Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

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bk1
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:50 pm

4real wrote:
bk1 wrote:
The thing about taking HYS is that biglaw isn't the be all end all.


and in following your argument, I'm guessing that this where a HYS degree helps?


Yes. There is an advantage to HYS for biglaw, but I personally do not feel that advantage is worth paying an extra $150,000. The differences in other areas is far larger and for some does justify the extra $ (especially coupled with generous LRAPs).

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vanwinkle
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:55 pm

bk1 wrote:
4real wrote:
bk1 wrote:The thing about taking HYS is that biglaw isn't the be all end all.

and in following your argument, I'm guessing that this where a HYS degree helps?

Yes. There is an advantage to HYS for biglaw, but I personally do not feel that advantage is worth paying an extra $150,000. The differences in other areas is far larger and for some does justify the extra $ (especially coupled with generous LRAPs).

This pretty much nails it. However, if you're planning to do BigLaw fresh out of law school, I think the Hamilton is a good choice. It'll take far less time to pay down your debt (which, as COA debt only, will be more like $70-80K instead of $200K) and then you'll be free after just a few years to do what you really want and not worry about any loans at all.

There other benefits HLS has, but if you're not planning on needing them, then it doesn't make sense to pay all that extra money to go there.

Magnificent
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby Magnificent » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:41 pm

lakerfanimal wrote:I think it's insane unless you want to go into academia and then become a dean of a law school, want to be an A3 clerk for sure (it's not easy out of either place though..), or if you plan on running for president of our country someday. Maybe I'm missing something else, but if you want to do public interest or work at a firm, then Columbia at a 150k discount is a homerun.


CLS and HLS have the same number of presidents (2).

and who the hell goes to law school to become a dean? :lol:

I say take the money and run. $200k in debt isn't worth marginal benefits.

At the end of the day the people who accomplish GREATNESS like Barack Obama or FDR, didn't do so because of the law school they graduated from. But rather because they were extraordinary guys to begin with.

After you graduate and get your first job. Pretty much everything from then on will be based on what you actually accomplish rather than a name on your resume.

rundoxierun
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby rundoxierun » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:52 pm

Magnificent wrote:
lakerfanimal wrote:I think it's insane unless you want to go into academia and then become a dean of a law school, want to be an A3 clerk for sure (it's not easy out of either place though..), or if you plan on running for president of our country someday. Maybe I'm missing something else, but if you want to do public interest or work at a firm, then Columbia at a 150k discount is a homerun.


CLS and HLS have the same number of presidents (2).

and who the hell goes to law school to become a dean? :lol:

I say take the money and run. $200k in debt isn't worth marginal benefits.

At the end of the day the people who accomplish GREATNESS like Barack Obama or FDR, didn't do so because of the law school they graduated from. But rather because they were extraordinary guys to begin with.

After you graduate and get your first job. Pretty much everything from then on will be based on what you actually accomplish rather than a name on your resume.


Not really. I am at work looking at resumes from applicants for jobs right now. The names just change. For instance, Harvard College-->Bain and Co.-->Manager/VP of a department at a client(all big-names)-->SVP at a big-name client.-->??.

It is really just like schools. If you work at a certain place, and arent an absolute disaster, people assume you have certain skills even if you dont.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:13 pm

Magnificent wrote:After you graduate and get your first job. Pretty much everything from then on will be based on what you actually accomplish rather than a name on your resume.

Two (okay, three) things:

1) That first job will itself affect your future opportunities. People won't just see your school and be impressed, they'll see your first job (which you likely got through your school) and be impressed. For NYC I believe the difference between CLS and HLS BigLaw placement is marginal, which is why I keep saying that's where it makes the least sense to pass up the Hamilton. But there are a number of situations where it does matter, and that in turn will make a difference with future employers when they see your resume.

2) Firms have alumni networks of their own. Being a former associate of a firm can open doors. If the school was the difference in you getting the job (and sometimes it is) then it could pay off down the road, too.

3) The HLS alumni network is both loyal and massive. The further you get from NYC BigLaw the bigger the gap between HLS and CLS in terms of what alumni there are for you to reach out to. Think about how many HLS students graduate a year and how dispersed across America, and even the world, alumni are. Even if you believe CLS alumni are just as loyal you have to admit they're a lot more concentrated in one region.

Emma1
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby Emma1 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:56 pm

I would take Harvard over Columbia any day. If you are very debt adverse and want Big Law in NYC then would consider Columbia( but in the end I would still choose Harvard).

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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby HamDel » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:38 pm

Emma1 wrote:I would take Harvard over Columbia any day. If you are very debt adverse and want Big Law in NYC then would consider Columbia( but in the end I would still choose Harvard).


But why? The only way Harvard meaningfully changes her job opportunities is if she's at the very top of the class there, and even then the difference applies to so few people it's unlikely to be a big deal. I think the difference might be something like getting a circuit court clerkship with a feeder judge versus a different circuit court clerkship. Realistically, only the top 5-10% at either school would even have that as a possibility, and only 1-2% will actually find themselves in that position. Otherwise the job opportunities are very much the same. I understand taking Harvard at sticker over like a Duke scholarship or even maybe MVPB, but Harvard and Columbia probably have more similar employment profiles than Yale and Harvard.

I guess if the Harvard name is that important to you then it's something to do, but I just don't know why it would be. I get that Harvard has the strongest brand in the world, but it's not as if Columbia doesn't pack some serious punch too.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:48 pm

HamDel wrote:But why? The only way Harvard meaningfully changes her job opportunities is if she's at the very top of the class there

I disagree with this for the reasons I already gave. Short version: Harvard doesn't just have more prestige, it has a larger, stronger, and more widespread alumni network. The farther you get from NYC the bigger the difference in CLS and HLS alumni presence.

