NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

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concurrent fork
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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby concurrent fork » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:21 pm

quiver wrote:
mworee wrote:I suppose my realistic goal is NYC biglaw, since it seems pretty unrealistic to bank on getting prestigious PI (i.e ACLU) or a federal clerkship anywhere that I would actually want to live. Assuming again that I'd fall around median at Harvard, the latter wouldn't really be all that accessible to me, would it?
No. Zero chance at fed clerkships absent some ridiculous connection and an almost zero chance at prestigious PI, again absent some connection. PI is supposedly less numbers based but there are so few jobs in this area that they have their pick of people with great grades AND a demonstrated commitment to PI anyway. If you're 100% fine with just going NYC biglaw, then I'd say NYU. If you really want to gun for clerkships or prestigious gov/PI, I'd go Harvard (the difference in cost isn't astronomical enough to choose NYU over Harvard IMO).

I think it's a bit of an overstatement to say that median at HLS precludes you from prestigious PI. Art III clerkships, probably (but again not zero chance).

Either option is reasonable, but given your strong preference for NYU I think you should take the money and run.

sophie316
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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby sophie316 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:56 pm

Don't underestimate the importance of being in a city you like with a pre-existing support network. I went to NYU(I withdrew from Harvard before I heard one way or the other after I got $$ at NYU because it was always my top choice). My life was already here as were my friends and while I obviously cannot compare as I never tried it any other way, I definitely feel that having my friends/life etc here already settled made law school waaaaay less stressful and more enjoyable. I know a few people that turned down HLS for less money than NYU offered you and they've all been perfectly content with that decision.

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quiver
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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby quiver » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:59 pm

mworee wrote:
quiver wrote:
mworee wrote:I suppose my realistic goal is NYC biglaw, since it seems pretty unrealistic to bank on getting prestigious PI (i.e ACLU) or a federal clerkship anywhere that I would actually want to live. Assuming again that I'd fall around median at Harvard, the latter wouldn't really be all that accessible to me, would it?
No. Zero chance at fed clerkships absent some ridiculous connection and an almost zero chance at prestigious PI, again absent some connection. PI is supposedly less numbers based but there are so few jobs in this area that they have their pick of people with great grades AND a demonstrated commitment to PI anyway. If you're 100% fine with just going NYC biglaw, then I'd say NYU. If you really want to gun for clerkships or prestigious gov/PI, I'd go Harvard (the difference in cost isn't astronomical enough to choose NYU over Harvard IMO).


And then there's this. So, if I'm highly unlikely to ever be in the running for the super prestigious stuff at Harvard, it seems like the only point in choosing it over NYU is to hedge against falling into the bottom of the class.
Well prestigious stuff is unlikely from any school relative to biglaw. The point is that Harvard would give you a better chance than NYU at that stuff. So for example, if you'd need to be top 15% at NYU to have a chance at district court clerkships, maybe you would only need top 20-25% at Harvard. So you're increasing your odds but you're also increasing your debt by going to Harvard. Hence why I said to pick NYU if you'd be completely fine just going NYC biglaw. You should be fine either way though; can't go wrong here.

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hung jury
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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby hung jury » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:55 pm

quiver wrote:
mworee wrote:
quiver wrote:
mworee wrote:I suppose my realistic goal is NYC biglaw, since it seems pretty unrealistic to bank on getting prestigious PI (i.e ACLU) or a federal clerkship anywhere that I would actually want to live. Assuming again that I'd fall around median at Harvard, the latter wouldn't really be all that accessible to me, would it?
No. Zero chance at fed clerkships absent some ridiculous connection and an almost zero chance at prestigious PI, again absent some connection. PI is supposedly less numbers based but there are so few jobs in this area that they have their pick of people with great grades AND a demonstrated commitment to PI anyway. If you're 100% fine with just going NYC biglaw, then I'd say NYU. If you really want to gun for clerkships or prestigious gov/PI, I'd go Harvard (the difference in cost isn't astronomical enough to choose NYU over Harvard IMO).


