Unsure what to do

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tahita
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:02 pm

Unsure what to do

Postby tahita » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:20 pm

So I got into a couple of schools, Columbia being my best ranked school. I haven't heard back from Harvard or Yale yet, but either school is where I would like to study. I am hesitant to go anywhere but H/Y, because I'm interested in working with specific faculty at either school, in having better chances at clerking and academia, in putting either H/Y on my resume for lay prestige (national and international) which I'm hoping would be give me better exit options if I plan on working overseas or in something non-law related, and in having less stress/competition amongst peers.
I've heard that there is a world of a difference between Columbia and H/Y, and that is why I'm thinking of reaching out to my friends in banking and consulting to set me up with interviews. I know I'll get these interviews, and I'm sure I'll land a job at one or more of these firms given that I've already declined offers from some of them last year to pursue academic research. Though I submitted late to Harvard, I think I've been passed as others have been getting interviews from the same submit date. I'm wondering if Harvard is passing me because I don't have interesting/relevant work experience. I know I might be jumping the gun, but if I get denied from both Yale and Harvard, and I am sure I only want to study at one of these schools (and I have the numbers for both), should I work in consulting/banking for one year and reapply? I was thinking that I could also try to transfer from Columbia, but I know it's competitive, and I don't know how well I'll do in my first year. Also, I know transferring precludes you from certain privileges at the school to which you transferred (not sure if H/Y have these rules).

Sandrew
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:01 pm

Re: Unsure what to do

Postby Sandrew » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:48 pm

The working-for-a-year route seems to dominate in all respects the transfer-from-Columbia route. It marginally increases your chances of admittance to your target schools when you reapply--I suspect more so at HLS than at Yale, but this is conjecture. It gives you some "cover" for why you turned-down CLS, though they will no-doubt be gun-shy toward you next year. As insurance, you can apply to NYU and Chicago next year as your safeties, assuming you won't have burned your bridges there as at Columbia. If your dream schools ding you again next cycle, and you decide to go to NYU or Chicago with the intention of pursuing a transfer application, I'd recon your transfer chances are nearly equivalent from these schools as from Columbia. Oh, and there's also merit scholarships available at Chicago and NYU--though I'm not sure the implications of transferring after accepting scholarship money (surely they will hate you and never hire you as an academic, but what else I don't know). Lastly, even if you end up at one of your safety schools, it's worth pointing out that the world isn't over. Incidentally, Chicago actually places better than Columbia into academia. Granted, perhaps this is representative of the school's purported special emphasis on Law & Economics, which may not interest you.

I wish I shared your confidence. Best of luck, though it sounds to me you don't remotely need any.

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banjo
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Re: Unsure what to do

Postby banjo » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:23 pm

Take the banking/consulting job and apply to YH in a year or two. You sound like you'd be happier at an elite business school though (not meant as a slight).

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Chucky21
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:36 pm

Re: Unsure what to do

Postby Chucky21 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:58 pm

tahita wrote:So I got into a couple of schools, Columbia being my best ranked school. I haven't heard back from Harvard or Yale yet, but either school is where I would like to study. I am hesitant to go anywhere but H/Y, because I'm interested in working with specific faculty at either school, in having better chances at clerking and academia, in putting either H/Y on my resume for lay prestige (national and international) which I'm hoping would be give me better exit options if I plan on working overseas or in something non-law related, and in having less stress/competition amongst peers.
I've heard that there is a world of a difference between Columbia and H/Y, and that is why I'm thinking of reaching out to my friends in banking and consulting to set me up with interviews. I know I'll get these interviews, and I'm sure I'll land a job at one or more of these firms given that I've already declined offers from some of them last year to pursue academic research. Though I submitted late to Harvard, I think I've been passed as others have been getting interviews from the same submit date. I'm wondering if Harvard is passing me because I don't have interesting/relevant work experience. I know I might be jumping the gun, but if I get denied from both Yale and Harvard, and I am sure I only want to study at one of these schools (and I have the numbers for both), should I work in consulting/banking for one year and reapply? I was thinking that I could also try to transfer from Columbia, but I know it's competitive, and I don't know how well I'll do in my first year. Also, I know transferring precludes you from certain privileges at the school to which you transferred (not sure if H/Y have these rules).


