Choosing between HLS and YLS

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

Harvard or Yale? (Based on the post, please)

Harvard
28
36%
Yale
50
64%
 
Total votes: 78

abba12
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Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby abba12 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:43 pm

Edit: Summary at end if you have better things to do than read my whole post

Hi, everyone. This theme isn’t new, and I realize that you can't go wrong with either one of these. Still, with deposit deadlines approaching, I’m stuck and figured I might as well start a thread.

Location: Both New Haven and Cambridge sound exciting to me relative to the much less interesting location of my college, and I liked both while visiting (yes, really).

About Me: I’ll be coming straight through from a large undergraduate institution and am interested in international commercial arbitration, hoping to spend time both on the East Coast and a in specific European region with which I have personal (including languages and citizenship) connections plus limited professional ties. I might spend a couple of years litigating at a big firm immediately after graduation if necessary.

Some Noted Differences: HLS seems to have a huge practical advantage given its negotiation/mediation workshop and clinical program with Professor Bordone. There is also a negotiation journal and a negotiators student organization. YLS has one superstar professor in the international arbitration field (apparently the other is at CLS) and a few more theoretical courses that are at least vaguely relevant—but seemingly little else at the moment.

The retort, of course, is that students can lobby YLS to create additional programs. In a somewhat underwhelming YLS response to this concern, I was told that employers wouldn’t care if a student had taken course X or workshop Y while in law school, anyway. Another person there mentioned that since international arbitration is hard to break into, it makes no sense to base a school decision off of this interest. In other words, perhaps this deficiency at YLS is insignificant and should be treated as such, I don't know.

Another point that works in Harvard’s favor is the seemingly enhanced networking opportunities. See, for instance, the Harvard European Law Association, which also brings together the other Harvard schools for Europe networking events. I suspect this sort of resource would really help me develop professional connections to the area in which I would like to work. (Whether this is significant in helping me achieve my career goals is another story. The recurring theme here is that it’s hard to tell what matters once even after you’ve identified differences!)

The Size Issue: I’m used to putting in effort to develop faculty relationships as part of a large student body, so I’m not necessarily terrified about “slipping through the cracks” at HLS. Having said that, it would be stupid to assume that I’d be able to automatically out-compete 500 other talented individuals in my class there, so maybe I'd slip through the cracks after all. My level of risk-aversion is moderate, but not terribly high.

Intangible “Feel” Factors: I like students at both places when I visited—and none of them were miserable as some portray HLSers to be. Significantly, though, every single cross-admit that I was most impressed with seems to be going to Yale. I think one’s fellow student body is an important factor to consider, and I think on average the YLS student body may be a more exciting group to go through law school with and get to know. (This observation was made at ASWs, so take that with a grain of salt.) Finally, YLS gave off a distinctly attractive, tight-knit vibe that particularly appealed to me. To be fair, I felt at home at HLS, too. My take-away from its ASW was that it has fundamentally changed for the better post-Kagan.

To over-simplify, I feel like I’m choosing between somewhere that I’ll enjoy more (Yale) and somewhere that will give me unparalleled training and networking opportunities (Harvard). Both schools seem at least decent in the area in which I’ve given the advantage to the other. Most people simply say to go to Yale, but at least some have suggested Harvard may better fit my profile.

TL;DR Version:

I'd like to make an informed choice beyond "Yale is Yale" or "Harvard is Harvard."
Non-Factors between H and Y: Academia, cost, location.
Important things: Practice-oriented training (both in general and regarding ADR/negotiation/arbitration), networking opportunities, international reach, general happiness/environment.
Last edited by abba12 on Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:03 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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angrybird
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby angrybird » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:45 pm

no pressure, but if you make the wrong decision here you are totally fucked

SaintFond
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby SaintFond » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:49 pm

tl;dr

Yale unless Harvard is giving you $$$

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tedalbany
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby tedalbany » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:49 pm

Retake and apply to Stanford.

