Validation wrote:We're not just talking about a CLS versus HLS debate. We're talking about the Hamilton Fellowship which is it's own outstanding accomplishment and recognition of top grades/lsat performance and comes with a one-on-one faculty mentorship in the law area of the recipient's choice. It is worth so much more than the stated $160K monetary value and a distinction which will remain with that candidate for life. The decision is more like CLS Hamilton Fellow vs HLS student.
As much as I want to, I cannot agree with these statements
[Disclaimer: these are the opinions of a lowly 0L who happened to have a lucky LSAT and scored a Hamilton]
Some Facts Concerning the Hamilton:
- The Hamilton is a "secret" fellowship. Students do not publicize this information, and experience has shown that it means absolutely nothing to the faculty. "Hamiltons" do not even know who each other are.
- The mentorship program is a non-factor. A faculty member will provide a student mentorship iff. the student takes initiative and shows promise. Thus the mentorship system is redundant or ineffective. The only thing that it does is this: point you to a door that is already open (and the doors really are open at CLS).
- Being able to state "Hamilton Fellow (Full-tuition Scholarship)" on your resume may well be a selling point in competing against classmates for firm positions. Apparently it is quite a talking point in interviews.
- Simply putting "Hamilton Fellow" on your resume apparently elicits no response in the hiring process. This is information from current Hamilton Fellows. Maybe the award is simply not sufficiently well known.
I conclude that the Hamilton might as well not be named scholarship at all. So its real value is its monetary value, as well as the marginal value that it may
have in the hiring process. (I think that this marginal value may be considerably greater if the rest of the resume is exceedingly strong, showing a consistency of performance. If the grades are lacking, I do not think that the Hamilton will tip the scales).
A few years down the line, I think I will have simply graduated from Columbia Law School - even though some admissions committee officer decided to throw me a savory bone and give it a pretty name. I cannot believe that this is the equivalent (e.g. in the eyes of an A3 judge) of Harvard Law School.