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

CCN-S Transfer
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:15 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby CCN-S Transfer » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:54 pm

Stanford is better. But it sounds like you should go to Harvard.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:58 pm

Go to the higher ranked school. If you want that to be Stanford, use the current rankings (2013), but if you want that to be Harvard, then use the USNews rankings current when you applied.

On a more serious note: This should be an easy decision because the two are on different coasts & are quite different in size of student enrollment. Also, if you select Stanford & need to get Harvard out of your system, then do your third year at Harvard as a visiting student.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3224
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby ph14 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:04 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Go to the higher ranked school. If you want that to be Stanford, use the current rankings (2013), but if you want that to be Harvard, then use the USNews rankings current when you applied.

On a more serious note: This should be an easy decision because the two are on different coasts & are quite different in size of student enrollment. Also, if you select Stanford & need to get Harvard out of your system, then do your third year at Harvard as a visiting student.


This decision really just comes down to personal preference. Do you prefer east coast or west coast? small class size or large class size? sunshine or snow? how much is lay prestige important to you?

If you are completely neutral, i'd go to SLS. I think the small class size there is the biggest difference between the two and if you don't really care, it's better to be a 1 out of 170 rather than 1 out of 550, since you're a rarer commodity.

User avatar
Stig
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:00 am

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby Stig » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:08 pm

slsorhls wrote: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 the first time I've heard anyone argue that HLS' higher numbers is a reason to go there. SLS is amazing, but we understand it might not be for everyone. Sounds like you'd be a better fit for HLS.

User avatar
chup
Posts: 23645
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:48 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby chup » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:47 pm

Your interests are so diverse and vague at this point that it really is hard to definitively say "go to this school" without more details/more narrow focus. As people have said multiple times over, it's really up to personal preference. Go to the ASWs, see which one you like better. I know plenty of people (on both sides) who were undecided before the ASWs and made up their minds pretty easily after.



Oh, and on the issue of SLS Supreme Court clinic: it's quite competitive. Not impossible by any stretch, but if you want it prepare to strive like a mofo.

jd5
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby jd5 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:47 pm

Stig wrote:
slsorhls wrote: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 the first time I've heard anyone argue that HLS' higher numbers is a reason to go there. SLS is amazing, but we understand it might not be for everyone. Sounds like you'd be a better fit for HLS.


I don't think slsorhls was arguing that a bigger student body per se is a reason to go there but rather that HLS's ability to maintain its LSAT/GPA numbers despite having such a huge student body is testament to the draw of HLS and to the overall strength of the class (as measured by LSAT/GPA). Brian Leiter makes the same class-size adjustment when he ranks law schools by student (numerical) quality -- http://www.leiterrankings.com/students/ ... ools.shtml -- and it's why Harvard always comes out on top.

User avatar
hung jury
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:52 am

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby hung jury » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:09 pm

abl wrote: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.


Given that I made minute distinctions between the two schools (that I think do hold up), I wanted to be clear that I agree with all of this. Any differences are small enough that school feel/happiness/ability to thrive in the environment should be what drives your decision.

abl
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:07 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby abl » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:59 pm

Regarding the relative "strength" of SLS v HLS students, I think HLS's high numbers despite its size is more a testament to its numbers focus than anything else. Does anyone doubt that SLS could have significantly stronger numbers if it wanted to? No! Rather, among the top schools, it's pretty widely known that SLS is much less numbers-driven than average whereas Harvard is somewhat more numbers-driven than average. This impacts the type of student at each school. HLS students tend to be younger than SLS students, and fewer have post-graduate experience or advanced degrees. If you're coming straight from undergrad and want the largest possible crowd of similar students, you'll find them at HLS.

anstone1988
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:04 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby anstone1988 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:21 pm

abl wrote:Regarding the relative "strength" of SLS v HLS students, I think HLS's high numbers despite its size is more a testament to its numbers focus than anything else. Does anyone doubt that SLS could have significantly stronger numbers if it wanted to? No! Rather, among the top schools, it's pretty widely known that SLS is much less numbers-driven than average whereas Harvard is somewhat more numbers-driven than average. This impacts the type of student at each school. HLS students tend to be younger than SLS students, and fewer have post-graduate experience or advanced degrees. If you're coming straight from undergrad and want the largest possible crowd of similar students, you'll find them at HLS.