Well it sounds like you've got quite a problem. Obviously a job in biglaw is not where you want to be and I don't need to tell you that you won't make nearly as much money in academia, but if this is your wish... chicago places nicely in academia. You could also have a great job coming out of Columbia, are you really that dead set on academia? With your business background it seems that you would be better suited in biglaw, where you would apply the law instead of just conjecturing... I'm not judging in any way, if academia is where you want to be then you should do it regardless of where you go to school. Let's face it, people that 'have the numbers' for H/Y get rejected every year, simply reapplying with more work experience may not do it for you. Don't go all or nothing with H/Y, there is nothing wrong with any school in the T14. That being said, if you simply want to be at H/Y, then don't go anywhere else and take out loans when you won't be happy. So reapply if necessay with more work experience and see what happens.

tahita
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:02 pm

Re: Unsure what to do

Postby tahita » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:47 pm

Thanks for the replies.

At this point, I am intrigued by what academia has to offer, though I am more set on better exit options. I know that H/Y people do many different things, not just law. I don't really see myself as a corporate lawyer, but I might not understand that world--perhaps it's as exciting as consulting?

To the poster who said take the job: I agree that business is appealing to me, but I also find legal academia interesting, and I think having a law degree under your belt is an asset in the business world (though I am unsure to what extent).

To the poster who said I might piss off Columbia: yes, I agree with you. I'm worried about that too. Today I read a post from a TLSer who was accepted to Columbia last year, and got dinged this year. I would certainly hate if that were to happen to me.

To address the general posts, I'm not interested in any school beyond the east coast and haven't applied anywhere but the east coast. I know this limits me.

So it seems people are encouraging, and I'm getting the understanding that y'all are pushing for the job instead of Columbia. Is that a correct assumption?

Sandrew
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:01 pm

Re: Unsure what to do

Postby Sandrew » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:48 am

Re: Academia: See this, if you haven't already: http://leiterrankings.com/new/2011_LawTeachers.shtml. When I was applying to law school, I was initially interested in preserving the academic option (either legal academia or a joint PhD in finance, both with a mind to tenure-track). Alas, I ruled academia out once I realized:
(a) how uncertain it is to crack academia (note in the Lieter rankings the absolute numbers of new tenure-track law professors; this is since 1995; even trebling the figures to encompass lower-ranked law schools, they are not encouraging); and
(b) how limiting it is in practice (you must relocate to whatever school offers you a professorship; and I imagine the exit options from academia are... uh, what, exactly? judicial appointment?... unless you have some long-term practice experience on top of it; then again, tenured professor ain't a bad terminal gig).

Re: Corporate law and consulting: I worked in finance/consulting (on derivatives) for several years before law school. I also worked with a few "deal" lawyers (on a few M&A transactions and an IPO). If you find consulting exciting, I reckon you'll feel the same about corporate law. At least for a while. I had my fill of consulting. Client management, time management, and (later in my career) managing junior people were all valuable skills and I'm happy I got a chance to develop them. But I came to the realization that I wanted a career that would allow me to make decisions that (a) mattered and (b) might do some good. I'm in law school to transition from consulting to finreg (either rulemaking or enforcement). Unfortunately, BigGov jobs are becoming increasingly harder to come by these days.

All of which is to say that you don't have much to lose, and a lot to gain, by taking the job and reapplying. Of course, all this is conditional on your being rejected at H & Y. All this contingency planning, while fun to play, strikes me as 0L panic-talk. Frankly, if you have the numbers for Harvard ( 173/3.8 ), you're more than 90% likely to be accepted. Yale is a different story, but you seem indifferent. Anyway, don't take my word for it. You're clever. I'm sure you'll make the right decision.




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