And then there's this. So, if I'm highly unlikely to ever be in the running for the super prestigious stuff at Harvard, it seems like the only point in choosing it over NYU is to hedge against falling into the bottom of the class.
Well prestigious stuff is unlikely from any school relative to biglaw. The point is that Harvard would give you a better chance than NYU at that stuff. So for example, if you'd need to be top 15% at NYU to have a chance at district court clerkships, maybe you would only need top 20-25% at Harvard. So you're increasing your odds but you're also increasing your debt by going to Harvard. Hence why I said to pick NYU if you'd be completely fine just going NYC biglaw. You should be fine either way though; can't go wrong here.


This seems too fomulaic and pessimistic for H prospects. A median student at Harvard and a median student at NYU are not in the same position re: "prestigious" employment, particularly for public interest/government employment that often has a lot more to do with networking and past experience (though NYU obviously has a good PI tradition). I generally think this thread is overestimating the relevance of grades at Harvard. "Median" at Harvard is much more of a nebulous concept with an LP/P/H system. If the goal is NYC biglaw, I'd also be aware that NYU is not a virtual lock for biglaw the way Harvard is.

NYU is a defensible and maybe preferable choice if you're paying 90k less than you would at Harvard, and you'd prefer to stay in NY, but your job prospects at Harvard will be better wherever you end up in the class.

But I really would press NYU on the deadline. You should get to know what your Harvard offer is before you have to decide.

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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby Stinson » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:14 pm

I think hung jury makes a good and pertinent point, given the median to median comparisons going on. No one really knows what median at Harvard is. It's a big mushy thing that reaches pretty far down past 50%. Before EIP, OCS basically tells people to do one thing if they have all P's, another if they have a mix of P's and H's, and another - i.e. go crazy and bid on whatever you want - if you have mostly H's. Take that for what it is, but that is at least how OCS sees it - essentially three levels, with a big middle, sizable top, and small but hardly screwed over bottom. I knew of several people with all P's who had no trouble at all.

Regarding another point several people have made, I think the friends-already-in-NYC thing could really cut either way, and it's up to OP to decide what he thinks of it. Having one's life in a place is potentially less attractive once you figure out that your life once you get to school changes a lot. If the network OP has is a support network waiting to happen, NYU is the way to go. But if the network is going to be a group of people asking him why he can't come out anymore, not understanding he would rather do something as soul-crushingly dull as cite check than go to a bar, or not getting what it feels like to have six figures of debt riding on exams that are graded with all the precision and predictability - but less feedback! - of a shotgun in a snowstorm, it might be better to be in a new place with people who are all going through the same thing. Only OP knows his people, and so only he can make that call.

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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby quiver » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:29 pm

hung jury wrote:
quiver wrote:
mworee wrote:
quiver wrote:No. Zero chance at fed clerkships absent some ridiculous connection and an almost zero chance at prestigious PI, again absent some connection. PI is supposedly less numbers based but there are so few jobs in this area that they have their pick of people with great grades AND a demonstrated commitment to PI anyway. If you're 100% fine with just going NYC biglaw, then I'd say NYU. If you really want to gun for clerkships or prestigious gov/PI, I'd go Harvard (the difference in cost isn't astronomical enough to choose NYU over Harvard IMO).


And then there's this. So, if I'm highly unlikely to ever be in the running for the super prestigious stuff at Harvard, it seems like the only point in choosing it over NYU is to hedge against falling into the bottom of the class.
Well prestigious stuff is unlikely from any school relative to biglaw. The point is that Harvard would give you a better chance than NYU at that stuff. So for example, if you'd need to be top 15% at NYU to have a chance at district court clerkships, maybe you would only need top 20-25% at Harvard. So you're increasing your odds but you're also increasing your debt by going to Harvard. Hence why I said to pick NYU if you'd be completely fine just going NYC biglaw. You should be fine either way though; can't go wrong here.


This seems too fomulaic and pessimistic for H prospects. A median student at Harvard and a median student at NYU are not in the same position re: "prestigious" employment, particularly for public interest/government employment that often has a lot more to do with networking and past experience (though NYU obviously has a good PI tradition). I generally think this thread is overestimating the relevance of grades at Harvard. "Median" at Harvard is much more of a nebulous concept with an LP/P/H system. If the goal is NYC biglaw, I'd also be aware that NYU is not a virtual lock for biglaw the way Harvard is.

