Chicago $$$ v Harvard

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

???

Chicago COA $105,000
91
63%
Harvard COA $250,000
54
37%
 
Total votes: 145

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Jaqen
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Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Jaqen » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:45 pm

Things have improved since last I was here.

-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings: Loans.

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any): I'm from the Deep South. I would like to work in Texas, though my ties are mediocre. I'm ok with DC/Chicago/NYC, though I have no ties to any of them.

-Your general career goals: Biglaw.

I got into both HLS and Chicago off the waitlist. I got a small grant from HLS and $50k/yr from Chicago. My estimated COA for each is listed in the poll above.

Huey Freeman
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Huey Freeman » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:48 pm

50k/yr off the waitlist? Damn. Anyway, if your goals are Biglaw (and not academia/bigfed or anything), Chicago by a long shot.

schrutefarms
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby schrutefarms » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:14 pm

It's a tough call, but I think Harvard.

Huey Freeman
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Huey Freeman » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:57 pm

There is no way Harvard is worth 150K more when the goal is big law. Chicago has great biglaw outcomes, and Harvard's LIPP doesn't matter when you have such a high paying job. The extra security for the bottom 25% of the class is not worth 150K.

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Yukos
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Yukos » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:00 pm

As someone who took HYS over similar money from UChi, I'm 100% sure Chicago is the better bet for you. If you have your heart set on fedgov or clerking or something the calculus is murkier, but otherwise UChi at $105,000 is about as good as it gets for a law student.

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Reinhardt
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Reinhardt » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:06 pm

I was gonna say if there's a difference in Texas placement, but they both seem pretty similar at 7%. Voted Chicago

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Lavitz
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Lavitz » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:43 pm

Ok...definitely not withdrawing from the Chicago waitlist anytime soon.

Anyway, for someone with mediocre ties, I think Harvard might give a better chance at TX biglaw. But I don't think it's $150,000 better.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:46 pm

Holy fuck congrats.

$50K off the WL? Makes us regular admits look like little punks

And thats all I have to say

Azariel
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Azariel » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:44 am

I was actually in a very similar place recently... though I initially deposited at Chicago and got off the waitlist at Harvard. I'm going to tell you to do the opposite of what I did. If you are SURE you want Biglaw, take Chicago and RUN. Chicago's got awesome placement for Biglaw just about anywhere you want to go. And between the 150k and much lower COL in Hyde Park (average rent for a 1BR is about $100 more per month than the smallest dorm rooms in Gropius) you could have your loans paid off really easily.

You might be wondering why I chose Harvard, then. In short, I think Harvard's a better choice if you're either unsure of your direction or leaning towards PI/gov't/academia/something with a smaller paycheck (as I am) because of the LIPP program. Even with 150k (or more!) from Chicago, if you're doing PI or such LIPP scenarios listed on Harvard's website, you will likely end up paying far less (perhaps even nothing, depending on how low your income is) on your loans. Plus, provided you get a qualifying job (which includes basically any nonprofit/gov't job below a certain pay grade, and iirc the cap is quite high) you're pretty much guaranteed to be able to pay it off in 10 years. You can also enter and leave the program , and anything paid off while you're in the program is permanently paid off - you don't have to stay a certain amount of years and so on. But if you go the Biglaw route and stay the Biglaw route (or at least a similar paying route), LIPP will probably not be of any use to you.

Other pros of Chicago: the small class size can make it easier to compete for big firm jobs (as the admissions office claims, since big firms like to have people from all of the top schools), in addition to providing a tight-knit, friendly environment (I really liked the people when I visited). Plus, Chicago's curriculum is great for anyone interested in or who can make use of law and economics/finance/business.

(Location also definitely played a role for me, perhaps more than it should, hah... As much as Chicago's a nice city - with very nice people! - I just really did not like Hyde Park; whereas I've lived in Cambridge and loved it. It also doesn't hurt that I'm a Red Sox fan born and raised ;) )

Anyway. I hope some of that was useful (if not to you, perhaps to someone else in this position now or in the future). If I were you, I would pick Chicago, but if you're really not sure about Biglaw, then you might want to consider Harvard. Chicago's a wonderful school and a steal with 150k. Congrats on all of your offers, and best of luck!

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Jaqen
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Jaqen » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:21 am

Thanks everyone.

@Azariel, that is very helpful, thank you! I had no idea rent was that cheap in Hyde Park. Awesome.

I'm not entirely sure that I want biglaw, but my heart is not set on academia/PI/fedgov either. At the same time, from what I understand, if you want any of those things then you have to be committed and show that commitment early. I'm open to those options, but not enough to be comfortable making LIPP and H's placement a big factor.

I definitely like Chi's class size. But Chi loses out on grading: HP/P/LP v numerical grades? Rigor! :P

I've been to neither Hyde Park nor Cambridge/Boston, so I'll defer to you (and everyone else) there.

It seems like the bottom of the class would be more secure at H, both due to placement and to LIPP. That's a pretty big concern I have about Chicago.

RodneyRuxin
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby RodneyRuxin » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:35 am

Jaqen wrote:Chi loses out on grading: HP/P/LP v numerical grades? Rigor! :P


fwiw: yes Chicago's grading system has a tight curve that sucks and leads to a very competitive atmosphere, but my guess is you would compete just as hard for HP's. The reason Chi still has grades is to distinguish those at the middle from those at the bottom--which can be good if you're hovering around median--that's harder to do with the P/HP system.

