Benefit of a Named Scholarship (Rubenstein in Particular)

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IndyHCKM
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Benefit of a Named Scholarship (Rubenstein in Particular)

Postby IndyHCKM » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:23 pm

Many seem to regard full-tuition scholarships (like the Rubenstein at UChicago) as just a bunch of money. But the Rubenstein also comes with a mentor and will involve "programming" specifically for Rubenstein scholars.

Money issues aside, what do you think of these scholarships? What benefits are there to such a scholarship beyond the money? Are there any disadvantages? As the thread name implies, I am particularly interested in your thoughts on the Rubenstein scholarship.



A few thoughts of my own on this issue:
1. The Rubenstein allows you to immediately differentiate yourself from the rest of your class. Obviously, if you do poorly it may not do much for you. But all things being equal, I cannot imagine how you would be worse off putting "Rubenstein Fellow (Full-tuition Scholarship)" on a resume.

On this issue I am somewhat persuaded by a comment made elsewhere by Roy Batty, a "V20 partner involved in firm recruiting":
[A]nyone who thinks there's more "prestige" in the name Yale than in Hamilton or Rubenstein is nuts. People get into Yale (and Stanford) for all sorts of quirky and good reasons. But the top full ride T6 scholarships are rare and signify top credentials.

2. Particularly at Chicago, where the faculty already seem very involved, it seems to me that a mentorship through the Rubenstein scholarship would actually mean something (dpase22 has said that the Hamilton mentorship component at Columbia is "a non-factor" in that "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).")

3. Related to point 2, I get the feeling that Chicago is really trying to make the Rubenstein scholarship significant so they can persuade others to come there over HYS. If this is the case, I can see them trying hard to make each component of the scholarship really count (unlike the "non-factor" of the Hamilton's mentorship) so that current recipients will talk the scholarship up to the next waves of recipients.

4. Associating with 20 other Rubensteins for the first year, followed by another 20 for each year of law school, seems like a real benefit both socially and professionally. I hear that, for some, the first year sections of LR&W become a close network of friends since you spend a lot of time together, or rotate through the same classes, or whatever happens with those small sections. I imagine that the Rubenstein scholarship could provide a similar second group of friends (and with 20 Rubenstein scholars + 32 LR&W students, a Rubenstein scholar would be "close friends" with 1/4th of your class).

Any critiques of what I have said? Any benefits I have missed?

ExpectLess
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Re: Benefit of a Named Scholarship (Rubenstein in Particular)

Postby ExpectLess » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:59 pm

IndyHCKM wrote:Many seem to regard full-tuition scholarships (like the Rubenstein at UChicago) as just a bunch of money. But the Rubenstein also comes with a mentor and will involve "programming" specifically for Rubenstein scholars.

Money issues aside, what do you think of these scholarships? What benefits are there to such a scholarship beyond the money? Are there any disadvantages? As the thread name implies, I am particularly interested in your thoughts on the Rubenstein scholarship.



A few thoughts of my own on this issue:
1. The Rubenstein allows you to immediately differentiate yourself from the rest of your class. Obviously, if you do poorly it may not do much for you. But all things being equal, I cannot imagine how you would be worse off putting "Rubenstein Fellow (Full-tuition Scholarship)" on a resume.

On this issue I am somewhat persuaded by a comment made elsewhere by Roy Batty, a "V20 partner involved in firm recruiting":
[A]nyone who thinks there's more "prestige" in the name Yale than in Hamilton or Rubenstein is nuts. People get into Yale (and Stanford) for all sorts of quirky and good reasons. But the top full ride T6 scholarships are rare and signify top credentials.

2. Particularly at Chicago, where the faculty already seem very involved, it seems to me that a mentorship through the Rubenstein scholarship would actually mean something (dpase22 has said that the Hamilton mentorship component at Columbia is "a non-factor" in that "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).")

3. Related to point 2, I get the feeling that Chicago is really trying to make the Rubenstein scholarship significant so they can persuade others to come there over HYS. If this is the case, I can see them trying hard to make each component of the scholarship really count (unlike the "non-factor" of the Hamilton's mentorship) so that current recipients will talk the scholarship up to the next waves of recipients.

4. Associating with 20 other Rubensteins for the first year, followed by another 20 for each year of law school, seems like a real benefit both socially and professionally. I hear that, for some, the first year sections of LR&W become a close network of friends since you spend a lot of time together, or rotate through the same classes, or whatever happens with those small sections. I imagine that the Rubenstein scholarship could provide a similar second group of friends (and with 20 Rubenstein scholars + 32 LR&W students, a Rubenstein scholar would be "close friends" with 1/4th of your class).

Any critiques of what I have said? Any benefits I have missed?


These are questions and issues I've been wondering too.

On the one hand, if a Rubenstein or Hamilton are equally prestigious as Harvard--and it seems the case that they're at best more prestigious, and at worst still in the ballpark, depending on who you're speaking to--how could it possibly be worth the extra $150k to attend the latter (excepting compelling personal reasons, disposable savings, or an unquenchable thirst for lay prestige)?

