Stanford v Harvard

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

HLS or SLS

Poll ended at Sat May 05, 2012 2:35 am

HLS
39
41%
SLS
55
59%
 
Total votes: 94

slsorhls
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Stanford v Harvard

Postby slsorhls » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:18 pm

I am very happy to be in a position of choosing between two great schools. With that said, I am seriously debating between the two, and it would be awesome if people here have any advice on the matter. Here are my considerations:

The only thing I am 100% confident that I'm interested in is appellate litigation. I may be interested in intellectual property/Internet stuff (but no tech background). I am interested in Silicon Valley firms that do transactional work with startups. But I can't say for sure that I want to do this, nor do I know whether I would like transactional stuff in general.

I am not really interested in politics (especially the hot button social policy issues--abortion, gay marriage, etc.).

I am also not sure if I would be interested in NYC biglaw. I'm leaning against it. Academia is something I would consider, but I'm also leaning against it. It's hard to really decide until I have experience actually studying law.

But I am pretty confident that I would like to do a CoA clerkship after graduation. I'm also interested in becoming a Bristow Fellow.

I would like to work either in California or somewhere on the East Coast. I have international experience, and I would likely pick up on that at some point in my career.

Regarding personal issues: I do have some serious ties in/to California.

So can anyone comment about these things?

1. Clerkship chances
2. Opportunities in academia
3. International reputation
4. Employment opportunities across the country in a wide variety of areas (since I don't know what I want to do)

Right now it seems like the two are fairly equal in all this, but I'm interested to know if anyone has any comments.
Last edited by slsorhls on Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Detrox
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby Detrox » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:47 pm

slsorhls wrote:I am very happy to be in a position of choosing between two great schools. With that said, I am seriously debating between the two, and it would be awesome if people here have any advice on the matter. Here are my considerations:

The only thing I am 100% confident that I'm interested in is appellate litigation. I may be interested in intellectual property/Internet stuff (but no tech background). I am interested in Silicon Valley firms that do transactional work with startups. But I can't say for sure that I want to do this, nor do I know whether I would like transactional stuff in general.

I am not really interested in politics (especially the hot button social policy issues--abortion, gay marriage, etc.).

I am also not sure if I would be interested in NYC biglaw. I'm leaning against it. Academia is something I would consider, but I'm also leaning against it. It's hard to really decide until I have experience actually studying law.

But I am pretty confident that I would like to do a CoA clerkship after graduation. I'm also interested in becoming a Bristow Fellow.
I would like to work either in California or somewhere on the East Coast. I have international experience, and I would likely pick up on that at some point in my career.
Regarding personal issues: I do have some serious ties in/to California.

So can anyone comment about these things?

1. Clerkship chances
2. Opportunities in academia
3. International reputation
4. Employment opportunities across the country in a wide variety of areas (since I don't know what I want to do)

Right now it seems like the two are fairly equal in all this, but I'm interested to know if anyone has any comments.


If not flame, you are really going 4-5 completely different directions in this post. Appellate litigation and transactional advising won't work. Same with most of the other things + international work (which in and of itself is very broad and undefined).

That being said, go Stanford.

slsorhls
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby slsorhls » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:59 pm

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Last edited by slsorhls on Wed May 02, 2012 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bronck
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby Bronck » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:43 pm

Peer schools are peer. Pick the one you like best.

Ti Malice
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby Ti Malice » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:33 am

Bronck wrote:Peer schools are peer. Pick the one you like best.


Pretty much.

The fact that your interests are currently so open and undefined makes it pretty difficult to make a specific recommendation. If you perform at a high level, either one will take care of you in any of the areas you've listed (though HLS probably does have a slight advantage for clerkship placement).

As an aside, I'm really curious as to what your PS looked like. I'll certainly allow that my interests will likely shift and evolve in school, but I'm going in with a pretty good idea of what appeals to me, and my PS reflected this. I'm not making a value judgment here. I'm just saying it's hard for me to imagine what a great PS looks like if it doesn't evince some degree of focus in your legal interests.

slsorhls
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby slsorhls » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:09 am

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Last edited by slsorhls on Wed May 02, 2012 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ti Malice
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby Ti Malice » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:20 am

slsorhls wrote:
As an aside, I'm really curious as to what your PS looked like.


When I submitted my applications, I was narrowly focused. Since then, my interests and thoughts have actually shifted a bit. But I don't think that's out of the ordinary. It also seems like a lot of people go in thinking one thing and come out into something different. I'm open to a lot of possibilities.


Makes sense. And I agree that it's not out of the ordinary.

CCN-S Transfer
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby CCN-S Transfer » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:28 am

slsorhls wrote:
I've heard that there's an advantage to HLS for the best clerkships.