I do agree with you questioning the OP, though. HLS is not always the right answer. I think it does meaningfully change job opportunities for quite a few people, but not for everyone, and not always enough to be worth a huge difference in cost.

Validation
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby Validation » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:56 pm

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.

HamDel
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby HamDel » Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:43 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
HamDel wrote:But why? The only way Harvard meaningfully changes her job opportunities is if she's at the very top of the class there

I disagree with this for the reasons I already gave. Short version: Harvard doesn't just have more prestige, it has a larger, stronger, and more widespread alumni network. The farther you get from NYC the bigger the difference in CLS and HLS alumni presence.

I do agree with you questioning the OP, though. HLS is not always the right answer. I think it does meaningfully change job opportunities for quite a few people, but not for everyone, and not always enough to be worth a huge difference in cost.


People say this about the alumni network, but what's your evidence? Assuming business or private sector law is your goal, it seems that both send roughly the same number of people to the same big international firms. Do you have any data that support your belief that HLS has a more widespread alumni network? Sure plenty of CLS people stay in New York, but I'd venture to guess that the majority of Harvard people go there too. There's also a very large west coast presence for both schools and I think you might be underestimating the number of CLS grads working in CA or abroad. I'm genuinely interested in this, I hope I'm not coming across as a prick.

I've also had trouble finding jobs that more Harvard grads have than Columbia grads have outside of the most selective clerkships. For example, a quick search of the Wachtell website yields 46 CLS grads and 45 Harvard grads. Cleary has 154 Harvard grads and 138 from CLS. A lot of the other top firms don't list the number in the search result, but just by eyeballing the results it looks like Simpson Thacher and Skadden are about the same number for both. Unless there is something I'm missing, it looks like students at Harvard and Columbia are recruited in about equal numbers at the best firms.

Obviously Harvard has the more recognizable brand name, but I'm just not convinced that this translates to different opportunities on an individual level. It's hard for me to see how paying that kind of money is justified unless the Harvard brand name is that important for her ego.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:08 pm

HamDel wrote:People say this about the alumni network, but what's your evidence? Assuming business or private sector law is your goal, it seems that both send roughly the same number of people to the same big international firms. Do you have any data that support your belief that HLS has a more widespread alumni network?

I have personal experience and knowledge that I'd rather not disclose because it's personally identifying. Sorry. I realize that makes it a little hard to argue with me, and you're certainly free to disagree.

HamDel wrote:Obviously Harvard has the more recognizable brand name, but I'm just not convinced that this translates to different opportunities on an individual level. It's hard for me to see how paying that kind of money is justified unless the Harvard brand name is that important for her ego.

I'm actually advocating for OP to take the Hamilton. When you're talking about NYC BigLaw (which is what the top law firms, and especially WLRK with its sole NYC office, represent) the differences are almost negligible. I've repeatedly said that's the one area where it makes the least sense to take the school over the money; the Hamilton is a great choice for someone intent on NYC BigLaw with little interest in other things.

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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby dpase22 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:06 am

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.

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:53 am

Columbia's prestigious enough to compete with Harvard i just about any firms. If it was like comparing Harvard and Cornell, it'd be a different story. When comparing Harvard & Columbia, I just don't think the former is worth extra 160k.

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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby rose711 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:03 am

I think that the OP's friend would be foolish to take on 6 figures more of debt to go to Harvard over Columbia. If she talks to anyone outside of the small circle of people who worry about the difference between attending Harvard and Columbia ( which is speculative as none of us can forsee her specific future) and tells them the difference in cost (which is real) they would tell her she is crazy to go to Harvard. We are talking about the top handful of schools in the US here - I honestly think that the difference between the two can not ever justify taking on that type of debt.

OP's friend should talk to HLS grads who owe the same amount as she will owe and see what a burden (or not) that debt has been on their lives.

HLS could possibly open doors for OP's friend, but even if that is true, that massive amount of debt will close doors for her. What if she doesn't get biglaw? What if she hates it, as been known to happen, but has to stay for several years to repay debt just to say she went to Harvard? What if she doesn't want biglaw, but has no choice because of the money owes? How will she feel then? Debt is a bigger limitation on her future than any other single factor.

If the Hamilton scholarship comes with an opportunity for mentorship with a professor - the student is always going to have to make the effort. No professor can know how passionate you are about a subject unless you talk to them about it - they aren't mind readers.

I know many people on this forum take on massive debt under conditions they have determined justifies that; but to take on 6 figures of debt just to go to Harvard instead of Columbia is a terrible decision.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:35 am

Is your friend rich or do they come from a rich family? Would your friend be paying the debt or the parents? Why didn't they get any need based aid from Harvard. A friend of mine got 10 a year and I think his Family makes pretty good money (at least it seems that way from the outside).

fingersxd
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby fingersxd » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:10 pm

Is your friend wealthy? By all accounts HLS is fairly generous with it's need based aid, so paying sticker seems unlikely. Did she really get nothing? If she is set on biglaw in nyc, then CLS is TCR...but, if clerksips, etc. are of interest HLS has more value (though I wonder how much of that might be self selection as well, particularly for those in a similar situation as your friend). I'm debt averse and so would say to take the hamilton and enjoy not having that debt to pay off.

dakatz
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby dakatz » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:30 pm

Wouldn't be crazy per se but I wouldn't turn down Hamilton. Id pick it in a heartbeat

CanadianWolf
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Re: Insane Not to Accept Hamilton?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:43 pm

A full tuition scholarship at Columbia Law School seems to be the wiser choice although most understand the world-wide allure of Harvard. The only sanity issue here is that these offers must be driving you crazy. Expect years of buyer's remorse with either decision.




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