choices has forced me to confront my career options in a way that I never would have had to if it was just top school or bust. I'm willing to admit that there is still some possibility that this will change and I might end up making my choice on the basis of a career I don't pursue, but I'm willing to risk that. I would regret making this decision on the basis of the following the career path of least resistance.

I also don't think academia=Yale. I have had enough discussions with Leiter to be convinced that anyone can land a teaching job out of Chicago. I am making the decision on the basis of intellectual fit, faculty I want to work with, intellectual environment I want to work in, etc.


Sounds at this point like you have all the info and you just have to figure this out for yourself. Best of luck making what must be a tough decision (though one without a wrong answer).

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

Postby shortporch » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:58 pm

oxford_don wrote:
shortporch wrote:I don't understand this thread. In the original post you say you don't want academia. In a subsequent post you seem fairly confident that's your goal (a remarkable statement from a 0L). If it's academia you seek, it's Yale, and that ends the discussion. If you're unsure or lack the writing itch, then the academia discussion should be off the table and you should weigh the other factors.


I wrote that in February and included a statement that I thought I might be interested in academia. Three months later I have spoken to more practicing lawyers and have a better sense of biglaw. I also said my certainty at this moment is that I want to pursue something outside of the big firm track (this includes academia and PI). I don't think this is a remarkable statement considering that I took plenty of advanced seminars in undergrad and wrote some lengthy papers that could have been published with some tweaking. I have a strong background in political philosophy and can see areas of of the law (constitutional law/theory, election law, and criminal law) that interest me. The process of applying to law school can be just as much a process of discernment as the initial decision to apply. Being confronted with these choices has forced me to confront my career options in a way that I never would have had to if it was just top school or bust. I'm willing to admit that there is still some possibility that this will change and I might end up making my choice on the basis of a career I don't pursue, but I'm willing to risk that. I would regret making this decision on the basis of the following the career path of least resistance.

I also don't think academia=Yale. I have had enough discussions with Leiter to be convinced that anyone can land a teaching job out of Chicago. I am making the decision on the basis of intellectual fit, faculty I want to work with, intellectual environment I want to work in, etc.


I'll speak frankly on a few subjects, because I think you can handle frank talk.

First, and as background, if you've moved so dramatically in just a couple of months, I worry that the quarter-million dollar investment at Yale would not be worth it for you, as your interests are likely to change dramatically. Given that, Chicago would be your best choice.

Second, "constitutional theory" is so extraordinarily difficult to break into that it's not even possible to treat seriously as a field.

Third, "advanced seminars" and papers that "could" be published aren't even close to boots-on-the-ground academia.

Finally, Prof. Leiter is fairly aggressive about pursuing his own pet institutions, so there's no question he's going to be fairly optimistic about Chicago's offerings (as he is about Texas's or San Diego's).

Chicago places around 6 people in the academy each year. Yale places around 30. That's fact.

Now, Chicago is very good about elite placement (as in, the handful they get each year tend to be first-tier schools, not a scattering across all four tiers). But it is a grind-you-up, spit-you-out kind of academic training ground. You can enroll in a course at Chicago to "train" you as a potential academic--but after the first term, the professors in charge bar the "bottom" half of that class from re-enrolling in it the second term. It's that kind of brutal place for training. They're interested in crafting a small group of elite scholars. In contrast, Yale is going to be far more cooperative in academic opportunities and placement, with the reality that many get teaching positions and many are expected.

You're obviously intelligent--you achieved the dream selection of law school acceptances and scholarships. And while I'm now inclined to think that Chicago is likely your best fit, I want to offer the caution that the salesmanship from select quarters or the experiences of an undergraduate are not entirely consistent with the reality you may face in 2017 (or so) when you're looking at a teaching position.