Not true. HLS is a million times larger than SLS, thus they have a greater number of total clerks. That's why to the casual observer Harvard appears to be the best law school in basically everything- they have twice as many SCOTUS clerks, twice as many biglaw partners, etc etc (btw these are completely made up numbers). I'd argue that Stanford's smaller size allows better access to the faculty and more individualized focus, which is absolutely crucial in the clerkship game.

Go to Stanford. It's awesome out there.

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Onthebrink
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby Onthebrink » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:32 am

CCN-S Transfer wrote:
slsorhls wrote:
I've heard that there's an advantage to HLS for the best clerkships.


Not true. HLS is a million times larger than SLS, thus they have a greater number of total clerks. That's why to the casual observer Harvard appears to be the best law school in basically everything- they have twice as many SCOTUS clerks, twice as many biglaw partners, etc etc (btw these are completely made up numbers). I'd argue that Stanford's smaller size allows better access to the faculty and more individualized focus, which is absolutely crucial in the clerkship game.

Go to Stanford. It's awesome out there.


Something that is often overlooked is the fact that because HLS is "a million times larger" it's alumni base is also substantially larger. That can also be helpful in attaining clerkships, biglaw jobs, etc. etc.

slsorhls
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby slsorhls » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:46 am

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Last edited by slsorhls on Wed May 02, 2012 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

legends159
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby legends159 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:03 am

slsorhls wrote:
That's why to the casual observer Harvard appears to be the best law school in basically everything- they have twice as many SCOTUS clerks, twice as many biglaw partners, etc etc (btw these are completely made up numbers).


There are other large, top law schools (Columbia, NYU, Georgetown,...) that don't do anywhere near as well in all of these categories. It's not just pure numbers. If you look at percentages, HLS and SLS are actually pretty close too. Considering HLS's size, that's a tremendous accomplishment.

That also applies to the strength of the student body. It's pretty remarkable that HLS maintains such high numbers (LSAT, GPA) for such a large class. SLS has lower numbers WITH A SMALLER CLASS--if the class were the size of HLS, those numbers would probably significantly diminish. It's obviously testament to the power of Harvard's name and tradition. HLS also has way more applicants than SLS--again, same thing.

This is all part of the HLS argument for a legal metropolis, i.e. take high caliber students and professors like the ones at S and Y and create a critical mass of them.


Sounds like you've made up your mind. Enjoy Harvard and stop trolling.

slsorhls
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby slsorhls » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:12 am

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Last edited by slsorhls on Wed May 02, 2012 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby yngblkgifted » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:17 am

Better ranking and better weather. Seriously what is wrong with you people?

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hung jury
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby hung jury » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:18 am

1. Clerkship chances

Stanford has a clear edge here if you look at the recent numbers. The Supreme Court clinic/access to important faculty helps; if you're really interested in appellate work I think Stanford is a great place to be.

2. Opportunities in academia

I think S's candidates generally do better on the market though there are fewer S graduates who go on the academic market so that needs to be accounted for as well (if you control for school size the two schools place the same amount of candidates per year). Harvard probably has a little better reach for the top positions, though. In general I think S is the better place to be for academia, simply because having faculty go to bat for you is crucial for academia and that is a lot easier to accomplish at S than it is at H. This tends to go against popular opinion but I'm convinced it is an accurate assessment. The greater success of S candidates as compared to H candidates at the hiring conferences tends to bear this out, but it should also be noted that those applying out of S are probably more specialized candidates (I don't know, but I'd guess so based on what I've seen).

3. International reputation


Harvard has a clear edge here. It'll vary by country but I think the size of Harvard's alumni base shines here, as does the prestige of the Harvard brand. You can extend this to domestic reputation outside of law, though Stanford isn't a slouch here. That said, Stanford still rates internationally and doors won't be closed by choosing Stanford.

4. Employment opportunities across the country in a wide variety of areas (since I don't know what I want to do)

It's a wash. Both are good schools that place well across the country. I don't think either have a particular weakness--I've yet to meet an HYS grad who thinks they've lacked for opportunities.

I made this choice last year and I chose Stanford. You can't go wrong either way. At the end of the day I thought I'd be happier/would do better at a small school and I generally enjoy sunshine. I also thought Harvard's name brand was more of a minus than a plus, though that was a minor part of my decision making.

83947368
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby 83947368 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:23 am

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Last edited by 83947368 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:30 am

I am here for the standard "go to Harvard because I want an open spot at Stanford" spiel. Has to be done in all of these threads. I wish I had your first-world problems.





But seriously, go to Harvard. I can PM you my name so you can put in the good word at Stanford.

slsorhls
Posts: 91
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby slsorhls » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:31 am

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Last edited by slsorhls on Wed May 02, 2012 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

slsorhls
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby slsorhls » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:33 am

The Supreme Court clinic/access to important faculty helps


Is it easier to get on that clinic at SLS versus the one at HLS? How else do they compare?

