Guys, I'll be Harvard Law School C/O 2017. This was an agonizing decision to the point where HLS/SLS were SO close that seemingly small factors likely ended up playing a big role. I have a number of personal considerations (including a likely soon-to-be-fiance) that make me prefer staying on the east coast fairly strongly from the beginning. The school's very large size continues to make me apprehensive, but I think the section system makes it feel much more intimate. After closely examining a number of school's course offerings/faculty/clinics, it become apparent to me that HLS is truly unsurpassed in the way of financial law/securities regulation/M&A/ banking law/ private equity law and I think that giant realm is my primary academic interest. SLS is absolutely no slouch in this arena but I think where SLS is a cut above is in Patent Law/ Intellectual Property/ Tech Law/ Entrepreneurship/ Venture Capital which are not fields I am as interested in. I came to terms with the fact that an A3 clerkship is more difficult from HLS. This is fine with me now, as I realize an A3 clerkship is far from crucial to my career goals. If I kill it and it happens - terrific. If not, perhaps head over to Delaware or just straight to biglaw and I am comfortable with all of these outcomes. Lastly, I know I want to work in either the northeast or midwest. I understood there will be significantly less competition from SLS, but (odd as it may sound) I'd personally rather have close friends and classmates targeting the same firms as me that I can use as resources and prepare with etc., not to mention the first/second year associates from HLS. I know this helped me a lot at Columbia UG when I was going through banking interviews. And obviously, once my career begins, I think having a solid, extensive network of HLS alums in the market will pay dividends for a long time.
I know im going pretty strongly against TLS wisdom on this decision but at the end of the day I just went with my gut and where I thought I would be most comfortable and happiest. I thank you all for all of your guidance, support, love and swift-kick-in-the-asses when necessary. Couldn't have gotten here without you.
future HLS/SLS deciders coming across this thread - good fucking luck. but be sure to PM and I can try to help out as much as possible.