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

Postby Obi-Wan Kenobi » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:42 pm

oxford_don wrote:I wrote that in February and included a statement that I thought I might be interested in academia. Three months later I have spoken to more practicing lawyers and have a better sense of biglaw. I also said my certainty at this moment is that I want to pursue something outside of the big firm track (this includes academia and PI). I don't think this is a remarkable statement considering that I took plenty of advanced seminars in undergrad and wrote some lengthy papers that could have been published with some tweaking. I have a strong background in political philosophy and can see areas of of the law (constitutional law/theory, election law, and criminal law) that interest me. The process of applying to law school can be just as much a process of discernment as the initial decision to apply. Being confronted with these choices has forced me to confront my career options in a way that I never would have had to if it was just top school or bust. I'm willing to admit that there is still some possibility that this will change and I might end up making my choice on the basis of a career I don't pursue, but I'm willing to risk that. I would regret making this decision on the basis of the following the career path of least resistance.

I also don't think academia=Yale. I have had enough discussions with Leiter to be convinced that anyone can land a teaching job out of Chicago. I am making the decision on the basis of intellectual fit, faculty I want to work with, intellectual environment I want to work in, etc.



Sounds like you’ve thought things through, but for ConLaw academia I can’t help but think Yale has a huge edge. Amar, Ackerman, Balkin, Fiss, Post, and Eskridge are all at the absolute top of the field (and together represent more than a quarter of Leiter’s 20 most cited faculty in ConLaw). You’re virtually guaranteed to be working with guys like this at YLS. UChicago does have Sunstein, Epstein, and Geoff Stone, but my impression is that Sunstein spends quite a bit of time at HLS and Epstein at NYU.

Another consideration for ConLaw academia should probably be your ability to get an appellate clerkship in what is at least right now a ridiculously competitive market, and YLS has the edge here too.

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

Postby Lawlcat » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:33 am

Full disclosure: I'm a 2L at Michigan, a school that Leiter loves to trash. (He also went here. Apparently, there's some bad blood.)

From what I've heard you describe, Leiter is talking up something that he wants to be true in the future, but can't credibly claim is true now.

If you want to be rich in the short-term: go to Chicago. All that scholarship money will make even a year or two in BigLaw enormously profitable for you, and you probably have decent odds of BigLaw.

If you don't care about being rich and want to do academics (or "prestigious" PI/gov): go to Yale. You'll be massively in debt but never have to pay it due to LRAP.

If you want money, it would be foolish to go to Yale, slog through 3 years of BigLaw, and emerge about as well-off as you'd have been with one such year out of Chicago.
(Counterpoint: one year at BigLaw seems reasonably popular among T14 professors. I'm not sure if it's actually synergistic with their academic path or if it was just something they did because, hey, some money while they think things over.)

If you want to be an academic/PI champion, it would be stupid to decide on the basis of a free ride when you won't be paying that money back anyway.

Maybe you'd be top 5% at Chicago or something, but are you sure? Law school (and law school exams) are really unpredictable, and it's not just consolation to the "losers" to say that being smart does not ensure success.

Take a look at the Yale situation:

Want a federal clerkship? You have quite good chances (30% or so) of landing one. At Chicago, that's more like 10%. Do you want to try to guess which card is the ace of spades from among three or among ten? A federal clerkship is a great starting point for all kinds of PI/academic things: practically a pre-requisite for academia, and almost as necessary for DOJ and other PI work.

Want academia? Relying on the poster above, we have 6 per year versus 30 per year (with apparently similar class sizes). For one year, that works out as something like 1% at Chicago and 5% at Yale. I don't think anyone should go to law school banking on being an awesome law professor, any more than one should go "because I want to be a Supreme Court clerk", but your odds are at least BETTER for these things at Yale.

Putting Yale Law at the top lines your resume in gold in PI and governmental offices. Only those who have chugged Leiterade to the point of toxicity believe Chicago does the same.

