HYS vs CCN $$$

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09042014
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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby 09042014 » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:58 pm

Nooblarzlarz wrote:So if one were gunning for Article 3 clerkships and BigFed work (and thus activate your LRAP options), does that put HYS above CCN?


Clerkships are a one year temp gig. They shouldn't be a factor.

Big fed is a different story. It's complicated. The number of big fed jobs is insanely low. Iirc it's like double digits. I'm not convinced it's even close to sure thing at hys. And I'm not sold on the idea that hys is way better for big fed.

You could argue that the cost doesn't matter because the pi IBR. But there is a good chance you end up as a lit associate at Sidely Austin like every other grad. But with a quarter mil in debt.

If you are 110% sure you are public sector then maybe it's a different story. But the number of people who claim that then end up sucking dick for a callback at Clifford chance is too high to count.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby NYstate » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:13 am

jselson wrote:I chose H over a Butler last year, and no one that I've talked to here has worried one iota about grades, at least in terms of just getting a good job. I'm not particularly fond of NYC, and I'm mostly shooting for Boston/DC/maybe CA. If I loved NYC and wanted NYC over anywhere, I might have chosen differently. But I freakin' love Boston.


That's great for you. I sincerely hope it all works out for you as you hope. For me, the stress of debt hanging over my head is worse than stressing about grades for a few semesters. I'm not good with debt and my family is very opposed to it.

Just one point- It is a well- established TLS truism that gunners are gonna gun- Harvard has to have at least it's fair share of grade obsessed people. I don't for one second believe that many Harvard students aren't obsessed with grades. Firms know how to figure out grade cutoffs from Harvard- it isn't some kind of mystery. I feel the relative level of grade anxiety between Harvard students and CCN students might be hard to quantify. I guess not having letter grades provides some comfort.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby NYstate » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:15 am

jselson wrote:I chose H over a Butler last year, and no one that I've talked to here has worried one iota about grades, at least in terms of just getting a good job. I'm not particularly fond of NYC, and I'm mostly shooting for Boston/DC/maybe CA. If I loved NYC and wanted NYC over anywhere, I might have chosen differently. But I freakin' love Boston.


That's great for you. I sincerely hope it all works out for you as you hope. For me, the stress of debt hanging over my head is worse than stressing about grades for a few semesters. I'm not good with debt and my family is very opposed to it.

Just one point- It is a well- established TLS truism that gunners are gonna gun- Harvard has to have at least it's fair share of grade obsessed people. I don't for one second believe that many Harvard students aren't obsessed with grades. Firms know how to figure out grade cutoffs from Harvard- it isn't some kind of mystery. I feel the relative level of grade anxiety between Harvard students and CCN students might be hard to quantify. I guess not having letter grades provides some comfort to Harvard students- I just don't see that being worth 6 figures of non- dischargeable debt.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby jingosaur » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:30 am

This topic has been pretty much the only thing I've been thinking about for the last week and I'm starting to lean more towards the HYS side than the CCN side (I've been admitted to H and N so far). Seems like this thread is moving much more towards CCN, but I feel like I have some reasons that make me one of those people where HYS makes sense:

1. I'm probably going to get a good amount of financial aid so HYS will put me around $150k in debt as opposed to $250k+ in debt. I estimate the difference in COA will be about $80k at most.
2. Long term, I want a preftigious finance job and the Harvard network is many times better for that than any of CCN.
3. At HLS, I can take cross-listed HBS classes during my 2L and 3L years.
4. (Worst of the reasons) My parents and Grandpa really want me to go to HLS. It would make them really happy.

What do you guys think? I know short term I will probably be working with CCN kids with much less debt than me, but I don't think that I'll care that much.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:37 am

jingosaur wrote:This topic has been pretty much the only thing I've been thinking about for the last week and I'm starting to lean more towards the HYS side than the CCN side (I've been admitted to H and N so far). Seems like this thread is moving much more towards CCN, but I feel like I have some reasons that make me one of those people where HYS makes sense:

1. I'm probably going to get a good amount of financial aid so HYS will put me around $150k in debt as opposed to $250k+ in debt. I estimate the difference in COA will be about $80k at most.
2. Long term, I want a preftigious finance job and the Harvard network is many times better for that than any of CCN.
3. At HLS, I can take cross-listed HBS classes during my 2L and 3L years.
4. (Worst of the reasons) My parents and Grandpa really want me to go to HLS. It would make them really happy.