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kapital98
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby kapital98 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:51 pm

:roll: :roll: :roll:

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:57 pm

kapital98 wrote: :roll: :roll: :roll:

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:14 pm

abba12 wrote:About Me: I’ll be coming straight through from a large undergraduate institution and would like to work in international commercial arbitration. I’m willing to spend a couple of years litigating at a big firm immediately after graduation if necessary. I’d like to split my time between the East Coast and a specific European region with which I have personal (including languages and citizenship) connections as well as some limited professional ties.

If you think you will need to work in biglaw first, Yale is the obvious advantage here.

HLS seems to have a huge practical advantage given its negotiation/mediation workshop and clinical program with Professor Bordone. There is also a negotiation journal and a negotiators student organization. YLS has one superstar professor in the international arbitration field (apparently the other is at CLS) and a few more theoretical courses that are at least vaguely relevant—but seemingly little else at the moment.

HLS's practical advantage is mitigated by: a) YLS's superstar professor, and b) the fact that the below quote is true.

In a somewhat underwhelming YLS response to this concern, I was told that employers wouldn’t care if a student had taken course X or workshop Y while in law school, anyway. Another person there mentioned that since international arbitration is hard to break into, it makes no sense to base a school decision off of this interest. In other words, perhaps this deficiency at YLS is insignificant and should be treated as such, I don't know.


Having said that, it would be stupid to assume that I’d be able to automatically out-compete 500 other talented individuals in my class there, so maybe I'd slip through the cracks after all.

YLS wins here too.

Another point that works in Harvard’s favor is the seemingly enhanced networking opportunities. See, for instance, the Harvard European Law Association, which also brings together the other Harvard schools for Europe networking events. I suspect this sort of resource would really help me develop professional connections to the area in which I would like to work. (Whether this is significant in helping me achieve my career goals is another story. The recurring theme here is that it’s hard to tell what matters once even after you’ve identified differences!)

If you're going into biglaw first, I would say this is minimally important. You can make connections once you're at your firm, especially if you're doing international work with that firm.

To over-simplify, I feel like I’m choosing between somewhere that I’ll enjoy more (Yale) and somewhere that will give me unparalleled training and networking opportunities (Harvard). Both schools seem at least decent in the area in which I’ve given the advantage to the other.

Go to the school you'll enjoy more. You'll learn the practical stuff once you're working.

concurrent fork
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby concurrent fork » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:25 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:Go to the school you'll enjoy more. You'll learn the practical stuff once you're working.

anstone1988
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby anstone1988 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:00 pm

.
Last edited by anstone1988 on Sat May 26, 2012 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

icpb
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby icpb » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:07 pm

tedalbany wrote:Retake and apply to Stanford.


Harvard (even though you will have to work harder there). It would be much harder to distinguish yourself at Yale due to the excessively loose grading system, and distinguishing yourself is important since you are interested in a field as narrow as international commercial arbitration. When it comes to anything international, the Harvard's name and global reach blows those of other schools' out of the water.

1988AndX
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby 1988AndX » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:23 pm

Harvard. You benefit from the Harvard name for the rest of you life.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:32 pm

1988AndX wrote:Harvard. You benefit from the Harvard name for the rest of you life.

From lay people. In the legal field (which is all that really matters if you want to be a lawyer), everybody knows that Yale > Harvard. Ultimately though, the most important part of this whole discussion: it's a win win, so pick whichever one you like better.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby Mal Reynolds » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:47 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:
kapital98 wrote: :roll: :roll: :roll:

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snailio
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby snailio » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:09 pm

abba12 wrote:TL;DR Version:

I'd like to make an informed choice beyond "Yale is Yale" or "Harvard is Harvard."
Non-Factors between H and Y: Academia, cost, location.
Important things: Practice-oriented training (both in general and regarding ADR/negotiation/arbitration), networking opportunities, international reach, general happiness/environment.




