Cavalier wrote:To add to my earlier post, I think the real advantage of YHS is that you don't have to be at the very top to have amazing opportunities. At UVA, for example, being in the top 3 to 5 students is basically necessary to be competitive for feeder judges, and the opportunities that stem from a feeder clerkship (SCOTUS, Bristow, OLC, etc.). I suspect things are roughly the same at Columbia. At YHS, more students than the top 3 to 5 will be competitive for feeder clerkships. That said, I don't think that's a reason for choosing Harvard over a Hamilton. The vast majority of students who attend Harvard won't be competitive for feeder clerkships, and you certainly can't predict in advance that you'll be near the top of your class.
There's more to life than feeder clerkships. Earning $160,000 while having relatively little debt to pay off is quite a nice situation to be in.
All of this is essentially true. There's a couple reasons things aren't "roughly the same" at Columbia, but other than that, I agree with all of it.
The important points are spot on, which are that 1) not everyone who goes to H will have a shot at the things H can potentially do for people, and 2) in this case, OP's "friend" doesn't sound that interested in those things. If you just want BigLaw, then debt-free + CLS is a pretty amazing combination.