What do you guys think? I know short term I will probably be working with CCN kids with much less debt than me, but I don't think that I'll care that much.


1. Sounds premature to make that estimate without CCN giving you scholarship money yet.
2. Meh, maybe something to this. Probably more about the name of the degree than the network.
3. Extremely meh.
4. Looooooooooooool

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby NYstate » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:00 am

What I think is that cost and debt matter - how much you feel comfortable with is up to you. I also have found that people care more about debt once they have to pay it back. My point above wasn't that the Harvard kids are all full of regret- my point was that we have the same job, same salary, same work. The extra they paid hasn't made a difference in where we are now. The partners I'm working with now took me because they like me and my work,FWIW, it's not like they choose based on school, or if they did, my lower half of the T6 was more than sufficient.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby 20141023 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:19 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:07 am

jbagelboy wrote:Abl is saying Harvard law, one of the biggest, most anonymous and competitive law school populations with continuous & noted failings towards its own student body (to which many students can attest) located in cambridge (beautiful but boring) massachusetts, is worth $100,000 more than UChicago (well known for best profs and programs) or Columbia for the educational experience? Just lol.

Also re: quality of student body: basically you're fucked in the head

Abl's point was stupid, but shut the fuck up with these baseless accusations about Harvard.

Point 1: It's not competitive at all for 90% of students. If you're not chasing feeders, then you don't have to stack yourself up to your peers because it really doesn't matter.

Point 2: It's only "anonymous" to the point that you want to be anonymous, and 500 students is actually surprisingly small after 3 semesters if you're a social individual.

I could go on, but you sound butthurt.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:09 am

Nooblarzlarz wrote:So if one were gunning for Article 3 clerkships and BigFed work (and thus activate your LRAP options), does that put HYS above CCN?

Nowadays, considering budgetary constraints, Article 3 clerkships, and sometimes CoA clerkships, are becoming de facto necessary for bigfed. For example, DOJ Civil Rights will not even look at your Honors app without a CoA clerkship. HYS will definitely maximize your chance for an Article III clerkship. On top of this, HYS have insane government connections on the high end, especially H now considering how many were in the Obama administration. As I've said before, Article III + bigfed dreams is one of the few categories where I believe HYS is justified over CCN.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:25 am

Doorkeeper wrote:Abl's point was stupid, but shut the fuck up with these baseless accusations about Harvard.

Point 1: It's not competitive at all for 90% of students. If you're not chasing feeders, then you don't have to stack yourself up to your peers because it really doesn't matter.

Point 2: It's only "anonymous" to the point that you want to be anonymous, and 500 students is actually surprisingly small after 3 semesters if you're a social individual.



I was employing several stereotypes to show how ridiculous the "student experiential gap" theory was in practice. I'm not making these claims about Harvard specifically. However, the stereotypes are far from baseless:

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2010/ ... aw/?page=1
http://abovethelaw.com/2010/09/harvard- ... de-reform/
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=109675
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=127544&start=500
http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leit ... w-sch.html (in the comments)

ect. ect.

There have been complaints echoing the words I used across TLS. These are mostly bitter or frustrated Harvard students, and they can be found at any law school. And that is my point about comparing "student experience" at top law schools. It's arbitrary and largely a wash.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:10 am

jingosaur wrote:Long term, I want a preftigious finance job and the Harvard network is many times better for that than any of CCN.


You want to go to law school to get a prestigious finance job?

There are plenty of reasons to pick Harvard, but this is not one of them. Leveraging a JD into a job in finance is going to depend whether you can work at the top tier biglaw corporate firms in NYC long enough for a client to like you, plus a ton of luck. Your connections will be made when you get a job.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby smaug_ » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:37 am

Based on the anecdotes I've hard, the Harvard/Columbia gap for competitive clerkships seems to be real and mainly based on institutional problems than on actual preferences of judges. They're trying to fix it.

