employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

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abl
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby abl » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:10 pm

PMan99 wrote:
lessthanjake wrote:
Also, why is there such a difference in Harvard's clerkship numbers compared to the other two?


Because OP picked Stanford's best year for clerkships? In 2 of the 3 years that there's data for on the schools' websites, Stanford is closer to Harvard than Yale.

Also I don't think it's controversial to say that clerking for the top courts in CA or NY is a better for most people than clerking for the District of South Dakota. Since you're talking about a miniscule number of students clerking at state/local from Yale, this has to be taken into consideration before trying to pretend that Stanford is equal.


Well, there's no indication that the quality of SLS graduates' clerkships are any less stellar than YLS graduates'.

I think the real reason here why SLS significantly outperforms HLS for something like clerkships is pretty clear to anyone who's been through the clerkship application process. First, recommendations count at least as much as grades, and second, few judges have any good sense of who falls in the top 10% or 20% of these schools with all of the Hs and Ps. I doubt most judges could readily differentiate a student who was right at the 10th percentile at HLS from a student who was right at the 20th percentile at SLS (or vice versa). I think most judges could tell that the HLS student was doing somewhat better, but few could accurately estimate *how* much better. A call from a professor is going to make far more of a difference in this hypothetical than the students' respective grades. And SLS has a huge edge in this area given its size. It also helps that SLS students will, for the most part, not be competing against their classmates for the same spots; a SLS student in the 20th percentile could well be the best SLS student that a given judge sees, while an HLS student in the 20th percentile may have to compete against 2-3 HLS students who are more highly ranked. Because judges can compare HLS-HLS transcripts far more likely than SLS-SLS transcripts, this disadvantages the 20th percentile HLS student relative to the 20th percentile SLS student not merely because many judges like to have a number of different top schools represented among their clerks, but because a judge seeing only 20th percentile and below SLS students is likely to err on the side of thinking that the 20th percentile SLS candidate is ranked more highly at SLS--and that sort of error doesn't happen for HLS candidates nearly as often given the relatively huge number of HLS applicants on the clerkship market.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:15 pm

Flash wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:Harvard is superior to both.

Imagine if Harvard had a class size of 170 - 200...

Imagine if Yale and Stanford had class sizes of 70-90. They'd probably have nearly 100% clerkship levels!


???

abacus
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby abacus » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:29 pm

Can Stanford's clerkship advantage be attributed to the fact that it is the only top 6 school in the West? I wonder if Stanford students applying for clerkships in the East Coast are more successful than Harvard students... For firms, it's certainly better to be from a smaller school, but I feel like judges like to hire from the same schools over and over because they trust their professors, former clerks, etc.

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Flash
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby Flash » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:32 pm

abacus wrote:Can Stanford's clerkship advantage be attributed to the fact that it is the only top 6 school in the West? I wonder if Stanford students applying for clerkships in the East Coast are more successful than Harvard students... For firms, it's certainly better to be from a smaller school, but I feel like judges like to hire from the same schools over and over because they trust their professors, former clerks, etc.

A COA judge I talked with last quarter told said that the faculties at Stanford and Yale are by far the most aggressive at calling judges and promoting their students for clerkships.

lessthanjake
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby lessthanjake » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:35 pm

abl wrote:
PMan99 wrote:
lessthanjake wrote:
Also, why is there such a difference in Harvard's clerkship numbers compared to the other two?


Because OP picked Stanford's best year for clerkships? In 2 of the 3 years that there's data for on the schools' websites, Stanford is closer to Harvard than Yale.

Also I don't think it's controversial to say that clerking for the top courts in CA or NY is a better for most people than clerking for the District of South Dakota. Since you're talking about a miniscule number of students clerking at state/local from Yale, this has to be taken into consideration before trying to pretend that Stanford is equal.


Well, there's no indication that the quality of SLS graduates' clerkships are any less stellar than YLS graduates'.

