UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

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ongtexas
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UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby ongtexas » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:26 pm

0L here trying to choose between Harvard and UTexas, both of which I can graduate from debt-free.

I want to do international oil and gas work--MENA & LatAm, most likely based in Houston. If Harvard, then I'd return to Texas after school, where I have some family ties.

It seems like the major trade-off is Harvard prestige/employment stats vs. UT contacts/networking/well-developed energy programs, journals, connected faculty, etc...

Which would you choose?
Last edited by ongtexas on Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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4LTsPointingNorth
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby 4LTsPointingNorth » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:33 pm

Spend three years of your life somewhere other than Texas. Go to Harvard.

Spend all your summers in industry relevant positions in Texas though.

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eriedoctrine
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby eriedoctrine » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:33 pm

Harvard. Not even a question if both are debt free.

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Dog
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby Dog » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:49 pm

eriedoctrine wrote:Harvard. Not even a question if both are debt free.



Unless OP gets to leave UT with serious money in his bank account. What is the story of how the two will leave you debt free? I'm guessing your parents are probably paying but it would help to know more.

ongtexas
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby ongtexas » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:00 pm

Dog wrote:
eriedoctrine wrote:Harvard. Not even a question if both are debt free.



Unless OP gets to leave UT with serious money in his bank account. What is the story of how the two will leave you debt free? I'm guessing your parents are probably paying but it would help to know more.


Yep! Parents will cover whatever doesn't get covered by scholarships.

I'm surprised so many in favor of H. I'm curious to hear why. UT grads pretty much run Texas. It seems like the network benefits would carry some weight, especially in an industry that seems to reward the "good ol' boy" more than a lot of other industries.

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Winston1984
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby Winston1984 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:13 pm

eriedoctrine wrote:Harvard. Not even a question if both are debt free.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby Ron Don Volante » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:56 pm

I go to UT and:
Winston1984 wrote:
eriedoctrine wrote:Harvard. Not even a question if both are debt free.

And I don't think really any of my classmates would tell you differently.

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jbagelboy
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:01 pm

Winston1984 wrote:
eriedoctrine wrote:Harvard. Not even a question if both are debt free.

ongtexas
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby ongtexas » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:11 pm

Ron Don Volante wrote:I go to UT and:
Winston1984 wrote:
eriedoctrine wrote:Harvard. Not even a question if both are debt free.

And I don't think really any of my classmates would tell you differently.



Good to know, Ron Don. Why do you think that is? I remember reading in a thread a while back that a current UT 1L or 2L took UT $$$ over Harvard and was pretty happy about it. Is this a suburban myth or the real deal?

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swampman
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby swampman » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:16 pm

ongtexas wrote:I'm surprised so many in favor of H. I'm curious to hear why. UT grads pretty much run Texas. It seems like the network benefits would carry some weight, especially in an industry that seems to reward the "good ol' boy" more than a lot of other industries.

Say the Houston firm is hiring 10 associates, and it really likes UT so it's going to set aside 8 slots for UT grads. It would love to fill one or two of the other slots with Harvard grads. It will get 200 applications from UT students, and maybe 5 from Harvard, most of whom won't accept their offer. You would rather be in the Harvard pile than the UT pile.

If you added scholarship considerations, maybe the answer is different.

thatsnotmyname
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby thatsnotmyname » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:24 pm

ongtexas wrote:
Ron Don Volante wrote:I go to UT and:
Winston1984 wrote:
eriedoctrine wrote:Harvard. Not even a question if both are debt free.

And I don't think really any of my classmates would tell you differently.



Good to know, Ron Don. Why do you think that is? I remember reading in a thread a while back that a current UT 1L or 2L took UT $$$ over Harvard and was pretty happy about it. Is this a suburban myth or the real deal?


Just speculating, but I'd imagine that what separates your situation from whoever it is that you're referencing is that you'll be graduating debt-free either way. If you posted a situation where you had a full-tuition scholarship at UT and graduating close to debt-free and taking out $150K in loans to attend Harvard, you would be getting different responses right now probably.

Since you'll be graduating debt-free either way, this really makes it easy to say Harvard. It doesn't sound like paying will be a huge financial burden for your parents (i.e., they're emptying out their retirement accounts for you to go to Harvard) so it makes sense to go to Harvard.

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cannibal ox
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby cannibal ox » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:31 pm

thatsnotmyname wrote:If you posted a situation where you had a full-tuition scholarship at UT and graduating close to debt-free and taking out $150K in loans to attend Harvard, you would be getting different responses right now probably.


Hard to put an actual number on the Harvard v UT debate when talking about the type of debt load you're willing to take on. I just know that when calculating (first) job security and peace of mind during 1L, it's a lot different for a 0L and for a 1L. I go to UT and I love it, but Harvard would have to be a hell of a lot more expensive for me to take UT over H. UT's a good school, and employment numbers are good, but that means nothing to a 1L when there's a finite number of jobs and you're grinding away against equally smart and driven classmates who want the same job as you.