It looks like HLS and SLS have similar proportions of students attending directly out of UG:
http://www.law.harvard.edu/prospective/ ... ofile.html
http://www.law.stanford.edu/school/fact ... admissions

abl
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:07 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby abl » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:48 pm

Fair enough (although with the two different ways of reporting, it's difficult to know how similar the HLS and SLS are outside that they're both comprised 1/4 of students who come straight from undergrad). What is not difficult to see is how many more advanced degree students attend SLS than HLS (nearly 3x as many).

jd5
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby jd5 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:55 am

abl wrote:Fair enough (although with the two different ways of reporting, it's difficult to know how similar the HLS and SLS are outside that they're both comprised 1/4 of students who come straight from undergrad). What is not difficult to see is how many more advanced degree students attend SLS than HLS (nearly 3x as many).


Err, no, at least not in absolute numbers. 34% of 180 at SLS = 62 students with advanced degrees. 13% of 559 at Harvard = 73 students with advanced degrees.

User avatar
NoleinNY
Posts: 1031
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:58 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby NoleinNY » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:12 am

Harvard fell below Stanford in the ranks this year. Hedge your bets with the rising star and forget that soon-to-be T4 in Cambridge.

handsonthewheel
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:12 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby handsonthewheel » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:17 am

jd5 wrote:
abl wrote:Fair enough (although with the two different ways of reporting, it's difficult to know how similar the HLS and SLS are outside that they're both comprised 1/4 of students who come straight from undergrad). What is not difficult to see is how many more advanced degree students attend SLS than HLS (nearly 3x as many).


Err, no, at least not in absolute numbers. 34% of 180 at SLS = 62 students with advanced degrees. 13% of 559 at Harvard = 73 students with advanced degrees.


Why in the world would you use absolute numbers?

handsonthewheel
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:12 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby handsonthewheel » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:18 am

Also, the fact that Stanford has 1/3 of their entering student body with advanced degrees...wow. I'm impressed. I love that school anyway (and any children I ever have will be insanely pressured to perform well enough to go there...and to go), but that is a fairly impressive number.

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby Blessedassurance » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:28 am

The recent proliferation of Stanford trolls is amusing.

Napt
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:43 am

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby Napt » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:45 am

Blessedassurance wrote:The recent proliferation of Stanford trolls is amusing.

Stanford and Chicago trolls have an impressively strong TLS presence.

User avatar
TaipeiMort
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:51 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby TaipeiMort » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:35 am

Napt wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:The recent proliferation of Stanford trolls is amusing.

Stanford and Chicago trolls have an impressively strong TLS presence.


Because the intrinsic motivators which drive those to Stanford and Chicago (people with lower #s and better softs who value educational quality are different than those at Harvard-- lay prestige and...?)

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby Blessedassurance » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:19 am

TaipeiMort wrote:
Napt wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:The recent proliferation of Stanford trolls is amusing.

Stanford and Chicago trolls have an impressively strong TLS presence.


Because the intrinsic motivators which drive those to Stanford and Chicago (people with lower #s and better softs who value educational quality are different than those at Harvard-- lay prestige and...?)


Unfettered love for diluted faculties?

I see what you did there, trying to sneak Chicago into a tier it doesn't belong. Don't you need to jump Columbia first? Chicago trolls can't be faulted for lack of effort though. They're so good, people forget Chicago is actually behind Columbia on TLS.

User avatar
Stig
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:00 am

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby Stig » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:17 pm

jd5 wrote:
Stig wrote:
slsorhls wrote: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 the first time I've heard anyone argue that HLS' higher numbers is a reason to go there. SLS is amazing, but we understand it might not be for everyone. Sounds like you'd be a better fit for HLS.


I don't think slsorhls was arguing that a bigger student body per se is a reason to go there but rather that HLS's ability to maintain its LSAT/GPA numbers despite having such a huge student body is testament to the draw of HLS and to the overall strength of the class (as measured by LSAT/GPA). Brian Leiter makes the same class-size adjustment when he ranks law schools by student (numerical) quality -- http://www.leiterrankings.com/students/ ... ools.shtml -- and it's why Harvard always comes out on top.


You summarized his/her argument exactly as I thought it to be. We just disagree on whether it is a good thing to have an admissions strategy driven primarily by an LSAT and a GPA.

