Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

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Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Hamilton Fellowship
128
65%
HLS
23
12%
Stanford
46
23%
 
Total votes: 197

justinp
Posts: 211
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby justinp » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:44 pm

sunynp wrote:Why would you take on 200,000 of debt when you don't have to? I would love to ask the trustee of my friend's trust fund to see what they would say. I am certain that a prudent financial advisor would not approve spending $200,000 for Harvard or Stanford when you could go to Columbia for free.

I mean, seriously, what world do you live in that $200,000 is not enough money to make your mind up for you? Just why would you burden your future with having to pay that amount back? It makes no sense to me.


I mean, not to be flip, but we are literally talking about a world in which your starting salary with the degree is likely to be in the neighborhood of 160k, or else likely eligible for loan repayment.

I don't think it's at all unreasonable to go to HLS/SLS over the Hamilton. I'm in the same position as OP except haven't heard from Stanford (so only deciding HLS/Hamilton at this point) and it is a genuinely difficult decision. It's not just a matter of 'duh take the money'-- you'll have an HLS degree for a lot longer than you'll be servicing HLS debt.

Based on the conversations I've been having with people, the decision comes down more or less to how comfortable someone is with risk. HLS at sticker has a relatively small downside and a huge upside, but it's still a risk, and it's definitely true that loan repayments are a major drag on your lifestyle. CLS w/ the Hamilton has no real downside and a pretty damn big upside, but the upside isn't quite as big.

So it's the psychological factor coupled with what someone's specific ambitions are. HLS does carry at least somewhat farther in certain areas of law (academia, PI) that might matter a whole lot to people. So I think it's wrong to say "oh it's crazy to take on the debt." It's a matter of taste more than anything.

pupperoni
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby pupperoni » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:59 pm

you need to take the hamilton. i don't know what "international law" is and academia is a pipe dream even for those at H or S. an increased chance in a field of law that is hopeless for many is not worth passing down $150K. trust me, those loan payments every month are a buzz kill especially if you plan on not being single.

johnkim1982
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby johnkim1982 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:57 pm

Hi guys:

Pretty much every law professor and lawyer I've talked to has advised me to take the money at CLS. It's still early, and I think hearing from Yale might be a game changer. Nevertheless, while H or Y might open slightly more doors for academia (some schools rarely hire anyone who hasn't graduated from H or Y) and supreme court clerkships, law school "prestige difference" between these schools are not nearly as important as how well you do in law school and who you meet and get mentored by them. A professor who was on a hiring committee at a law school also said that he only saw a few applicants with non H or Y JDs even "on the market," which suggests that the success that these schools have in academic placement are, to some degree, due to selection bias of students who choose to attend.

The only thing that concerns me is that law school grades are a little bit of a crapshoot, from what I hear. Being mediocre or even in the bottom 40% at a school that only gives out HP/P/LP verses letter grades can be a huge difference in your post-graduation prospects. In that respect, one could make the argument that CLS might have more risk than YHS with respect to employment opportunities even if there's no financial risk.

Let's keep this conversation going in this thread!

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Ship87
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby Ship87 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:50 am

johnkim1982 wrote:Hi guys:

Pretty much every law professor and lawyer I've talked to has advised me to take the money at CLS. It's still early, and I think hearing from Yale might be a game changer. Nevertheless, while H or Y might open slightly more doors for academia (some schools rarely hire anyone who hasn't graduated from H or Y) and supreme court clerkships, law school "prestige difference" between these schools are not nearly as important as how well you do in law school and who you meet and get mentored by them. A professor who was on a hiring committee at a law school also said that he only saw a few applicants with non H or Y JDs even "on the market," which suggests that the success that these schools have in academic placement are, to some degree, due to selection bias of students who choose to attend.

The only thing that concerns me is that law school grades are a little bit of a crapshoot, from what I hear. Being mediocre or even in the bottom 40% at a school that only gives out HP/P/LP verses letter grades can be a huge difference in your post-graduation prospects. In that respect, one could make the argument that CLS might have more risk than YHS with respect to employment opportunities even if there's no financial risk.