The issue is that even at H/S, you're talking about a small portion of the class competing for something that's more difficult to get today than it was a couple of years ago. The death of the plan is also the death of the advantage that some students once had. Moreover, you have no way to tell if you'll have a shot at that going in. Absolutely none. The vast majority of graduates from these schools are going to be working in similar biglaw jobs, and many will be working for exactly the same firms.

When you cut through the bullshit, there aren't too many superlative outcomes for law grads. Many of the folks who clerk will end up back in a biglaw firm. Among the biglaw firms you could point to a few firms that might be head and shoulders above the others in terms of PREFTIGE/desirability, but once you cut out Covington DC, W&C and maybe WillmerHale DC or BSF, I don't know how many you really have left. You shouldn't pick a law school because it gives you a marginally better shot a jobs you more likely than not don't have a shot at anyway.

I try not to be too much of a CLS homer here. I think the school (like all others) has issues. But, if you have a great award, CCN makes sense to me over everything but Yale. I'd carry that logic down the line, too. If you have $$$ at NU and are in at CCN at sticker, just follow the money.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby jingosaur » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:52 am

timbs4339 wrote:
jingosaur wrote:Long term, I want a preftigious finance job and the Harvard network is many times better for that than any of CCN.


You want to go to law school to get a prestigious finance job?

There are plenty of reasons to pick Harvard, but this is not one of them. Leveraging a JD into a job in finance is going to depend whether you can work at the top tier biglaw corporate firms in NYC long enough for a client to like you, plus a ton of luck. Your connections will be made when you get a job.


Sorry, I should have clarified. Short term, I want to work in transactional law, but as you said it would take working at a top tier corporate firm to achieve my long term goals, which is why I think Harvard is of more value to me than it is for someone who just wants any biglaw.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby abl » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:01 pm

Wow. I never said that the experience of Harvard Law is ALWAYS going to be worth 100k more than Columbia. I only said that there are circumstances in which it will be and people for whom it will be. Different people place different values on their experiences. How much do you value getting a chance to work on a Supreme Court brief? What if the case you're working on is the ACA case? How much do you value taking classes with a future Supreme Court justice? Hell, how much do you value getting to drop the "H" bomb. Everyone's number for these things is different. For some it may approach 0. For others it may approach a very large sum. The fact that YOU don't think it should, doesn't change that fact that for others it WILL. Maybe you think that it shouldn't (and there are many others who think that your purely career-based outlook is the stupid one), but that's a different question. And sure, this number will depend somewhat on how desperately you need the cash now, and sure, it will partially depend on whether you're talking about 0 versus 100k in loans or you're talking about 200k versus 300k in loans. My point is not that Harvard is worth 100k more than Columbia to everyone based on the experience alone. My point is that for most students there will be experiential advantages to going to HYS over CCN, and that in making the decision between the schools, you should attempt to assign some value to those advantages. If you read this and you say "that's stupid, this isn't worth more than a couple hundred bucks to me" -- fine. Your decision should probably come down to the monetary difference compared to the value of the professional advantages. But that is not the only perspective that can (or does or, hell, should) exist among prospective students.

Regarding relative class quality, I agree that MOST of Harvard students are pretty interchangeable with MOST of Columbia students. But pretty interchangeable /= completely interchangeable, most /= all, and Harvard:Columbia /:: Yale:NYU. The backgrounds and experiences of your fellow students at Yale/Stanford (and probably Harvard) are going to be different than they will be at NYU/Columbia/Chicago. The difference between the typical student at YS and CCN is more than just .05 GPA and 2 points on the LSAT. But the real difference comes at the top of the class--you will find far, far fewer Rhodes scholars, nationally published authors, Microsoft VPs, etc at NYU than you will at Yale. I suppose there's probably no way to back this up other than via anecdotes, but without revealing too much about myself, I am pretty sure that I have a much more personal perspective of what a CCN student looks like versus what a YS student looks like than probably all but a couple on this board and there really is a huge difference at the top of the class. Maybe you go to Columbia now and you're thinking "no way, man, our class is every bit as good as Harvard's." And maybe you're at Harvard and thinking "I'm not convinced my class is anything special." But without having experienced the other (as I have), it's pretty impossible for you to really know that. I'm also willing to acknowledge that it's possible that the two schools off HYS and CCN I have experience with are outliers. But I can pretty confidently vouch for there being a very real difference between at least one of HYS and at least one of CCN.