On the other, I wonder how much UChicago is trying to sell the Rubenstein versus how much difference/benefit a Rubenstein scholar would actually receive while attending?

I've only spoken with one person who took Yale over a Ruby, which is understandable, and there was another on these boards who appeared to do the same. But I'm curious to hear the opinions of others who were deciding between a Ruby and H/S, and how they ultimately came to their decision.

flomotion
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Re: Benefit of a Named Scholarship (Rubenstein in Particular)

Postby flomotion » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:02 pm

I think the OP totally hit the nail on the head. One more thing I wanted to add is that, since the Ruby is relatively new, I don't think all law firms quite know what it is yet-- but they are extremely impressed when they ask about it and learn what it is (according to people I've spoken to at ASW).

Anyway, wanted to bump this thread since the Ruby deadline is coming up this Wednesday. For those of you making the decision, which way are you leaning (especially after the UChi ASW)?

For those of you who have made the decision-- any thoughts to offer?

Feel free to PM me as well if you don't want to post here. Thanks!

IPmaybe
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Re: Benefit of a Named Scholarship (Rubenstein in Particular)

Postby IPmaybe » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:55 pm

One possible downside is the extra pressure to succeed. If the other Rubenstein/Hamilton/Vanderbilt scholars are doing amazing shit (which they seem to be) I think that potentially adds an expectation for success. Now, that internal stress is likely going to happen for the people who are offered Rubenstein scholarships to begin with, but it's a thought.

To me, the financial support (with no opportunities lost that I care about) reigns supreme.

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minnbills
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Re: Benefit of a Named Scholarship (Rubenstein in Particular)

Postby minnbills » Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:00 pm

You guys need to chill, no one making a hiring decision will care about your scholarship.

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LetsGoMets
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Re: Benefit of a Named Scholarship (Rubenstein in Particular)

Postby LetsGoMets » Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:06 pm

Holy necro Batman

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bearsfan23
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Re: Benefit of a Named Scholarship (Rubenstein in Particular)

Postby bearsfan23 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:53 pm

LOL at the entire OP, but 2 things in particular:

1. Employers give zero fucks about what scholarship you have. If they did, they'd ask for your LSAT/uGPA on your resume.

2. Making friends with people b/c they are "Rubenstein scholars?" Really? That's what you base your social network on? For the record I know people with Rubies at Chicago who are on LR, and people who are definitely below median. The idea that it has any impact on how you do in law school is ridiculous

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Clyde Frog
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Re: Benefit of a Named Scholarship (Rubenstein in Particular)

Postby Clyde Frog » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:30 pm

Surprise OP got a Ruby but was also turned down by Harvard and Stanford. Aren't these big scholarships usually used to sway prospective students away from higher ranked schools. OP may have paid sticker at UChicago anyways. Bad move by UChicago.

abl
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Re: Benefit of a Named Scholarship (Rubenstein in Particular)

Postby abl » Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:19 pm

1. I've been involved in hiring decisions for many (>3) judges and highly desirable "unicorn" employers. Each position received hundreds of applicants from top law schools, and our final slate of candidates typically included multiple top 5% grads with law review from HYSCCN (with a handful of other top 5% or #1 or #2s thrown in). As a consequence, we were frequently in the position of comparing folks with fancy named scholarships like the Ruby with their classmates who didn't have named scholarships (as well as with HYS grads). Not a single one of these jobs/clerkships put any weight on the named scholarship whatsoever--and we saw multiple folks with the Rubenstein specifically. I am sure there are employers who do weigh named scholarships (and some employers ask for LSATs too), but I would not expect this to be the prevailing norm. For what it's worth, we also put no weight on LSAT and very little weight on undergrad GPA (which, combined with undergrad school, generally only came into play in special circumstances--such as where a great candidate had a relatively fluffy law school transcript or something of that nature).

Incidentally, for what it's worth, the couple Rubies and other top named scholarship recipients we considered did not seem to have any greater faculty support than average. In fact, of the roughly ~5 candidates who stood out as having extraordinary faculty support that I can think of over the years, not a one had a named scholarship. This impression is obviously based on a very small sample, so take it for what it's worth. My guess, though, having finished law school, is that whatever mentorship "bump" you get from a scholarship like this largely wears off by 2L year: the relationships that matter are the ones that develop in the classroom or through RA positions. It's hard for me to imagine what benefit having a faculty mentor that you know through your scholarship (rather than through class or something else more substantive) would be for any hiring that happens outside of your 1L year.

If your choice is Chicago with the Ruby or Columbia without, sure, this sounds like a good tiebreaker. But I would be very hesitant to ascribe much (if any) non-financial benefit to the scholarship.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Benefit of a Named Scholarship (Rubenstein in Particular)

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:21 pm

I would say exception for NYUs scholarship programs, but no to general merit ones (including Vanderbilt at NYU)




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