Let's keep this conversation going in this thread!


I think everything you said there sounds pretty reasonable. With respect to grades, I think if you are able to secure a Hamilton you will also be able to perform fairly well while in school. Grades are a crapshoot in terms of who gets the +/- but there are clear differences between B and A range exams, as there are with HP/P/LP exams, so I don't think it's that big a factor.

Also, we lose sight of the fact that school prestige serves a signaling function about your intelligence/work-ethic/drive. Going to Harvard will send a stronger signal than going to Columbia, but going to Columbia with a full-ride sends, I think, a stronger signal than just getting into Harvard.

Take the money and run. You're talking about many many hours that will be spent paying off the debt when you could have spent it on a house, a car, vacation, or taking a less well paying job because it makes you happy or because it has better long-term career prospects.

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hung jury
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby hung jury » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:10 am

pupperoni wrote:you need to take the hamilton. i don't know what "international law" is and academia is a pipe dream even for those at H or S. an increased chance in a field of law that is hopeless for many is not worth passing down $150K. trust me, those loan payments every month are a buzz kill especially if you plan on not being single.


Neither field is "hopeless for many" at H or S (I can't speak for C). Do both fields require a lot of work and commitment? Yes. But those who are willing to make the requisite sacrifices and are smart enough to get into H and S can usually go on to careers in academia or international law if they want them. Maybe not the academic appointment they want or the specific international law job they want, but the fields as a whole are accessible to our grads. I'm not sure what you're talking about.

justinp
Posts: 211
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby justinp » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:30 pm

Bump, and a question.

I've been talking to lawyers that I've contacted through my school's alumni database, and they've been really helpful. Definitely cementing my impression that there is no generally valid right answer and it comes down to straight personal preferences/goals.

Something that I've been getting sort of mixed answers about is the extent to which your degree matters once you've been out of school for a few years. Right now I'm pretty set on starting at a big firm, but I think I'd really like to spend a few years doing government work (AUSA, SEC enforcement, etc. etc.) once I've got four or five years under my belt. I'm reasonably confident that the prestige-y-ness of the firm I land at won't change appreciably between HLS/CLS, but it's not really clear the extent to which that matters vs. the prestige/connections of an HLS degree for getting the gov't jobs.

Anyone have any knowledge/wild speculation they can share?

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beleaguer
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby beleaguer » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:51 pm

Guchster wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:This thread is proving my theory correct, that CCN students are more butt hurt about not getting HYS, than lower T14 students. It's like getting Silver medal in the olympics. You send your life thinking if you only did a little better. The Bronze dood is just happy to get a medal.

CLS is worse than HYS. At some jobs like academia it is considerably worse. But for big law it's only a little bit worse. And all that doesn't equal 150K.


I certainly feel that way about the silver medal thing. Some cls people are comfortable walking around with columbia law school shirts. WTF would i be caught wearing shit like that to class? It's like wearing your silver medal all the time.

I guess its cool bro if you're settling for silver and like telling people you competed in the olympics.

According to stanford people, the difference between stanford and hamilton is not 150 k, but more in the five digit range.



does anyone here at CLS know who this guy is? please PM me. based on every post he's ever made on these forums, I want to make sure I never, ever have to interact with this person

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Flash
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby Flash » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:49 pm

beleaguer wrote:
Guchster wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:This thread is proving my theory correct, that CCN students are more butt hurt about not getting HYS, than lower T14 students. It's like getting Silver medal in the olympics. You send your life thinking if you only did a little better. The Bronze dood is just happy to get a medal.

CLS is worse than HYS. At some jobs like academia it is considerably worse. But for big law it's only a little bit worse. And all that doesn't equal 150K.


I certainly feel that way about the silver medal thing. Some cls people are comfortable walking around with columbia law school shirts. WTF would i be caught wearing shit like that to class? It's like wearing your silver medal all the time.

I guess its cool bro if you're settling for silver and like telling people you competed in the olympics.

According to stanford people, the difference between stanford and hamilton is not 150 k, but more in the five digit range.



does anyone here at CLS know who this guy is? please PM me. based on every post he's ever made on these forums, I want to make sure I never, ever have to interact with this person

Bel sighting!