Once again, you can decide how much this is worth to you. Some marginal increase in the probability of having one of your classmates discuss in class her experience being deposed by Eliot Spitzer may be worth very little -- or it may be worth a great deal. That's going to be a personal decision. But to argue there's no difference in the probability of experiences like this between CCN and YS (and probably H) misses a great deal about what distinguishes the student bodies at these schools.

Note also that I don't mean to exclude the possibility of experiential differences between these schools other than tied to the quality of the schools and the students. For some, the value of living in NYC instead of New Haven may be substantial. And Yale's whole head-in-the-clouds academia thing might be a turn-off to many. These, too, should factor into valuing this sort of decision.

Regarding Chicago and DC, my sources are, respectively, a DC managing partner and a DC hiring partner (at different firms). Those who are median at Chicago will sometimes get callbacks at even the more competitive DC firms. I am sure there is some small handful of students in that boat who even get offers every year. But the fact that some students are able to clear that hurdle is not evidence of the lack of a hurdle. I suppose the word "competitive" may be defined in many ways, but as I define it -- your grades/school are a neutral-to-positive factor in the hiring -- median at Chicago is not competitive for the more selective DC firms.
Last edited by abl on Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

timbs4339
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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:31 pm

jingosaur wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
jingosaur wrote:Long term, I want a preftigious finance job and the Harvard network is many times better for that than any of CCN.


You want to go to law school to get a prestigious finance job?

There are plenty of reasons to pick Harvard, but this is not one of them. Leveraging a JD into a job in finance is going to depend whether you can work at the top tier biglaw corporate firms in NYC long enough for a client to like you, plus a ton of luck. Your connections will be made when you get a job.


Sorry, I should have clarified. Short term, I want to work in transactional law, but as you said it would take working at a top tier corporate firm to achieve my long term goals, which is why I think Harvard is of more value to me than it is for someone who just wants any biglaw.


CCN's placement into the top tier NYC corporate is probably just as good or on a little worse than Harvard.

Look, there's so many people who want to try and backdoor into finance it's really a crapshoot, and there's no way that turning down a large scholly at CCN to attend Harvard is going to make a measurable difference in your prospects given the many other things that can trip you up along the way (working at a place like S+C or DPW is no guarantee from H median). If you want to work in finance, the best way to do it is go work for a bank then get an MBA.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:33 pm

abl wrote:Regarding relative class quality, I agree that MOST of Harvard students are pretty interchangeable with MOST of Columbia students. But pretty interchangeable /= completely interchangeable, most /= all, and Harvard:Columbia /:: Yale:NYU. The backgrounds and experiences of your fellow students at Yale/Stanford (and probably Harvard) are going to be different than they will be at NYU/Columbia/Chicago. The difference between the typical student at YS and CCN is more than just .05 GPA and 2 points on the LSAT. But the real difference comes at the top of the class--you will find far, far fewer Rhodes scholars, nationally published authors, Microsoft VPs, etc at NYU than you will at Yale. I suppose there's probably no way to back this up other than via anecdotes, but without revealing too much about myself, I am pretty sure that I have a much more personal perspective of what a CCN student looks like versus what a YS student looks like than probably all but a couple on this board and there really is a huge difference at the top of the class. Maybe you go to Columbia now and you're thinking "no way, man, our class is every bit as good as Harvard's." And maybe you're at Harvard and thinking "I'm not convinced my class is anything special." But without having experienced the other (as I have), it's pretty impossible for you to really know that. I'm also willing to acknowledge that it's possible that the two schools off HYS and CCN I have experience with are outliers. But I can pretty confidently vouch for there being a very real difference between at least one of HYS and at least one of CCN.

Once again, you can decide how much this is worth to you. Some marginal increase in the probability of having one of your classmates discuss in class her experience being deposed by Elliot Spitzer may be worth very little -- or it may be worth a great deal. That's going to be a personal decision. But to argue there's no difference in the probability of experiences like this between CCN and YS (and probably H) misses a great deal about what distinguishes the student bodies at these schools.