Practice-oriented training, Harvard, networking opportunities, Harvard, international reach, Harvard, general happiness/environment, Harvard since you know all your other perquisites are there. If you're hung up on USNWR rankings, Yale, real world hiring partners prefer Harvard.

Either way it's not the end of the world.

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quiver
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby quiver » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:14 pm

snailio wrote:real world hiring partners prefer Harvard.
Since when?

FWIW, I'm 100% with Doorkeeper here.

1988AndX
Posts: 59
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby 1988AndX » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:18 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:
1988AndX wrote:Harvard. You benefit from the Harvard name for the rest of you life.

From lay people. In the legal field (which is all that really matters if you want to be a lawyer), everybody knows that Yale > Harvard. Ultimately though, the most important part of this whole discussion: it's a win win, so pick whichever one you like better.


There are people who believe that Yale > Harvard, but there are even more people who believe that Harvard > Yale:
http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leit ... hings.html
http://www.usnews.com/education/best-gr ... aw-schools

The biggest advantage of Yale is that it's easier, but you are not paying for a three year vacation. You are paying to develop the skills, credentials, and connections to help you make it big, and Harvard is the way to go if you are trying to make it big in anything international.
Last edited by 1988AndX on Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:19 pm

quiver wrote:
snailio wrote:real world hiring partners prefer Harvard.
Since when?

FWIW, I'm 100% with Doorkeeper here.

Yea...what? I really don't think "real world hiring partners" are going to make such a distinction (and I'd really, really love a source that is not just anecdotal on that bold statement). If you want teh lay preftige, fine, enjoy Harvard.

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snailio
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby snailio » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:21 pm

quiver wrote:
snailio wrote:real world hiring partners prefer Harvard.
Since when?

FWIW, I'm 100% with Doorkeeper here.



Oh, about a year according to this ...longer actually.



http://abovethelaw.com/2011/03/the-best-law-schools-ranked-by-law-firm-recruiters/



Beware of the severe Prestige Disease prevalent on these boards. Go with your interests.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:21 pm

1988AndX wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:
1988AndX wrote:Harvard. You benefit from the Harvard name for the rest of you life.

From lay people. In the legal field (which is all that really matters if you want to be a lawyer), everybody knows that Yale > Harvard. Ultimately though, the most important part of this whole discussion: it's a win win, so pick whichever one you like better.


There are people who believe that Yale > Harvard, but there are even more people who believe that Harvard > Yale:
http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leit ... hings.html
http://www.usnews.com/education/best-gr ... aw-schools

The biggest advantage of Yale is that it's easier, but you are not paying for a three year vacation. You are paying to develop the skills, credentials, and connections to help you make it big, and Harvard is the way to go if you are trying to make it big in anything international.

That's all fine well and good duder, but the sheer sizes of the class and Yale's self-selection out of private practice can alone make up for that difference. And if you want to go by the math, there was a .1 difference. Wow. That's earth-shattering.
Last edited by MrPapagiorgio on Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tedalbany
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby tedalbany » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:21 pm

I hate you all so much.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:41 pm

1988AndX wrote:There are people who believe that Yale > Harvard, but there are even more people who believe that Harvard > Yale:
http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leit ... hings.html
http://www.usnews.com/education/best-gr ... aw-schools

LOL. The first link shows that law school deans ranked Harvard above Yale, in 1973. If you scroll down, they've been tied since the '80s. All the more reason to go with personal preference, not rankings.

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alwayssunnyinfl
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby alwayssunnyinfl » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:44 pm

tedalbany wrote:I hate you all so much.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:44 pm

If there was an option of CCN with huge scholarship money (which I don't understand why there isn't), the distribution would be all Yale and CCN $$$, with Harvard left in the dust.

abba12
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby abba12 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:57 pm

Thanks for all the feedback so far! When I get the chance, I'll try to post again with some responses from current students for reference by future TLSers.

sandiego222
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Re: Choosing between HLS and YLS

Postby sandiego222 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:09 am

Retake and ED to UVA




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