CanadianWolf
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:26 pm

Retake.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:28 pm

On a more serious note, it's too early to make a decision or to offer a reasonable opinion because you haven't received your aid package from Harvard or Stanford, plus you haven't visited all three. My unreasonable opinion, however, is to take the Hamilton & do a stint as a visiting student at Harvard if you need to "find out" for sure. Congratulations !

barneytrouble
Posts: 241
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby barneytrouble » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:17 pm

Seriously dude pick Stanford for the weather. I think anyone who has lived in Cali or Florida would tell you the same. Even IF harvard gives you better career prospects, it is on the east coast - in BOSTON of all places. You can not put a price on living in paradise.

edit: I recently spoke to a friend working at a V10 and he said he would go for the Hamilton over any HYS because unlike "regular" huge schollys, the Hamilton is a VERY prestigious and well known one that can open doors up on its own.

justinp
Posts: 211
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby justinp » Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:15 pm

barneytrouble wrote:Seriously dude pick Stanford for the weather. I think anyone who has lived in Cali or Florida would tell you the same. Even IF harvard gives you better career prospects, it is on the east coast - in BOSTON of all places. You can not put a price on living in paradise.

edit: I recently spoke to a friend working at a V10 and he said he would go for the Hamilton over any HYS because unlike "regular" huge schollys, the Hamilton is a VERY prestigious and well known one that can open doors up on its own.


Any chance you could get him to elaborate?

The lawyers I know aren't really hiring out of CLS; basically a bunch of places that hire at their region's T14 and then a few token HLS kids. I'd really like to know more about the preftige factor for the Hamilton.

barneytrouble
Posts: 241
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby barneytrouble » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:48 am

justinp wrote:
barneytrouble wrote:Seriously dude pick Stanford for the weather. I think anyone who has lived in Cali or Florida would tell you the same. Even IF harvard gives you better career prospects, it is on the east coast - in BOSTON of all places. You can not put a price on living in paradise.

edit: I recently spoke to a friend working at a V10 and he said he would go for the Hamilton over any HYS because unlike "regular" huge schollys, the Hamilton is a VERY prestigious and well known one that can open doors up on its own.


Any chance you could get him to elaborate?

The lawyers I know aren't really hiring out of CLS; basically a bunch of places that hire at their region's T14 and then a few token HLS kids. I'd really like to know more about the preftige factor for the Hamilton.


Just did. His reply was "How many Hamilton Scholars are there each year? And how many Harvard grads are there?"

Obviously not a scientific study on the pros and cons of both options, but I trust him. Again, he made a point to differentiate between a large scholarship to CCN and a Hamilton. If it was just a lot of money, he said he would go HYS no questions asked. But if it is the Hamilton, he would take that. You can put Hamilton on a resume for the rest of your life and everyone knows what it means.

pupperoni
Posts: 60
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby pupperoni » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:56 pm

beleaguer wrote:
Guchster wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:This thread is proving my theory correct, that CCN students are more butt hurt about not getting HYS, than lower T14 students. It's like getting Silver medal in the olympics. You send your life thinking if you only did a little better. The Bronze dood is just happy to get a medal.

CLS is worse than HYS. At some jobs like academia it is considerably worse. But for big law it's only a little bit worse. And all that doesn't equal 150K.


I certainly feel that way about the silver medal thing. Some cls people are comfortable walking around with columbia law school shirts. WTF would i be caught wearing shit like that to class? It's like wearing your silver medal all the time.

I guess its cool bro if you're settling for silver and like telling people you competed in the olympics.

According to stanford people, the difference between stanford and hamilton is not 150 k, but more in the five digit range.



does anyone here at CLS know who this guy is? please PM me. based on every post he's ever made on these forums, I want to make sure I never, ever have to interact with this person


lol, it amazes me how much douchiness and delusion permeates throughout these boards sometimes. someone attending northwestern is not qualified to speak regarding this topic and should not be embarrassing themselves by equating law schools admissions to the olympics of life. take the hamilton unless you want academia or clerkships or get into yale.