This is some of the dumbest shit I have ever read on this forum. I'm not even sure where to begin with it. Deposed by Eliot Spitzer maybe?

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:40 pm

Abl somehow simultaneously moved the goal posts and doubled down on the dumb points he's trying to make.

Also just say you fucking transferred. You're not an MI-6 agent

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby abl » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:44 pm

This is some of the dumbest shit I have ever read on this forum. I'm not even sure where to begin with it. Deposed by Eliot Spitzer maybe?


Abl somehow simultaneously moved the goal posts and doubled down on the dumb points he's trying to make.


Looks like I've been proven wrong.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:52 pm

abl wrote:
This is some of the dumbest shit I have ever read on this forum. I'm not even sure where to begin with it. Deposed by Eliot Spitzer maybe?


Abl somehow simultaneously moved the goal posts and doubled down on the dumb points he's trying to make.


Looks like I've been proven wrong.


There's really no way to prove this idiocy "wrong." Nobody, including you, has done some empirical study on "CCN v HYS who has the most special super-prestigious awesomest students." Your sample size of "people you heard talk in class and met at bar review" is not meaningful.

This is how this ends. You say I'm a bitter CCN fanboy who's still pissed about missing those 2 LSAT questions. I say you're the type of prestige-obsessed person who spends time desperately trying to justify inching ever higher on the striver's ladder by transferring from CCN to HYS.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby 09042014 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:53 pm

My favorite TLSism is that everyone assumes median is the WORST you could possibly do.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby abl » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:20 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
abl wrote:
This is some of the dumbest shit I have ever read on this forum. I'm not even sure where to begin with it. Deposed by Eliot Spitzer maybe?


Abl somehow simultaneously moved the goal posts and doubled down on the dumb points he's trying to make.


Looks like I've been proven wrong.


There's really no way to prove this idiocy "wrong." Nobody, including you, has done some empirical study on "CCN v HYS who has the most special super-prestigious awesomest students." Your sample size of "people you heard talk in class and met at bar review" is not meaningful.

This is how this ends. You say I'm a bitter CCN fanboy who's still pissed about missing those 2 LSAT questions. I say you're the type of prestige-obsessed person who spends time desperately trying to justify inching ever higher on the striver's ladder by transferring from CCN to HYS.


Ah. Well, there are a couple ways to respond to this. First, I bet someone who was enterprising could go through and count the number of famous people who have attended CCN (adjusted for class size) over the past decade versus HYS (adjusted for class size) and compare them. Does anyone on this board really think those numbers would be equivalent? You could modify this number to include people who became famous within, say, five years of graduating (the Dahlia Lithwicks of the world) -- because part of what we're looking for is the superstars who blossom in and around their time in law school. I suspect that would likely skew the data even further in the direction of HYS.

Second, you could look at elite-level hiring. How have CCN done for Supreme Court clerkships relative to HYS? Presumably the Justices know what they're doing, and are smart enough to recognize top talent from the 4-6th best law schools in the country. Think that Supreme Court clerkships are too connections-based? Look to federal COA clerkships. Think those are still too connections-based? Look to Bristow Fellowships or Skadden Fellowships. These are all small enough and competitive enough programs and positions that the screening panels/judges are looking at finalists FAR more deeply than simply using the rough screener of Yale versus Chicago to distinguish candidates. HYS is not outperforming CCN for these fellowships because of prestige bias -- it's outperforming CCN because the top students at HYS are that much more impressive.

Third, you could do a revealed preference study of admitted students. I think we likely all agree that there are some superstar admitted students and, to a large extent, this is noticeable to admissions committees. Therefore, many of these students get into HYS and CCN. But where do they matriculate? I suspect that the big named CCN fellowships win some of those students away, but I doubt that even the most fervent CCN supporters believe that CCN so much as splits these students with HYS (the yield numbers for Yale alone reveal that this is highly unlikely). I'm sure it's not unusual for a student to choose Columbia or Chicago w/ full scholarship over Harvard at full cost, but "not unusual" /= most.

