H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

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az21833
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H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby az21833 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:19 pm

Deciding between these schools with associated debt at graduation. Lucky enough to have significant savings and generous parents contributing.

Harvard - 78K
Stanford - 75K
Columbia - 85K
Chicago - 24K
Penn - 0K

Goal is A3 Federal Clerkship followed by BigLaw - likely in M&A practice group. Not set on market, but I think NYC/Chicago is most likely. I do better in smaller environments previously but went to a UG with about 6K and felt that it was fine. Have strong personal ties (significant other, family) that tie me to the midwest/east coast generally. have a couple years of investment banking experience and currently working in private equity - deferring for a year, so I don't think breaking into some sort of BigLaw will be too hard but I am really aiming for a good district clerkship and a top transactional firm (Wachtell, Skadden, Cravath)

It seems like I can eliminate Columbia given I didn't get any money from them so it would be the same financially as attending Harvard and Stanford. Right now I am leaning towards either Harvard or Penn but I am still pretty fluid. I guess the question is whether Harvard is 80K better than attending Penn for my biglaw (and not academia, PI, govt, supreme court, etc.) career aspirations. And further whether I should consider Stanford over Harvard, despite the personal considerations. Again, it seems like the real benefit of HYS is with regards to more selective fields like academia, PI or boutique litigation..

Any thoughts at all are appreciated.

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justonemoregame
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby justonemoregame » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:23 pm

Harvard if east coaster, Stanford if west?

SportsFan
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby SportsFan » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:26 pm

az21833 wrote:Deciding between these schools with associated debt at graduation. Lucky enough to have significant savings and generous parents contributing.

Harvard - 78K
Stanford - 75K
Columbia - 85K
Chicago - 24K
Penn - 0K

Goal is A3 Federal Clerkship followed by BigLaw - likely in M&A practice group. Not set on market, but I think NYC/Chicago is most likely. I do better in smaller environments previously but went to a UG with about 6K and felt that it was fine. Have strong personal ties (significant other, family) that tie me to the midwest/east coast generally. have a couple years of investment banking experience and currently working in private equity - deferring for a year, so I don't think breaking into some sort of BigLaw will be too hard but I am really aiming for a good district clerkship and a top transactional firm (Wachtell, Skadden, Cravath)

It seems like I can eliminate Columbia given I didn't get any money from them so it would be the same financially as attending Harvard and Stanford. Right now I am leaning towards either Harvard or Penn but I am still pretty fluid. I guess the question is whether Harvard is 80K better than attending Penn for my biglaw (and not academia, PI, govt, supreme court, etc.) career aspirations. And further whether I should consider Stanford over Harvard, despite the personal considerations. Again, it seems like the real benefit of HYS is with regards to more selective fields like academia, PI or boutique litigation..

Any thoughts at all are appreciated.

As you said, I think Columbia is definitely eliminated, and if you're happy with working in NYC instead of Chicago, I'd eliminate Chicago too. From there, I think its pretty much down to how much you want a clerkship (since obviously HS place a lot better than Penn) vs. the flexibility of having no debt.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby Doorkeeper » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:26 pm

This is a decision between Harvard and Stanford because you want a federal clerkship. Pick the one you like more. Sounds like you prefer H, so go H.

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Emma.
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby Emma. » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:29 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:This is a decision between Harvard and Stanford because you want a federal clerkship. Pick the one you like more. Sounds like you prefer H, so go H.


Pretty much this. You have great options though, and can't really go wrong. If for some reason you hated H & S but loved Penn or UChi when you visited, chose the school you like best.

FYI, if you want M&A or other corporate, a clerkship, especially a district ct clerkship, isn't a huge asset.
Last edited by Emma. on Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lincoln
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby Lincoln » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:32 pm

I would probably go to Stanford, but it sounds like your personal connections weigh in favor of Harvard. I'm graduating with debt, so I'd probably do Penn, but your debt level is pretty manageable and the extra clerkship boost might tip in favor of Harvard there, too.

Also, why a clerkship if you want to do M&A? Seems like a wasted year.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby Elston Gunn » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:38 pm

If you really want to do corporate, why would you do a clerkship?

Stanford though. Easy, for me. Harvard and Penn are obviously defensible though if you have reasons to prefer them.

az21833
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby az21833 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:50 pm

Thanks all, this is very helpful. I recognize that clerkships are way less important in transactional practices but i think its kind of a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I would not want to pass by. They are less common but still done by MANY going to V5 V10 corporate practices and clerkship bonuses are still paid and happily so by firms. Also, I might be open to litigation rather than corporate either right after LS or down the line in my career so I think it would help keep some doors open. I'm not dead-set on doing one but i think there are some real intangible benefits that attract me to the experience and in the end its just a year anyway. Then again, if my grades aren't good enough or I decide on Penn - i wouldn't be crestfallen if I went straight to work.