DJ JD
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby DJ JD » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:32 pm

ongtexas wrote:
I'm surprised so many in favor of H. I'm curious to hear why. UT grads pretty much run Texas. It seems like the network benefits would carry some weight, especially in an industry that seems to reward the "good ol' boy" more than a lot of other industries.


UT student here...

UT grads "run Texas" because there are so many people here that don't want to leave, have ties, and the school has rank to push numbers to firms en masse.

Networking benefits, while useful if you're a marginal candidate, really do not make a difference if you don't have the grades to back it up. And I know plenty of people who blow networking events off, but are personable, plus have killer grades and still get more offers than people who've hustled to get connections.

ongtexas wrote:
Ron Don Volante wrote:I go to UT and:
Winston1984 wrote:
eriedoctrine wrote:Harvard. Not even a question if both are debt free.

And I don't think really any of my classmates would tell you differently.



Good to know, Ron Don. Why do you think that is? I remember reading in a thread a while back that a current UT 1L or 2L took UT $$$ over Harvard and was pretty happy about it. Is this a suburban myth or the real deal?


If you get good grades and manage to snag a 1LSA, I mean, it won't really make a difference, but Harvard gives you a much much higher cushion for grades than you'd have at UT, so if that person had bad grades, they'd undoubtedly be singing a different song.

You'd really be willing to take that risk in grades just because of a correlational trend between UT law grads and firm positions and "networking benefits," like Harvard's nationwide network, even in Texas, is something to scoff at...? Not to mention lay prestige.

Please take Harvard.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby Ron Don Volante » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:35 pm

thatsnotmyname wrote:
ongtexas wrote:Good to know, Ron Don. Why do you think that is? I remember reading in a thread a while back that a current UT 1L or 2L took UT $$$ over Harvard and was pretty happy about it. Is this a suburban myth or the real deal?

I'd imagine that what separates your situation from whoever it is that you're referencing is that you'll be graduating debt-free either way. If you posted a situation where you had a full-tuition scholarship at UT and graduating close to debt-free and taking out $150K in loans to attend Harvard, you would be getting different responses right now probably.

Since you'll be graduating debt-free either way, this really makes it easy to say Harvard.

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jbagelboy
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:42 pm

ongtexas wrote:
Ron Don Volante wrote:I go to UT and:
Winston1984 wrote:
eriedoctrine wrote:Harvard. Not even a question if both are debt free.

And I don't think really any of my classmates would tell you differently.



Good to know, Ron Don. Why do you think that is? I remember reading in a thread a while back that a current UT 1L or 2L took UT $$$ over Harvard and was pretty happy about it. Is this a suburban myth or the real deal?


It's not myth. He did choose UT and was very happy with it (landed a 1L SA at a Big 3 if I recall). If you were debating between $300k debt at harvard and $0 debt at UT with goals to work in Texas, UT would be a very reasonable option. If both are debt free, really, this is an easy choice for Harvard.

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BVest
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby BVest » Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:48 am

Harvard.

If, after 2 years at Harvard, you really feel like you missed out on courses you absolutely must have (you won't have, BTW -- anything you will have missed will be better learned on the job or you can pick up in CLEs), then you can visit at UT for 3L or part of it and then fly back to Cambridge for commencement.

BigZuck
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby BigZuck » Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:21 am

OP- I'm sending you a PM

Definitely take Harvard. There is absolutely no question here. So far 5 UT students have said take Harvard

Go

To

Harvard

ongtexas
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby ongtexas » Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:42 am

jbagelboy wrote:
It's not myth. He did choose UT and was very happy with it (landed a 1L SA at a Big 3 if I recall). If you were debating between $300k debt at harvard and $0 debt at UT with goals to work in Texas, UT would be a very reasonable option. If both are debt free, really, this is an easy choice for Harvard.


Thanks Bagel, is he a TLS member? If so, would you mind putting us in touch via PM? I'm curious to pick his brain if he's open to it.

ongtexas
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby ongtexas » Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:54 am

Thanks for the feedback, y'all. What if I didn't want to let my parents cover it, and instead took some or all of the costs on myself?

Assuming UT cost is ~50k after 100k scholly, and Harvard is ~250k, at what point does UT make more sense?

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby PeanutsNJam » Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:29 am

If you go to UT you're still going to need like top 30% grades to get the job you want. If you go to Harvard you probably just have to not be bottom 1%. If you can leverage the H acceptance for full tuition at UT, and are confident you can swing top of your class, then yeah I guess go to UT...

But in all seriousness, go to Harvard

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby Ron Don Volante » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:27 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:If you go to UT you're still going to need like top 30% grades to get the job you want. If you go to Harvard you probably just have to not be bottom 1%. If you can leverage the H acceptance for full tuition at UT, and are confident you can swing top of your class, then yeah I guess go to UT...

But in all seriousness, go to Harvard

If he's top 30% oci is going to be pretty stressful. He'll get oil/gas big law but probably not his first choice. Median at Harvard and he can probably write his ticket. Again, OP, don't trick yourself into thinking UT will be easier than Harvard; assume median wherever you go.