Fourth, you can do what I've done and get some experience with students from both schools. I'll acknowledge that this is probably the weakest way to make this decision, but at least from my experience it's yet another strong indicator that there is a difference. If you have other suggestions for figuring this out -- go ahead and shoot. But really just about all signs point to there being a very real and very significant difference, at least at the top.
Last edited by abl on Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:36 pm

I'm not quoting that word vomit, but I'm going to clue you in on something that you will quickly learn when you graduate.

Again, there are obvious differences in placement between HYS and CCN which should certainly be taken into account when choosing between schools. But don't think that's because anybody ever sat down and thought this out like you seem to. It's because there needs to be a way for federal judges to rank the thousands of applications they get from students and figure out who is on top, and they go off marginal differences in school rank (just like marginal differences in grades) because it's relatively quick to do that. And then people like you come and create long-winded narratives about Why It Must Be, which is comfortable because it allows you to think there's some kind of ordered or logical system behind the insane hierarchies this profession perpetuates.

When you learn that there's really nothing special about people at HYS over people at CCN, just like there's really no difference in "quality" over CCN vs the rest of the t14, and the rest of the t14 over the t25, you'll appreciate that lots of people with no name JD's who didn't sip cocktails with Dahlia Lithwick can come in and kick your ass all over the floor. And you'll be a lot better for it.
Last edited by timbs4339 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby kwais » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:37 pm

abl wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
abl wrote:
This is some of the dumbest shit I have ever read on this forum. I'm not even sure where to begin with it. Deposed by Eliot Spitzer maybe?


Abl somehow simultaneously moved the goal posts and doubled down on the dumb points he's trying to make.


Looks like I've been proven wrong.


There's really no way to prove this idiocy "wrong." Nobody, including you, has done some empirical study on "CCN v HYS who has the most special super-prestigious awesomest students." Your sample size of "people you heard talk in class and met at bar review" is not meaningful.

This is how this ends. You say I'm a bitter CCN fanboy who's still pissed about missing those 2 LSAT questions. I say you're the type of prestige-obsessed person who spends time desperately trying to justify inching ever higher on the striver's ladder by transferring from CCN to HYS.


Ah. Well, there are a couple ways to respond to this. First, I bet someone who was enterprising could go through and count the number of famous people who have attended CCN (adjusted for class size) over the past decade versus HYS (adjusted for class size) and compare them. Does anyone on this board really think those numbers would be equivalent? You could modify this number to include people who became famous within, say, five years of graduating (the Dahlia Lithwicks of the world) -- because part of what we're looking for is the superstars who blossom in and around their time in law school. I suspect that would likely skew the data even further in the direction of HYS. Second, you could look at elite-level hiring. How have CCN done for Supreme Court clerkships relative to HYS? Presumably the Justices know what they're doing, and are smart enough to recognize top talent from the 4-6th best law schools in the country. Think that Supreme Court clerkships are too connections-based? Look to federal COA clerkships. Think those are still too connections-based? Look to Bristow Fellowships or Skadden Fellowships. These are all small enough and competitive enough programs and positions that the screening panels/judges are looking at finalists FAR more deeply than simply using the rough screener of Yale versus Chicago to distinguish candidates. HYS is not outperforming CCN for these fellowships because of prestige bias -- it's outperforming CCN because the top students at HYS are that much more impressive. Third, you could do a revealed preference study of admitted students. I think we likely all agree that there are some superstar admitted students and, to a large extent, this is noticeable to admissions committees. Therefore, many of these students get into HYS and CCN. But where do they matriculate? I suspect that the big named CCN fellowships win some of those students away, but I doubt that even the most fervent CCN supporters believe that CCN so much as splits these students with HYS (the yield numbers for Yale alone reveal that this is highly unlikely). I'm sure it's not unusual for a student to choose Columbia or Chicago w/ full scholarship over Harvard at full cost, but "not unusual" /= most. Fourth, you can do what I've done and get some experience with students from both schools. I'll acknowledge that this is probably the weakest way to make this decision, but at least from my experience it's yet another strong indicator that there is a difference. If you have other suggestions for figuring this out -- go ahead and shoot. But really just about all signs point to there being a very real and very significant difference, at least at the top.