83947368
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby 83947368 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:36 am

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Last edited by 83947368 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

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hung jury
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby hung jury » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:36 am

hung jury wrote:1. Clerkship chances

Stanford has a clear edge here if you look at the recent numbers. The Supreme Court clinic/access to important faculty helps; if you're really interested in appellate work I think Stanford is a great place to be.

2. Opportunities in academia

I think S's candidates generally do better on the market though there are fewer S graduates who go on the academic market so that needs to be accounted for as well (if you control for school size the two schools place the same amount of candidates per year). Harvard probably has a little better reach for the top positions, though. In general I think S is the better place to be for academia, simply because having faculty go to bat for you is crucial for academia and that is a lot easier to accomplish at S than it is at H. This tends to go against popular opinion but I'm convinced it is an accurate assessment. The greater success of S candidates as compared to H candidates at the hiring conferences tends to bear this out, but it should also be noted that those applying out of S are probably more specialized candidates (I don't know, but I'd guess so based on what I've seen).

3. International reputation


Harvard has a clear edge here. It'll vary by country but I think the size of Harvard's alumni base shines here, as does the prestige of the Harvard brand. You can extend this to domestic reputation outside of law, though Stanford isn't a slouch here. That said, Stanford still rates internationally and doors won't be closed by choosing Stanford.

4. Employment opportunities across the country in a wide variety of areas (since I don't know what I want to do)

It's a wash. Both are good schools that place well across the country. I don't think either have a particular weakness--I've yet to meet an HYS grad who thinks they've lacked for opportunities.

I made this choice last year and I chose Stanford. You can't go wrong either way. At the end of the day I thought I'd be happier/would do better at a small school and I generally enjoy sunshine. I also thought Harvard's name brand was more of a minus than a plus, though that was a minor part of my decision making.


Sounds like you've made up your mind. Enjoy Harvard and stop trolling.

ETA: I just read your HLS love-in in the other thread and couldn't resist.

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hung jury
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby hung jury » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:46 am

slsorhls wrote:
The Supreme Court clinic/access to important faculty helps


Is it easier to get on that clinic at SLS versus the one at HLS? How else do they compare?


I really can't compare them as I haven't done the SLS one or the HLS one, though I suspect the SLS one would be easier to do on the basis of size (I don't know, though, maybe Harvard has 3x the students do its clinic). My impression is SLS offers a top notch program but that isn't a comparison and is really just me looking in from the outside.

slsorhls
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby slsorhls » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:48 am

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Last edited by slsorhls on Wed May 02, 2012 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lessthanjake
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby lessthanjake » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:00 am

hung jury wrote:
slsorhls wrote:
The Supreme Court clinic/access to important faculty helps


Is it easier to get on that clinic at SLS versus the one at HLS? How else do they compare?


I really can't compare them as I haven't done the SLS one or the HLS one, though I suspect the SLS one would be easier to do on the basis of size (I don't know, though, maybe Harvard has 3x the students do its clinic). My impression is SLS offers a top notch program but that isn't a comparison and is really just me looking in from the outside.


I really am wondering if anyone knows about this regarding the Supreme Court clinics. I think it would be totally awesome to participate in one of those, but I am really left wondering how hard they are to get onto at these two schools. Is it reasonable for me to be excited about the prospect of doing that clinic if I went to Harvard, or are the chances of getting into it super low?

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby TaipeiMort » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:07 am

If you like better high-end opportunities and lay prestige go to HLS.

If you like better weather/ non-ghetto and much higher educational quality go to SLS.

abl
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Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby abl » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:51 pm

I'm not sure where the perception that HLS is better for high end opportunities come from. Virtually every list I've seen puts SLS ahead (Skadden fellows, CoA clerks, total clerks, academic placement, etc). Regardless, the two are fairly similar in most regards, and I think you'll find that for any of the things you're interested in, opportunity/prestige differences are negligible. Whatever small differences you may be able to draw out, you'll find that in practice they're negligible. It may that 5% more of the class gets a clerkship out of SLS than HLS, but chances of you being on that margin are virtually nil (well, 5%).

What will matter is how much you like the school. If you feel comfortable and happy at HLS, that's likely going to translate into your grades, publications, etc to a significant degree and matter a whole lot more than the minimal clerkship "boost" you'd get from going to SLS. My own biases put SLS way ahead for quality of life, quality of peers, etc, but that's not going to be the case for everyone (or even most people--I think they split cross-admits pretty evenly). The two schools "feel" fairly substantially different, and you should go to whichever one "feels" best for you.




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