Curious why some say S over H hands down in these circumstances - is it because of their clerkship placement figures and small class? I am leaning H for geographical reasons but educational/career considerations reign supreme for me. I've heard that applying to NYC big law firms as a S graduate makes you much more of a hot commodity whereas at H you will be competing with a few hundred others for the same jobs.

Thanks guys again for everything.

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Emma.
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby Emma. » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:00 pm

az21833 wrote: Also, I might be open to litigation rather than corporate either right after LS or down the line in my career so I think it would help keep some doors open.


FYI, it would be exceptionally unusual to switch from lit to corporate or vice versa beyond maybe your first year or two of practice.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby Doorkeeper » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:02 pm

az21833 wrote:Curious why some say S over H hands down in these circumstances - is it because of their clerkship placement figures and small class? I am leaning H for geographical reasons but educational/career considerations reign supreme for me. I've heard that applying to NYC big law firms as a S graduate makes you much more of a hot commodity whereas at H you will be competing with a few hundred others for the same jobs.

People have opinions about Stanford over Harvard for a few reasons (environment, small class size, better clerkship numbers, tech/IP work), but there's basically no difference between the two for NYC biglaw. Don't worry about that.

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Lincoln
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby Lincoln » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:10 pm

az21833 wrote:Thanks all, this is very helpful. I recognize that clerkships are way less important in transactional practices but i think its kind of a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I would not want to pass by. They are less common but still done by MANY going to V5 V10 corporate practices and clerkship bonuses are still paid and happily so by firms. Also, I might be open to litigation rather than corporate either right after LS or down the line in my career so I think it would help keep some doors open. I'm not dead-set on doing one but i think there are some real intangible benefits that attract me to the experience and in the end its just a year anyway. Then again, if my grades aren't good enough or I decide on Penn - i wouldn't be crestfallen if I went straight to work.

Curious why some say S over H hands down in these circumstances - is it because of their clerkship placement figures and small class? I am leaning H for geographical reasons but educational/career considerations reign supreme for me. I've heard that applying to NYC big law firms as a S graduate makes you much more of a hot commodity whereas at H you will be competing with a few hundred others for the same jobs.

Thanks guys again for everything.


Not at my V5

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Elston Gunn
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby Elston Gunn » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:21 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
az21833 wrote:Curious why some say S over H hands down in these circumstances - is it because of their clerkship placement figures and small class? I am leaning H for geographical reasons but educational/career considerations reign supreme for me. I've heard that applying to NYC big law firms as a S graduate makes you much more of a hot commodity whereas at H you will be competing with a few hundred others for the same jobs.

People have opinions about Stanford over Harvard for a few reasons (environment, small class size, better clerkship numbers, tech/IP work), but there's basically no difference between the two for NYC biglaw. Don't worry about that.

This is my main source for preferring Stanford to Harvard: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 3&t=181723
It seems that H's class size is so huge that more people fall through the cracks and end up in undesirable outcomes. That said, I do think it's a fairly marginal difference.

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jrf12886
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby jrf12886 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:24 pm

I would say you have two avenues. If you are willing to live with debt, then go to either H or S. They are both good options for your goals. If you are scared of the debt, go to Penn. The other options don't seem to make much sense.

Also, I wouldn't say that people "fall through the cracks" at H. Almost everyone who aspires to work in a large firm is able to do so. PM me if you have specific concerns though.

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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby JamesDean1955 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:26 pm

Harvard is the school you go to when you don't get into Yale or Stanford or get a full ride to any of CCN.

az21833
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby az21833 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:40 pm

JamesDean1955 wrote:Harvard is the school you go to when you don't get into Yale or Stanford or get a full ride to any of CCN.


i got a 171 on my third try on the LSAT so I knew full-ride at CCN was out of question and quite frankly feel very fortunate to have H/S. That being said, I really don't think H is just a place for people who don't get into S. There are a ton of things I like more about S (size, culture, clerkship performance). My ideal circumstance would be a east coast S haha but unfortunately that does not exist. In addition to the personal considerations and geographical preferences, I love the depth and specificity of H's corporate law offering and the H alumni network

I just withdrew from Columbia so now its down to H, S, Chicago, Penn

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Elston Gunn
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby Elston Gunn » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:47 pm

jrf12886 wrote:I would say you have two avenues. If you are willing to live with debt, then go to either H or S. They are both good options for your goals. If you are scared of the debt, go to Penn. The other options don't seem to make much sense.

Also, I wouldn't say that people "fall through the cracks" at H. Almost everyone who aspires to work in a large firm is able to do so. PM me if you have specific concerns though.