What is the basis for saying that Supreme Court clerk hiring and Skadden fellowships are not prestige based? Please return to TLS and report back the day that you figure out that this profession, up to the highest levels, is indeed prestige based. That's not necessarily a terrible thing, it just is what it is. And maybe it justifies you tranferring, to reap those invisible prestige points. But this garbage you are spewing about the amount of famous people and whatnot is just hilarious. It does not affect your experience at all. When Bozo the gunner talked about Elliot Spitzer in class, do you know what that did for you? It allowed you to tell others that it happened which made you feel super cool. That's it. Is that what you are really after in an education?

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2014
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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby 2014 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:40 pm

I'm convinced that being massively butthurt is a pre-requisite to transferring.

No one is telling you there is no value in going to H or Y and being in the same class/school as future influential people. There are probably more per capita at H or Y, great. However, the idea that for most students this value is anything more than marginal is laughable. First of all, with some of the future influential people you can't predict who they will be, their breaks will come after law school. Good luck finding them, especially in a class as big as Harvard's. Now of course some people are more clearly earmarked for success, they have affluent/influential families or whatever. Again, you think because you are in the fight of your life to befriend them that it's going to pay you any benefits? Or do you think because POTUS 2032 realizes that you graduated from her law school a year after her that she is going to pull some strings for you?

You are trying to make this argument that you have to take into account the chance that these rare events happen and sure, but you have to discount the ever loving shit out of them because they are rare and catered to very specific types of people who are overwhelmingly unlikely to be the ones who give one shit about how much law school costs (see e.g. trust fund babies).

Where it does and should matter is for clerkship gunners and people destined to get shit grades because both of those need the prestige boost.

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Re: HYS vs CCN $$$

Postby Fussell » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:54 pm

An interesting way to think about choosing between CCN with significant money and HYS without is like purchasing insurance. Because law firms dip deeper into HYS classes than CCN (this is my assumption for at least the most prestigious firms), then being at HYS at a greater cost buys a little more grade flexibility and a greater chance (at least marginally) of securing a most desirable job. For instance, taking HYS in this scenario is like taking out a $150,000 insurance policy protecting oneself at below median for biglaw.

What I more recently thought of, while applying for summer jobs, is that taking a substantial scholarship that will lower one's debt load is also like taking out an insurance policy. A low debt load insulates oneself from the worst part of being no-offered or fired, or if one decides not to go into law (no LRAP or 160K starting); and interestingly opens up a lot of jobs that one could not consider with a lot of debt. For instance, this summer I'm able to look at some private-sector jobs that don't pay enough to service a significant debt load but which a law degree makes accessible and could result in massive pay down the line. One is barred from these jobs if one has a lot of debt.

Of course everyone's calculation is going to be different. If money means little to you, than sure, the experience value of driving a Bugatti Veyron will be worth the $1,000,000 more than driving a Mercedes SLS. The Bugatti is a better car, but the cost difference is too great to justify the marginal difference for most people. If you are paying nothing for the car, or the additional cost of HYS, for god's sake take HYS and enjoy. Of course, my theory doesn't encompass even half of the appropriate calculation when choosing between HYS and CCN, I found it helpful though.

(Side note: the idea that student's at HYS are somehow not interchangeable with student's from CNN seems absurd to me. I choose CNN over HYS (two of three) and am therefore obviously interchangeable and am one among an at least decently sized group.)

(Side note 2: IF YOU WANT TO GO INTO BANKING DON'T GET A LAW DEGREE. Get a job at a bulge bracket bank, if you know nothing about banking, teach yourself financial accounting for a few weeks and you'll get through the interviews. Also, you'll probably want to see what the life of an i-banker is like before setting your life up around achieving that goal. Lawyers get little respect from bankers, my MD was a lawyer and he told me: "I was working the same hours for a tenth the pay of the bankers I worked for and felt like an idiot, so as soon as I could I switched over." I think that was several years later.)

(Side note 3: Wharton and Booth are viewed the same as Harvard Business School in the world of finance. The difference in prestige is non-existent. HBS is basically a gender studies school these days anyway [kidding: unapologetic].)




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