Harvard International Appeal/Prestige vs. Yale Academics

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Harvard International Appeal/Prestige vs. Yale Academics

Postby AztecaRex » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:52 pm

Until Sunday, I was all set to go to Harvard, but on Sunday, I received a call from Yale. I understand that several threads have been made about the benefits of one over the other, but I wanted to explain my situation and see what my fellow posters have to say.

I understand that the consensus on this board is that International Law doesn't exist, but for the sake of argument, let's just assume that one day I may be working for foreign clients and/or outside the US. I grew up overseas, and Harvard definitely seems to hold more prestige outside the US (this may just be my experiences, and if any international students would like to tell me their experiences, I'd love to hear them). Do you think going to Harvard would be a great boon given this assumption, or do you think the Yale "wow" factor is more or less the same abroad?

I think I would be happier in Yale's classrooms, but I also think Harvard's location has it way over New Haven, and furthermore it might get annoying knowing everything about everyone due to Yale's small size (again, if this is just a stereotype, please correct me). Again, because I am international, my family would definitely prefer Harvard, but part of the benefit of growing up poor is that either way they're not going to be able to coerce my decision via money, so it's really my decision (Although on this note, does anyone know who generally gives more need-based aid?).

Thanks in advance, and I appreciate any advice.


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Re: Harvard International Appeal/Prestige vs. Yale Academics

Postby legalmindedfella » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:04 pm

Congratulations, obviously. Others are going to be able to weigh in with more substantive takes, but let me propose one way of thinking about this.

While what you want to do will be tough to pull off, there must be a group of people out there doing it. With some research you should be able to learn enough about them to answer a basic question: how did their careers start out? By and large, did they begin their work in the U.S. - and if so, were they working in explicitly "international" law (involving interaction with foreign clients) - or were they working abroad immediately?

The reason this matters is to determine whether the gatekeepers for the first step in the path of what you want to do have a U.S. legal perspective (who would probably give a slight edge to Yale) or an international perspective (who might give a significant edge to Harvard.)

Determining empirically what the view of internationals toward U.S. law schools is going to be tough any way you slice it. And I'm not convinced this will matter much. But if you're paying serious attention to the marginal benefits of one name versus the other it's going to be of the utmost importance to answer the "who will be looking at that name" question.

Good luck, and obviously take this with a grain of salt


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Re: Harvard International Appeal/Prestige vs. Yale Academics

Postby marlstone » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:54 am

Exactly same position here. Also international. I got both admissions in November, and after months of endless change of minds, Ive decided on HLS (though I will postpone my final decision until I visit ASW this wknd). Happy to share my thoughts via PM.

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