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

Postby Lisi » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:02 pm

You obviously have incredible options. From the schools I've visited, it's clear that the profs know that most people are deciding between lots of top schools, and so profs are often happy to offer their opinions about any number of law school related questions. I think you should take advantage of their interest and bring up your questions about Yale v. Chicago to someone(s) at Columbia and Harvard (since these schools seem to be out of the running for you). Of course, you couldn't tell them that their school is entirely out of the running because that would be rude, but there is definitely a way to artful introduce the question into conversation or correspondence. A couple profs at Harvard + Columbia will give your better advice and insight than TLS and Leiter

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

Postby drylo » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:21 pm

Lawlcat wrote:Want a federal clerkship? You have quite good chances (30% or so) of landing one. At Chicago, that's more like 10%.


?

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

Postby Lawlcat » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:51 pm

drylo wrote:
Lawlcat wrote:Want a federal clerkship? You have quite good chances (30% or so) of landing one. At Chicago, that's more like 10%.


?


?

(30% at Yale)

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

Postby FiveSermon » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:06 pm

drylo wrote:
Lawlcat wrote:Want a federal clerkship? You have quite good chances (30% or so) of landing one. At Chicago, that's more like 10%.


?


?

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

Postby westbayguy » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:56 pm

http://www.law.yale.edu/studentlife/cdoprospectivestudentstats.htm

Between 30 and 40% of EACH YLS CLASS is in a clerkship the first year out. I'd have to think that MOST YLSers who want clerking get it.


Employment Statistics
First Job Choices (9 Months Out) as reported to ABA

Graduating Class:
2007
2008
2009

Law Firm
35.5%
41.4%
40.4%

Clerkship*
41.4%
35.1%
30.6%

Public Interest
9.7%
8.4%
13.5%

Government
5.9%
5.2%
11.9%

Business and Industry
4.3%
7.3%
3.1%

Academia
3.2%
2.6%
.5%

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

Postby cucullu » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:03 pm

westbayguy wrote:Between 30 and 40% of EACH YLS CLASS is in a clerkship the first year out. I'd have to think that MOST YLSers who want clerking get it.


I did hear from a current YLS 1L that clerkships are the one place where Yalies get competitive. Imagine 200 kids who all think they're getting a federal clerkship.

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rabbit9198
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby rabbit9198 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:53 pm

cucullu wrote:I did hear from a current YLS 1L that clerkships are the one place where Yalies get competitive. Imagine 200 kids who all think they're getting a federal clerkship.


To be fair: First sentence is somewhat credited; there are a limited number of "feeder" judges, and only so many of those are in geographically desirable places. Second sentence just isn't true...not everyone wants to clerk - not even close.

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

Postby drylo » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:44 pm

Lawlcat wrote:
drylo wrote:
Lawlcat wrote:Want a federal clerkship? You have quite good chances (30% or so) of landing one. At Chicago, that's more like 10%.


?


?

(30% at Yale)


I just don't think there is any way that 30% is accurate. I don't go to Yale, but I don't have to in order to know that that is pretty low. So is 10% at Chicago.

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

Postby Knock » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:51 pm

drylo wrote:
Lawlcat wrote:
drylo wrote:
Lawlcat wrote:Want a federal clerkship? You have quite good chances (30% or so) of landing one. At Chicago, that's more like 10%.


?


?

(30% at Yale)


I just don't think there is any way that 30% is accurate. I don't go to Yale, but I don't have to in order to know that that is pretty low. So is 10% at Chicago.


Those figures are accurate: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 1&t=150004, viewtopic.php?f=1&t=150681.

Looks it up on US&WR, Yale Class of 2009 was at 27.0% Art. III Clerkships and Chicago Class of 2009 was at 9.0%.

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

Postby drylo » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:31 am

Knock wrote:
drylo wrote:I just don't think there is any way that 30% is accurate. I don't go to Yale, but I don't have to in order to know that that is pretty low. So is 10% at Chicago.


Those figures are accurate: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 1&t=150004, viewtopic.php?f=1&t=150681.

Looks it up on US&WR, Yale Class of 2009 was at 27.0% Art. III Clerkships and Chicago Class of 2009 was at 9.0%.