How do you explain the 20+ people working at firms under 50 and another 20+ at state clerkships in the data I linked? I'm sure there are a few at elite boutiques, but considering that almost none of the elite boutiques hire pre-clerkship and that the numbers are very low for Y/S in this category, I strongly doubt almost all of the people at these firms preferred them to NLJ 250s. Again, I wouldn't put too much weight on this data, but it would make me pick S over H at the same money if I felt the same about them otherwise.

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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby bk1 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:48 pm

I think this answer requires looking into your finances more closely. How much are you paying? How much are your parents paying? How wealthy are your parents?

It seems to me that people ITT are being blinded by the debt numbers and not really digging into them. If your parents are contributing 50k and don't have much money then that changes things. If you are contributing all 100k of your own savings, it doesn't really soften the sticker price that much in the sense of cost/benefit, although it does reduce risk.

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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:50 pm

H

az21833
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby az21833 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:06 pm

bk1 wrote:I think this answer requires looking into your finances more closely. How much are you paying? How much are your parents paying? How wealthy are your parents?

It seems to me that people ITT are being blinded by the debt numbers and not really digging into them. If your parents are contributing 50k and don't have much money then that changes things. If you are contributing all 100k of your own savings, it doesn't really soften the sticker price that much in the sense of cost/benefit, although it does reduce risk.


I'm paying COL through savings, which comes out to about 75K. Splitting tuition (roughly) between parents and loans, so each of those will be about 75K at full sticker. Won't be a financial strain on the family, just a matter of principle that we agreed to split COA 1/3 1/3 1/3 between the three sources. Im quite fortunate to be in this situation and very grateful

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Emma.
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby Emma. » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:09 pm

az21833 wrote:
bk1 wrote:I think this answer requires looking into your finances more closely. How much are you paying? How much are your parents paying? How wealthy are your parents?

It seems to me that people ITT are being blinded by the debt numbers and not really digging into them. If your parents are contributing 50k and don't have much money then that changes things. If you are contributing all 100k of your own savings, it doesn't really soften the sticker price that much in the sense of cost/benefit, although it does reduce risk.


I'm paying COL through savings, which comes out to about 75K. Splitting tuition (roughly) between parents and loans, so each of those will be about 75K at full sticker. Won't be a financial strain on the family, just a matter of principle that we agreed to split COA 1/3 1/3 1/3 between the three sources. Im quite fortunate to be in this situation and very grateful


Wow. This potentially changes things a lot. What are your tuition costs at the 4 different schools?

az21833
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby az21833 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:20 pm

How so? im sticker at HYSC. 75K scholly at Chicago and Levy at Penn. technically, my parents are paying me 1/3 of my COA after scholly applied, which I will put towards tuition. So at sticker it ends up being 25, 25, 25 roughly between parents, self and loans. all im really concerned with is debt at graduation so I did all the math up front.

Is it safe to take Columbia/Chicago out of this decision? Seems to be H vs. S vs. Penn from responses.
Last edited by az21833 on Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nelson
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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby Nelson » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:22 pm

If that's a full ride at Penn, you should take the money. Penn will get you to a good NYC firm and you will be making pure profit the whole way. Unless you're a total prestige whore, then Stanford I suppose.

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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby TaipeiMort » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:31 pm

It depends. Harvard, Columbia, and Chicago have similar biglaw placement (with Chicago and Harvard being a bit more dispersed, and Columbia absolutely killing in NYC). Therefore, if you only care about biglaw options, Chicago is the best of those three with money. If you care about government stuff Harvard is better than the other two.

Penn, for those with work experience, is the same level as HCC in terms of placement. However, if you are a k-JD, I would watch out because you will be facing off against some pretty qualified people, and only about 65% get biglaw. You will also not have the same reach across the country as the other schools.

Stanford is way better in terms of placement, and may be less stressful to attend because they lack grades.

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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:39 pm

As posted above by Elston Gunn, Harvard, Stanford or a full tuition scholarship at Penn are all reasonable choices in your situation.

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Re: H vs. S vs. C vs. C ($$) vs. P ($$$$)

Postby ph14 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:43 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:This is a decision between Harvard and Stanford because you want a federal clerkship. Pick the one you like more. Sounds like you prefer H, so go H.


This is TLS wisdom that needs to be pushed back on. First, only a small percentage of each class gets a federal clerkship every year. Is it worth $200k for a 5-10% greater chance at a federal clerkship? And it's probably even slimmer of a difference than that if you think about it; you only get the benefit of the greater percentage of clerkships if you are in that 5-10% area where Stanford or Harvard does better at clerkships than the University of Pennsylvania (putting aside differences in where you end up, class rank wise, since that's difficult to predict). Second, can the OP tell us how a federal clerkship fits into his or her career plans? Do you know what a clerkship is? Or is this just the result of reading TLS and finding out it is something prestigious? Clerkships aren't worth it for everyone. Based on the OP's preferred career path, it might not be worth it for him or her.




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