I think the real reason here why SLS significantly outperforms HLS for something like clerkships is pretty clear to anyone who's been through the clerkship application process. First, recommendations count at least as much as grades, and second, few judges have any good sense of who falls in the top 10% or 20% of these schools with all of the Hs and Ps. I doubt most judges could readily differentiate a student who was right at the 10th percentile at HLS from a student who was right at the 20th percentile at SLS (or vice versa). I think most judges could tell that the HLS student was doing somewhat better, but few could accurately estimate *how* much better. A call from a professor is going to make far more of a difference in this hypothetical than the students' respective grades. And SLS has a huge edge in this area given its size. It also helps that SLS students will, for the most part, not be competing against their classmates for the same spots; a SLS student in the 20th percentile could well be the best SLS student that a given judge sees, while an HLS student in the 20th percentile may have to compete against 2-3 HLS students who are more highly ranked. Because judges can compare HLS-HLS transcripts far more likely than SLS-SLS transcripts, this disadvantages the 20th percentile HLS student relative to the 20th percentile SLS student not merely because many judges like to have a number of different top schools represented among their clerks, but because a judge seeing only 20th percentile and below SLS students is likely to err on the side of thinking that the 20th percentile SLS candidate is ranked more highly at SLS--and that sort of error doesn't happen for HLS candidates nearly as often given the relatively huge number of HLS applicants on the clerkship market.


Do judges really care whether they have different top schools represented amongst their clerks though? If yes, then you have a good point, but I find it hard to believe that a judge would pass over a candidate he or she thought was better just because he or she had another person from that school. I feel like judges just pick the best candidates they have regardless of school, and that they end up with a decent diversity of schools in the end because it is extremely unlikely that all the best candidates will actually be from one school. I certainly do not have any first-hand knowledge about the process, though, so I could definitely be wrong.

On the other hand, I think there's an effect that favors Harvard as well: alumni base. As far as I know, judges do tend to make a point to pick people from their alma mater more often. Since Harvard is so large, it has a really large alumni base amongst judges (certainly larger than Stanford), so this should help it. I feel like any edge Stanford gets from judges wanting diversity of schools should be counterbalanced by this.

A COA judge I talked with last quarter told said that the faculties at Stanford and Yale are by far the most aggressive at calling judges and promoting their students for clerkships.


This is probably the biggest actual difference between the schools' performance, not this whole "small schools make the students a hotter commodity" thing. Small classes means more professor interaction which means the professors will probably be more willing to go to bat for the students.

bdubs
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby bdubs » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:52 pm

I skimmed the thread, so I could have missed this. You all are comparing clerkship percentages, not raw numbers. There are only so many Art. III clerkships out there and even fewer "desirable" ones. The numbers support that if you are a good student you will have a shot at these clerkships from any one of the three schools.

Number of Art III clerks:

Yale: 60 (30% of a 200 person graduating class)
Harvard: 92 (16.3% of a 567 person class)
Stanford: 51 (out of 174 graduating students)

1988AndX
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby 1988AndX » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:00 pm

Is it harder to screw up at Stanford compared to Harvard and Yale? At Harvard, you can get LP. At Yale, you can take too few law related courses or simply choose courses/activities poorly due to the lack of structure. From what I heard, students at Stanford are pushed to work hard but are protected from downside risks at the same time. Another advantage of Stanford is that students at the top can be distinguished from the rest based on grades while students at the bottom can't be distinguished. At Harvard, students at the bottom can be distinguished. At Yale, students at the top can't be distinguished.

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JollyGreenGiant
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby JollyGreenGiant » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:03 pm

MTBike wrote:Image


I love this.

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soj
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby soj » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:41 pm

The grading systems at HYS are pretty similar, but here are a few differences.

1. All three schools use the HP/P/LP system, but at H and S, the very top few students each class get DSs. Harvard assigns points (LinkRemoved) to each grade to calculate GPAs for awarding graduation honors.

2. The curve for HP/P/LP is discretionary at all three schools, and LPs are reserved for egregious incompetence. The exception is H, where some profs still give out LPs to the bottom 10% or so of the class.

3. Y has no grades first semester (not even H/P/LP), and S is on the quarter system. This affects how many grades you'll have on your transcript going into 2L OCI. Y students have the fewest (4-5); H, 9-10; S, 12-13. Having fewer grades is good because if you end up with straight Ps, at least you're in good company. It's also "easier" to excel with just 4-5 grades--you just have to get lucky 4-5 times rather than 12-13 times. On the other hand, having more grades is good because you stand a better chance of not ending up with straight Ps, and because if you do exceptionally well (e.g. all Hs), you'll stand out more. If you're interested in clerkships, no matter which of HYS you attend, you'll have at least two years of courses on your transcript by the time you apply, so the number of classes is unimportant.