Big Dog
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Big Dog » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:07 pm

The H-brand just keeps on giving, throughout your whole career. I'd do it.

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2014
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby 2014 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:05 pm

I disagree that the bottom of the class is more secure at H. The placement numbers favor Chicago, and the smaller class size (by like 3x) helps a lot.

Given your scholarship numbers, the choice is H for clerking, academia, and non-law jobs, Chicago for everything else imo.

LVC13
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby LVC13 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:19 pm

Personally, H wouldn't be worth an extra $150k for me over Chicago. The marginal biglaw placement advantage of H doesn't seem to justify the extra cost, I don't think. Unless you really care about telling people you went to Harvard for the rest of your life, I'd save the money.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Doorkeeper » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:18 pm

As others have said, if all you want is biglaw and you're not interested in clerking, PI, academia, or fedgov, then I think Chicago wins here. On the other hand, if you're interested in any of these other areas, then Harvard becomes very justifiable.

philepistemer
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby philepistemer » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:27 am

Why do people think Harvard is so much better than Chicago for academia or clerking? The data suggest that Harvard has a very slight edge in both categories, but nothing that would be worth paying 150k for. Maybe fed gov is different, but I doubt you'd close that many doors by attending Chicago.

Unless soneone else is paying, the only school it would be reasonable to take at sticker over 150k at Chicago would be Yale for academia.

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Jaqen
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Jaqen » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:14 pm

Thank you to everyone who has posted and also to the individuals I've spoken with via PM. It is all very helpful and I appreciate it very much. I'm becoming more and more comfortable with Chicago.

However, one big concern that hasn't yet been addressed is the impact of the residual benefits of having HLS on your resume, way down the road. I've heard many times that after your first job, your school doesn't matter too much. But I imagine this doesn't apply (as much) to HLS graduates. Is my guess correct, and if so how much of a consideration should it be?

kaiser
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby kaiser » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:24 pm

Seeing as your goal is biglaw, Chicago seems like the clear winner to me

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Doorkeeper » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:26 pm

Jaqen wrote:However, one big concern that hasn't yet been addressed is the impact of the residual benefits of having HLS on your resume, way down the road. I've heard many times that after your first job, your school doesn't matter too much. But I imagine this doesn't apply (as much) to HLS graduates. Is my guess correct, and if so how much of a consideration should it be?

What do you want to do "way down the road" determines whether it makes any sense to ask this question in the first place.

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untar614
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby untar614 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:30 pm

Jaqen wrote:Thank you to everyone who has posted and also to the individuals I've spoken with via PM. It is all very helpful and I appreciate it very much. I'm becoming more and more comfortable with Chicago.

However, one big concern that hasn't yet been addressed is the impact of the residual benefits of having HLS on your resume, way down the road. I've heard many times that after your first job, your school doesn't matter too much. But I imagine this doesn't apply (as much) to HLS graduates. Is my guess correct, and if so how much of a consideration should it be?


That's what we've all heard and been told. However, I don't think anyone outside of someone who does the hiring in whatever kind of job you're thinking of can give you a sufficiently reliable answer. Does having that alumni network really help in such a way that they will give you a boost over someone otherwise identical but from Chicago? I don't know, and it's hard to say. I would suspect over time, if you are staying in a relatively similar field (i.e. major law firms), they will be more concerned with your past employment and how good you are at that than where you graduated from. If you wanted to make a jump into something totally different, maybe connections are more important, but I also can't say if those will be more from connections built through your work or from alumni connections. I don't know if anyone here will be able to reliably answer that, though my intuition tells me that if you do something dealing a lot with a less-informed public (e.g. politics or being some sort of person to first meet clients who don't know a whole lot about the legal field, whatever the hell that means) then maybe that flashy Harvard name means more, while I'd suspect working mostly with people knowledgeable of the legal field will know Chicago is a top school too and be more concerned with your work ability. That's just my intuition though. But I think the real question should be - does the ability to drop the H-bomb pull women sufficiently to be worth 150k :P

20141023
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby 20141023 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:40 pm

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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alexrodriguez
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby alexrodriguez » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:46 am

Harvard.

Big Dog
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Big Dog » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:05 am

However, one big concern that hasn't yet been addressed is the impact of the residual benefits of having HLS on your resume, way down the road. I've heard many times that after your first job, your school doesn't matter too much. But I imagine this doesn't apply (as much) to HLS graduates.


Correct. H is the gift that keeps on giving. While the shine should revert to the mean over time, it does not. To me, H is with the $ delta.

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sinfiery
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby sinfiery » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:10 am

I'm pretty sure if I see two resumes 20 years from now, one with HLS on it and the other with UChi - full ride, I will be more impressed by the UChi resume (just barely)...and I'm sure most people within our field will feel as close to indifferent about the two as I do.


The difference in lay prestige though....is shocking. Even Yale is a TTT in comparison. UChi doesn't even register.

Big Dog
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Re: Chicago $$$ v Harvard

Postby Big Dog » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:22 am

I'm pretty sure if I see two resumes 20 years from now, one with HLS on it and the other with UChi - full ride,


The fact that you had to highlight the $$ on Chicago resume makes my point....




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