NYU is a defensible and maybe preferable choice if you're paying 90k less than you would at Harvard, and you'd prefer to stay in NY, but your job prospects at Harvard will be better wherever you end up in the class.

But I really would press NYU on the deadline. You should get to know what your Harvard offer is before you have to decide.
My point was that, for those prestigious positions such as fed clerkships, DOJ, etc., median at NYU and Harvard are in largely the same position (whether median is a nebulous concept or not). Now the fact that Harvard has a larger and possibly stronger network may help mitigate poor grades with respect to other gov/PI positions and biglaw but my point was merely that, for top-level positions, you need to be at the top of your class at NYU or Harvard, it's just that the "top" at Harvard may be tougher to define and allow more leeway for someone shooting for such positions. And I think everyone agrees that Harvard gives you more of a safety net for biglaw than NYU since you can be further below median (whatever that is) and still get biglaw. OP was only asking about those very prestigious positions in the post I was responding to.

I also agree that OP should push that NYU deadline. It would be kinda unfair to make this important decision without knowing all the relevant info.

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hung jury
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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby hung jury » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:57 pm

quiver wrote: My point was that, for those prestigious positions such as fed clerkships, DOJ, etc., median at NYU and Harvard are in largely the same position (whether median is a nebulous concept or not). Now the fact that Harvard has a larger and possibly stronger network may help mitigate poor grades with respect to other gov/PI positions and biglaw but my point was merely that, for top-level positions, you need to be at the top of your class at NYU or Harvard, it's just that the "top" at Harvard may be tougher to define and allow more leeway for someone shooting for such positions. And I think everyone agrees that Harvard gives you more of a safety net for biglaw than NYU since you can be further below median (whatever that is) and still get biglaw. OP was only asking about those very prestigious positions in the post I was responding to.

I also agree that OP should push that NYU deadline. It would be kinda unfair to make this important decision without knowing all the relevant info.


I just have my doubts that this claim is accurate. Are you a Harvard student? Zero shot at fed clerkships/prestigious PI (whatever that means) does not seem accurate to me from the people I know at H who can claim to be somewhere around median. Maybe things are a little better here at Stanford and I'm projecting. I just think you're understating the difference for those at H who can claim medianish grades as compared to a median NYU student. But all my knowledge is second hand so I'm really not sure; if you're going off OCS data etc., fair enough, I'd be interested to hear what people in the middle of the class at Harvard are doing other than biglaw.

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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby quiver » Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:24 am

hung jury wrote:
quiver wrote: My point was that, for those prestigious positions such as fed clerkships, DOJ, etc., median at NYU and Harvard are in largely the same position (whether median is a nebulous concept or not). Now the fact that Harvard has a larger and possibly stronger network may help mitigate poor grades with respect to other gov/PI positions and biglaw but my point was merely that, for top-level positions, you need to be at the top of your class at NYU or Harvard, it's just that the "top" at Harvard may be tougher to define and allow more leeway for someone shooting for such positions. And I think everyone agrees that Harvard gives you more of a safety net for biglaw than NYU since you can be further below median (whatever that is) and still get biglaw. OP was only asking about those very prestigious positions in the post I was responding to.

I also agree that OP should push that NYU deadline. It would be kinda unfair to make this important decision without knowing all the relevant info.


I just have my doubts that this claim is accurate. Are you a Harvard student? Zero shot at fed clerkships/prestigious PI (whatever that means) does not seem accurate to me from the people I know at H who can claim to be somewhere around median. Maybe things are a little better here at Stanford and I'm projecting. I just think you're understating the difference for those at H who can claim medianish grades as compared to a median NYU student. But all my knowledge is second hand so I'm really not sure; if you're going off OCS data etc., fair enough, I'd be interested to hear what people in the middle of the class at Harvard are doing other than biglaw.
No not a Harvard student so of course I'll defer to anyone with better info/stats (which yours may be). Of course any job is possible with the right connections but I was just saying that nobody around median at Harvard or NYU is waltzing into a federal COA clerkship, for example. Maybe we're just defining "prestigious positions" differently. Are those with median-ish grades (however that's defined) getting fed clerkships from Stanford? Genuinely curious.