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Flash
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby Flash » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:13 pm

JollyGreenGiant wrote:
MTBike wrote:Image


I love this.

JGG did you go to the lunch talk on being a prosecutor/PD fall quarter?

3 out of the 5 panelist went to Yale and their main advice was to "just get a clerkship." smh

Applying_Late
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby Applying_Late » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:24 am

BlessedAssurance, would you deny Yale over Harvard (if you were accepted to Yale)? Also, name me superiority other than JD/MBA and lay prestige. Also, take my questioning as a challenge for you to enlighten me not as an affront.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby Blessedassurance » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:19 am

Applying_Late wrote:BlessedAssurance, would you deny Yale over Harvard (if you were accepted to Yale)? Also, name me superiority other than JD/MBA and lay prestige. Also, take my questioning as a challenge for you to enlighten me not as an affront.


Yes I will deny Y over H but that has more to do with my career objectives than the strength of the schools. All things being equal, there is nothing you can do at Yale that you cannot do at Harvard and vice versa. Same with Stanford. They are peer schools in the grand scheme of things. However, lay prestige translates to actual prestige at some point (I'm sure there's a more eloquent and intellectual way to put this, but I'm sure you get the gist). There will be a valid criticism for every measure one chooses to separate the schools. USNWR ranks Yale number one and Law firm recruiters rank Harvard number 1 and so on and so forth: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-gr ... aw-schools

Every time Harvard wins in any given category, it will ultimately simply be chalked to its size by detractors who conveniently neglect to account for size any time Yale or Stanford beats Harvard in a category. The fact that Harvard competes at that level with its class size is testament to its superiority. Think about it, Harvard's class is thrice Stanford's and over two times the size of Yale's.

With the limited number of "prestigious clerkships" etc., of course Harvard will always lag behind Y and S as far as per capita is concerned. Hell, the current composition of the supreme court could actually be argued in Yale's favour if you decide to analyse it "per capita" even though H dominates by the raw numbers.

My post was a joke though, in the sense that I think Y,H and S (to an extent :lol: ) are interchangeable and equal. Trying to rank them is a meaningless exercise and will ultimately reflect individual biases.

1988AndX
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby 1988AndX » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:36 am

Applying_Late wrote:BlessedAssurance, would you deny Yale over Harvard (if you were accepted to Yale)? Also, name me superiority other than JD/MBA and lay prestige. Also, take my questioning as a challenge for you to enlighten me not as an affront.


Both are great schools. None of HYS is superior to another in any way, though each may have its distinct edge. Harvard is a better choice for some people, especially those interested in business (not necessarily in the JD/MBA) and working abroad. It's better for business related law because the cross-registration opportunities at Harvard (with HBS, HKS, FAS, etc.) is simply more prestigious than ones at other universities. The mixers with Harvard MBA and Harvard MPP students are also a plus and a great way to network. With regards to working abroad, most clients are managers from medium to large corporations, and most of them don't know which one of HYS is the best for law (they wouldn't be reading TLS), but they know that Harvard is the best university in the world. They could stumble on US News, which claims that Yale is the #1 ranked law school in the US, but they could also stumble on the QS world law schools ranking (http://www.topuniversities.com/universi ... ences/law; I know the QS ranking is bogus, but they probably wouldn't know whether QS or US News is more legit), which claims that Harvard is the #1 law school in the world. Perception matters, and not everyone travels in the same circles as people on TLS.

With regards to BlessedAssurance's point, I see the law school situation as analogous to a phenomenon in the consulting industry. Some practices at McKinsey are huge, but profit per principal may not be as high as a similar measure at some smaller practices at boutique consulting firms. However, the fact that the practices at McKinsey are huge is a testament to the strength of the McKinsey brand. Same goes for Harvard Law. Harvard Law can have over 550 graduates each year without diluting the Harvard Law brand. Harvard Law is the only law school some what immune to the rankings, just as HKS is some what immune to the rankings. Even though HKS is ranked #3 for public affairs, high level foreign government officials still get their executive education there and still send their children to it.

Geneva
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Re: employment prospects: Harvard vs Yale vs Stanford

Postby Geneva » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:16 am

more data please!




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