User avatar
TaipeiMort
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:51 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby TaipeiMort » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:00 am

Blessedassurance wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:
Napt wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:The recent proliferation of Stanford trolls is amusing.

Stanford and Chicago trolls have an impressively strong TLS presence.


Because the intrinsic motivators which drive those to Stanford and Chicago (people with lower #s and better softs who value educational quality are different than those at Harvard-- lay prestige and...?)


Unfettered love for diluted faculties?

I see what you did there, trying to sneak Chicago into a tier it doesn't belong. Don't you need to jump Columbia first? Chicago trolls can't be faulted for lack of effort though. They're so good, people forget Chicago is actually behind Columbia on TLS.


I wouldn't suggest that Chicago is better than Columbia. Columbia has an awesome practical teaching faculty made up of practitioners. I would bet they better prepare their students for NYC deals work than any school. I also think that Stanford and Yale are better than Chicago in several of the most significant educational focuses. I just don't respect Harvard because they offer little value add to their students besides an inflated sense of self worth sourcing from lay prestige. They also do their students a disservice by inflating the class size which leaves too many screwed and don't offer an even level of educational quality.

NC1
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:36 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby NC1 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:18 am

TaipeiMort wrote:
I wouldn't suggest that Chicago is better than Columbia. Columbia has an awesome practical teaching faculty made up of practitioners. I would bet they better prepare their students for NYC deals work than any school. I also think that Stanford and Yale are better than Chicago in several of the most significant educational focuses. I just don't respect Harvard because they offer little value add to their students besides an inflated sense of self worth sourcing from lay prestige. They also do their students a disservice by inflating the class size which leaves too many screwed and don't offer an even level of educational quality.

:roll: It's bad when I barely even post here and I knew who wrote this before I saw the name.

User avatar
TaipeiMort
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:51 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby TaipeiMort » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:33 am

NC1 wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:
I wouldn't suggest that Chicago is better than Columbia. Columbia has an awesome practical teaching faculty made up of practitioners. I would bet they better prepare their students for NYC deals work than any school. I also think that Stanford and Yale are better than Chicago in several of the most significant educational focuses. I just don't respect Harvard because they offer little value add to their students besides an inflated sense of self worth sourcing from lay prestige. They also do their students a disservice by inflating the class size which leaves too many screwed and don't offer an even level of educational quality.

:roll: It's bad when I barely even post here and I knew who wrote this before I saw the name.


I'd stop posting about it if I got a reply contradicting my assertion. But, I probably won't because people on TLS don't care about a school's bottom-end job prospects and weigh the utility boost of going to a school perceived as prestigious by lay people over educational quality and realistic job expectations. To do otherwise is a sacrifice because it doesn't confer the greatest ex ante benefit. This is the same at Harvard or Golden Gate U (I got into this school, my friends and family will respect me more than if I choose it than the alternative (Stanford or staying at current entry level job respectively) and I will ignore the school's deficiencies in lower end placement and not value educational quality much. In the end though, Harvard's relative deficiencies don't matter for most-- they can learn on the job and have an incredible signaling tool in that degree to future employers. Going to the schools with better job prospects and education only mean something if you really feel it matters more than the conferred signaling boost the degree gives, which is impossible to tell in most instances.

User avatar
BruceWayne
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:38 am

Does Harvard still give LP's to the bottom 10 percent in each course? As long as they do that everyone who has the opportunity should go to Stanford. If they cut that out then just go to the one you like better unless you're interested in going into politics one day.

Stinson
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:01 am

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby Stinson » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:17 am

Harvard 2L here. HLS's brief flirtation with the mandatory LP for the bottom 8% lasted only a semester or so. That was a mistake, but it isn't done anymore. Like the DS, it is discretionary and rare. I know people who got LP's, but in almost every instance it followed either extreme laziness - doing LRW papers the day before they were due, for example - or some very bad situation - illness the day of the final and the person going ahead and taking the test anyway.

For myself, I actually prefer that they have it, because when an employer sees a P on the transcript it means that you did not pass by just the skin of your teeth, but rather that your work was fine and satisfactory. Also, and this is anecdotal evidence admittedly, the people I know with LP's did fine at EIP. It probably hurt their ability to work in a certain market and at certain firms, but one or two will not hurt your ability just to get a job.