Why did you factor cost of living into Harvard but not UT? And how rich are your parents?

ongtexas
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby ongtexas » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:02 am

Ron Don Volante wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:If you go to UT you're still going to need like top 30% grades to get the job you want. If you go to Harvard you probably just have to not be bottom 1%. If you can leverage the H acceptance for full tuition at UT, and are confident you can swing top of your class, then yeah I guess go to UT...

But in all seriousness, go to Harvard

If he's top 30% oci is going to be pretty stressful. He'll get oil/gas big law but probably not his first choice. Median at Harvard and he can probably write his ticket. Again, OP, don't trick yourself into thinking UT will be easier than Harvard; assume median wherever you go.

Why did you factor cost of living into Harvard but not UT? And how rich are your parents?


Those were back of the envelope calculations, here's the real numbers AFAIK:

UT Law COA = 53k/yr = ~160k/3 yr - 100k $$$ = 60k total principal.

vs.

Harvard COA = 82k/yr = 246k/3yr = 246k total principal.

My parents are retired, net worth ~ 5m. 250k isn't nothing, even w/ 5m. They're just really generous.

I know it's not reasonable to expect top 10%, but w/ a 177, is it really not reasonable to expect above median? Not being sarcastic here, I'm genuinely curious.

Thanks y'all.

BigZuck
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby BigZuck » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:43 am

Ron Don Volante wrote:If he's top 30% oci is going to be pretty stressful.

Can confirm

Also, I know people significantly above this who struck out and someone at medianish who got multiple offers

ongtexas wrote:
Ron Don Volante wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:If you go to UT you're still going to need like top 30% grades to get the job you want. If you go to Harvard you probably just have to not be bottom 1%. If you can leverage the H acceptance for full tuition at UT, and are confident you can swing top of your class, then yeah I guess go to UT...

But in all seriousness, go to Harvard

If he's top 30% oci is going to be pretty stressful. He'll get oil/gas big law but probably not his first choice. Median at Harvard and he can probably write his ticket. Again, OP, don't trick yourself into thinking UT will be easier than Harvard; assume median wherever you go.

Why did you factor cost of living into Harvard but not UT? And how rich are your parents?


Those were back of the envelope calculations, here's the real numbers AFAIK:

UT Law COA = 53k/yr = ~160k/3 yr - 100k $$$ = 60k total principal.

vs.

Harvard COA = 82k/yr = 246k/3yr = 246k total principal.

My parents are retired, net worth ~ 5m. 250k isn't nothing, even w/ 5m. They're just really generous.

I know it's not reasonable to expect top 10%, but w/ a 177, is it really not reasonable to expect above median? Not being sarcastic here, I'm genuinely curious.

Thanks y'all.

Median probably won't do the trick

Look, if you go to UT you'll have a pretty good shot at TX big law

But, every UT student in this thread has told you to go to Harvard. Your life will be so, so much easier than if you go to UT. And you wouldn't be giving anything up by attending Harvard, other than Harvard is not in TX and it's more expensive (and the money stuff is a personal thing for you to decide).

What is the draw to UT? Is it that you get to stay close to family? Or is money a bigger consideration than you initially said? Again, both those things are personal choices you have to make. But as presented to us, "I want Texas big law and both are at equal cost." Harvard is a no brainer. Absolute, 100% no brainer.

ongtexas
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby ongtexas » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:59 am

BigZuck wrote:What is the draw to UT? Is it that you get to stay close to family? Or is money a bigger consideration than you initially said? Again, both those things are personal choices you have to make. But as presented to us, "I want Texas big law and both are at equal cost." Harvard is a no brainer. Absolute, 100% no brainer.


Yeah, the draw is essentially that I've been out of TX and away from family who have health issues and wanna be closer. The bottom line for me is: "Is it worth giving up three years of time close to family for a much easier time of it career-wise?"

And that's really a question only I can answer. The responses on this thread haven't made that decision any easier, of course, but it's nice to have an accurate sense of what awaits. Thanks a lot.
Last edited by ongtexas on Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: UT vs. Harvard - Intl. Oil & Gas

Postby Ron Don Volante » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:00 am

ongtexas wrote:Those were back of the envelope calculations, here's the real numbers AFAIK:

UT Law COA = 53k/yr = ~160k/3 yr - 100k $$$ = 60k total principal.

vs.

Harvard COA = 82k/yr = 246k/3yr = 246k total principal.

My parents are retired, net worth ~ 5m. 250k isn't nothing, even w/ 5m. They're just really generous.

I know it's not reasonable to expect top 10%, but w/ a 177, is it really not reasonable to expect above median? Not being sarcastic here, I'm genuinely curious.

Thanks y'all.

Ah my bad I figured you were counting in-state discount into the scholarship for some reason.

Their money would probably be well spent on Harvard, and they seem to agree. I would also have a very hard time doing this, though (granted my parents net worth is lower by ~4.9m); why don't you ask them to give you like an interest free loan or something, instead? Also, why isn't like UVa for free listed as an option?

No, your LSAT score is not going to be a fantastic indicator. In the interest of not derailing your thread, read this: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=243103.




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