Don't really care... but wow. More than 10% of Vandy's class actually does Article III clerkships (which is technically a subset of "federal" clerkships anyway). I can tell you for sure that you could get a federal clerkship with a GPA well below top 10% at Vandy.

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

Postby Knock » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:34 am

drylo wrote:
Knock wrote:
drylo wrote:I just don't think there is any way that 30% is accurate. I don't go to Yale, but I don't have to in order to know that that is pretty low. So is 10% at Chicago.


Those figures are accurate: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 1&t=150004, viewtopic.php?f=1&t=150681.

Looks it up on US&WR, Yale Class of 2009 was at 27.0% Art. III Clerkships and Chicago Class of 2009 was at 9.0%.


Don't really care... but wow. More than 10% of Vandy's class actually does Article III clerkships (which is technically a subset of "federal" clerkships anyway). I can tell you for sure that you could get a federal clerkship with a GPA well below top 10% at Vandy.


10% of Vandy Class of 2009 had an Art. III Clerkship according to USN&WR data.

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

Postby drylo » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:45 am

Knock wrote:
drylo wrote:
Knock wrote:
drylo wrote:I just don't think there is any way that 30% is accurate. I don't go to Yale, but I don't have to in order to know that that is pretty low. So is 10% at Chicago.


Those figures are accurate: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 1&t=150004, viewtopic.php?f=1&t=150681.

Looks it up on US&WR, Yale Class of 2009 was at 27.0% Art. III Clerkships and Chicago Class of 2009 was at 9.0%.


Don't really care... but wow. More than 10% of Vandy's class actually does Article III clerkships (which is technically a subset of "federal" clerkships anyway). I can tell you for sure that you could get a federal clerkship with a GPA well below top 10% at Vandy.


10% of Vandy Class of 2009 had an Art. III Clerkship according to USN&WR data.


That may be true. There were more in Class of 2010. But either way, I'm not trying to derail the thread--I just think that the "10% chance of getting a federal clerkship at Chicago" is way too low. And the 30% at Yale may be too.

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

Postby FiveSermon » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:18 am

drylo wrote:
Lawlcat wrote:
drylo wrote:
Lawlcat wrote:Want a federal clerkship? You have quite good chances (30% or so) of landing one. At Chicago, that's more like 10%.


?


?

(30% at Yale)


I just don't think there is any way that 30% is accurate. I don't go to Yale, but I don't have to in order to know that that is pretty low. So is 10% at Chicago.


No, all you have to do is google the data (which apparently you haven't done)

4real
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby 4real » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:47 am

Considering over 30% of the YLS graduating class actually secures a clerkship, and certainly not everyone applies (several students spoke of the trend of individuals working for a couple of years and then clerking), then wouldn't it follow that the chances are significantly higher than 30%? I agree with drylo.

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

Postby oxford_don » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:56 pm

So I'm going to Yale. I have sent in my deposit and notified Chicago. I will work on writing up a more detailed post this afternoon, but I wanted to thank everyone for the discussion.

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Excellence = a Habit
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby Excellence = a Habit » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:28 pm

oxford_don wrote:So I'm going to Yale. I have sent in my deposit and notified Chicago. I will work on writing up a more detailed post this afternoon, but I wanted to thank everyone for the discussion.


Congrats on the decision!

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

Postby Knock » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:28 pm

Excellence = a Habit wrote:
oxford_don wrote:So I'm going to Yale. I have sent in my deposit and notified Chicago. I will work on writing up a more detailed post this afternoon, but I wanted to thank everyone for the discussion.


Congrats on the decision!

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

Postby Emma. » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:12 pm

Sorry to not have you at UChi, but I'm sure Yale will be an incredible experience. Best of luck!

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Harvard v. Yale v. Hamilton v. Rubenstein

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:04 pm

I think you made the right decision as well. You seem perfect for Yale. Enjoy your three years there!




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