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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby hung jury » Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:43 am

quiver wrote:
hung jury wrote:
quiver wrote: My point was that, for those prestigious positions such as fed clerkships, DOJ, etc., median at NYU and Harvard are in largely the same position (whether median is a nebulous concept or not). Now the fact that Harvard has a larger and possibly stronger network may help mitigate poor grades with respect to other gov/PI positions and biglaw but my point was merely that, for top-level positions, you need to be at the top of your class at NYU or Harvard, it's just that the "top" at Harvard may be tougher to define and allow more leeway for someone shooting for such positions. And I think everyone agrees that Harvard gives you more of a safety net for biglaw than NYU since you can be further below median (whatever that is) and still get biglaw. OP was only asking about those very prestigious positions in the post I was responding to.

I also agree that OP should push that NYU deadline. It would be kinda unfair to make this important decision without knowing all the relevant info.


I just have my doubts that this claim is accurate. Are you a Harvard student? Zero shot at fed clerkships/prestigious PI (whatever that means) does not seem accurate to me from the people I know at H who can claim to be somewhere around median. Maybe things are a little better here at Stanford and I'm projecting. I just think you're understating the difference for those at H who can claim medianish grades as compared to a median NYU student. But all my knowledge is second hand so I'm really not sure; if you're going off OCS data etc., fair enough, I'd be interested to hear what people in the middle of the class at Harvard are doing other than biglaw.
No not a Harvard student so of course I'll defer to anyone with better info/stats (which yours may be). Of course any job is possible with the right connections but I was just saying that nobody around median at Harvard or NYU is waltzing into a federal COA clerkship, for example. Maybe we're just defining "prestigious positions" differently. Are those with median-ish grades (however that's defined) getting fed clerkships from Stanford? Genuinely curious.


At least some in the murky middle are getting district clerkships (don't know about COA). Law review (no grade on here) and good references obviously help in such cases. As does willingness to travel/go wherever, so OP's desire to be in a good location sets a pretty high bar.

concurrent fork
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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby concurrent fork » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:15 am

The point Stinson made above is credited -- we really can't compare a hypothetical median HLS student with NYU. The range of people with "a mix of Hs and Ps" is like 80% of the class, so people who assume they are median could actually be significantly above or below. With that caveat, I know at least one self-described medianish person at HLS who landed a dist ct. (but, less popular region where they had ties).

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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby quiver » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:02 am

hung jury wrote:At least some in the murky middle are getting district clerkships (don't know about COA). Law review (no grade on here) and good references obviously help in such cases. As does willingness to travel/go wherever, so OP's desire to be in a good location sets a pretty high bar.

concurrent fork wrote:The point Stinson made above is credited -- we really can't compare a hypothetical median HLS student with NYU. The range of people with "a mix of Hs and Ps" is like 80% of the class, so people who assume they are median could actually be significantly above or below. With that caveat, I know at least one self-described medianish person at HLS who landed a dist ct. (but, less popular region where they had ties).
Very interesting, thanks for the info guys; I didn't realize the lack of grades helped so much.

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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby AtticusJimbo » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:10 am

OP, I'm curious which way you ended up going. Where did you deposit?

mworee
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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby mworee » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:10 am

I got NYU to extend my deposit deadline, but I'm pretty sure that I'm going to deposit at Harvard, mostly because I think I'll regret it if I don't and choosing a school based on friends and family seems like it could ultimately backfire. Plus, Boston's only four hours and $20 on Megabus away from NYC. Thank you all so much for your advice!!

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snailio
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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby snailio » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:43 am

Wise choice.

Curious1
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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby Curious1 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:50 am

All practical reasons (which, in my opinion, clearly point to Harvard) aside:

If you've been from NYC all your life, wouldn't a change of scenery be nice for 3 years? And don't forget Boston is just a 3.5 hour train ride away.

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Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby Curious1 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:04 am

mworee wrote:I got NYU to extend my deposit deadline, but I'm pretty sure that I'm going to deposit at Harvard, mostly because I think I'll regret it if I don't and choosing a school based on friends and family seems like it could ultimately backfire. Plus, Boston's only four hours and $20 on Megabus away from NYC. Thank you all so much for your advice!!


Oh excellent choice. Now PM me so I can add you to our facebook group.




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