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redsoxfan2495
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby redsoxfan2495 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:16 pm

Guchster wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:This thread is proving my theory correct, that CCN students are more butt hurt about not getting HYS, than lower T14 students. It's like getting Silver medal in the olympics. You send your life thinking if you only did a little better. The Bronze dood is just happy to get a medal.

CLS is worse than HYS. At some jobs like academia it is considerably worse. But for big law it's only a little bit worse. And all that doesn't equal 150K.


I certainly feel that way about the silver medal thing. Some cls people are comfortable walking around with columbia law school shirts. WTF would i be caught wearing shit like that to class? It's like wearing your silver medal all the time.

I guess its cool bro if you're settling for silver and like telling people you competed in the olympics.

According to stanford people, the difference between stanford and hamilton is not 150 k, but more in the five digit range.
I'll admit that I occasionally look back on my undergrad career and wish I had slacked off a bit less and gotten into HLS. Still, the idea that anyone should be ashamed to go here is ridiculous.

pupperoni
Posts: 60
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby pupperoni » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:40 pm

lol it is even funnier that a 2L from northwestern is accusing CLS students of being "butthurt" and embarrassed of attending CLS.

sb512
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby sb512 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:11 pm

OP update: Harvard didn't feel like a good fit, and I got into Yale, so now the decision is: Yale, Stanford, or Hamilton? Stanford only offered $5000 financial aid, and my parents aren't going to help pay for law school, so it's a significant financial difference. I went to Yale undergrad, so I'm not 100% as sold on it as everyone else on TLS (I might want to switch things up).

Any new opinions? Are Yale/Stanford worth $170,000? Is it still a personal decision, or is there a "right" decision? I really have no clue where I'm going to go at this point, and I can't visit Yale again before deciding.

Thanks for your thoughts!

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flem
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby flem » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:13 pm

sb512 wrote:
Are Yale/Stanford worth $170,000?


YES. For fucks sake.

I would doing unspeakable acts to be in your position.

kaiser
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby kaiser » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:19 pm

The Hamilton without a moment of hesitation

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Nelson
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby Nelson » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:19 pm

sb512 wrote: Is it still a personal decision, or is there a "right" decision?

Do you really want to go into legal academia (though why would you)? Then Stanford or Yale.

Just want to go to a firm? Then take them dollars.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby Elston Gunn » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:37 pm

I chose Yale at near-sticker over a Ruby. I grant that most people will think I'm crazy, but here were my reasons:
1) COAP pretty much eliminates the real downside risk of the debt. 2) I really want to clerk and think that having clerked will make a big difference in later career (but who knows). 3) Am from NYC, but really don't want to settle there, and if I decide on biglaw really want DC or Austin (where my fiancee is from), which are both crazy hard to break into. 4) Thought I'd be much much happier with the environment/people at Yale. 5) See BigFed as very possibly where I'd like to end up longterm. 6) I am just irrationally in love with YLS and couldn't say no.

PM if you want to talk more about it.

sb512
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby sb512 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:48 pm

ahhh! This is the dilemma. People say I'd be crazy to turn down the money or crazy to turn down Yale, so either way I'm crazy, although I know it's a good problem to have

sb512
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby sb512 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:51 pm

and in terms of career, I could see myself doing academia, government, or a firm, so it sort of feels like I'm being forced to make that decision right now

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby Elston Gunn » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:52 pm

I know--woke up literally in a cold sweat about it a couple of times. But eventually you sort of just have to relax and accept that you can't really make the wrong choice. You wouldn't be crazy to take either option. Life is good. Ask yourself whether you want to go to Yale more (whatever that means to you) or you want to have a LOT more money for the next 7-10 years more. Don't make yourself crazy, and just make the choice you want to make.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Hamilton vs. HLS vs. Stanford

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:53 pm

sb512 wrote:and in terms of career, I could see myself doing academia, government, or a firm, so it sort of feels like I'm being forced to make that decision right now


If keeping options open is your priority then just go to Yale. Yale gives you a great shot at all the options you mentioned, and as Elston said has the COAP program which protects you in the worst case scenario.




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