Regarding the earlier poster's skepticism about Harvard's prospects at the bottom end of the class, I simply have to say that I knew people with bottom of the class type grades, insofar as we even have them, and it was individual actions, not the school's ability to place, that put them in a job or put them out of one. If you are in the bottom 20% or so, you need to bid broadly and be willing to go to NYC. Everyone I know who did this has a market paying job. If you don't have great grades or work experience and then you insist on doing something stupid like targeting only San Francisco or DC firms, or using only a fraction of your bids, bad things can happen. OCS specifically tells people not to do this. If you take Harvard for what it is - an extraordinary credential but not a magic talisman - you will be well served. As far as Stanford v. Harvard, seriously OP, just go to the one that gives you a better feeling and that you like better. As long as you do your work, you'll be fine either way.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3224
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Stanford v Harvard

Postby ph14 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:52 am

TaipeiMort wrote:
NC1 wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:
I wouldn't suggest that Chicago is better than Columbia. Columbia has an awesome practical teaching faculty made up of practitioners. I would bet they better prepare their students for NYC deals work than any school. I also think that Stanford and Yale are better than Chicago in several of the most significant educational focuses. I just don't respect Harvard because they offer little value add to their students besides an inflated sense of self worth sourcing from lay prestige. They also do their students a disservice by inflating the class size which leaves too many screwed and don't offer an even level of educational quality.

:roll: It's bad when I barely even post here and I knew who wrote this before I saw the name.


I'd stop posting about it if I got a reply contradicting my assertion. But, I probably won't because people on TLS don't care about a school's bottom-end job prospects and weigh the utility boost of going to a school perceived as prestigious by lay people over educational quality and realistic job expectations. To do otherwise is a sacrifice because it doesn't confer the greatest ex ante benefit. This is the same at Harvard or Golden Gate U (I got into this school, my friends and family will respect me more than if I choose it than the alternative (Stanford or staying at current entry level job respectively) and I will ignore the school's deficiencies in lower end placement and not value educational quality value educational quality value educational quality much. In the end though, Harvard's relative deficiencies don't matter for most-- they can learn on the job and have an incredible signaling tool in that degree to future employers. Going to the schools with better job prospects and education only mean something if you really feel it matters more than the conferred signaling boost the degree gives, which is impossible to tell in most instances.


1) Not that law school teaches you anything super practical anyways so you definitely should not choose your school based on "educational quality"
2) Harvard's educational quality isn't worse than Chicago (nor is Chicago's worse than HLS). It's a faulty assumption that having a "less diluted" faculty = better educational quality. I've seen and heard of little correlation between being a "big name" and being a good professor. A lot of times the professors that aren't the superstars are the best professors. A lot of the regular professors are naturally more accessible and willing to mentor students.

Stinson wrote:Harvard 2L here. HLS's brief flirtation with the mandatory LP for the bottom 8% lasted only a semester or so. That was a mistake, but it isn't done anymore. Like the DS, it is discretionary and rare. I know people who got LP's, but in almost every instance it followed either extreme laziness - doing LRW papers the day before they were due, for example - or some very bad situation - illness the day of the final and the person going ahead and taking the test anyway.

For myself, I actually prefer that they have it, because when an employer sees a P on the transcript it means that you did not pass by just the skin of your teeth, but rather that your work was fine and satisfactory. Also, and this is anecdotal evidence admittedly, the people I know with LP's did fine at EIP. It probably hurt their ability to work in a certain market and at certain firms, but one or two will not hurt your ability just to get a job.

Regarding the earlier poster's skepticism about Harvard's prospects at the bottom end of the class, I simply have to say that I knew people with bottom of the class type grades, insofar as we even have them, and it was individual actions, not the school's ability to place, that put them in a job or put them out of one. If you are in the bottom 20% or so, you need to bid broadly and be willing to go to NYC. Everyone I know who did this has a market paying job. If you don't have great grades or work experience and then you insist on doing something stupid like targeting only San Francisco or DC firms, or using only a fraction of your bids, bad things can happen. OCS specifically tells people not to do this. If you take Harvard for what it is - an extraordinary credential but not a magic talisman - you will be well served. As far as Stanford v. Harvard, seriously OP, just go to the one that gives you a better feeling and that you like better. As long as you do your work, you'll be fine either way.


I agree completely with this. LPs seem much more rare now, and I get the sense that professors don't give them out frivolously.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: tinafeyclone and 1 guest