What's the deal with Harvard students?

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SweetTort
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby SweetTort » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:15 pm

If you want PI, doesn't H make a lot of sense? I mean, even if you just get COL loans at Columbia, there's no way to pay that off as a PD/ADA.

arewevoting
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby arewevoting » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:16 pm

baal hadad wrote:
bjsesq wrote:(solid humblebrag).


... and i'll add, the mets suck

abl
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby abl » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:18 pm

LetsGoMets wrote:
abl wrote:Once again, you're conflating two different career paths. One path leads folks to biglaw because they are interested in biglaw and, after discovering biglaw isn't that great, these folks look for other jobs but realize they are trapped by their debt. The other path leads folks to biglaw solely as a stepping stone for other jobs--academia, high-profile PI positions, AUSA spots, etc. I absolutely agree that for folks on this first path, debt is a real issue. I absolutely disagree, however, that just about anyone is dissuaded by their debt from taking the second path. The constraint to which I am referring is the (weak) constraint that prevents people from taking the second path. The constraint to which you are harping on is the (strong) constraint that restricts folks who have taken the first path from stepping down to midlaw or lower stress in-house positions.


I want to ask specifically about this point. Do you think there are actually a lot of people who take your first path, i.e. target Biglaw as a career and then find out it's terrible and look for an out, never having thought about it before, but can't leave because of debt? From my admittedly limited 0L experience, reading threads here and talking to current students, I can't think of anyone (okay, maybe one or two) who didn't see Biglaw as a stepping stone to something else, whether that was private or public sector, which is how I might divide the pool if a split is really justified. I would think that $180k in debt is an issue for people in either category, LRAPs aside.


I think there are a lot of people who start in biglaw without having any real idea of whether they want to stay in biglaw (and, if not, where else they'd go). I agree that relatively few folks are open about their ultimate goal being partnership (although I think a lot of the people who start in biglaw without any definite plan are at the very least interested in partnership, even if it's super uncool to admit as much). There's nothing wrong with any of this -- my point was that it is in many ways a different path than that taken by an aspiring AUSA or academic who spends several years in biglaw to fulfill that prerequisite "experience" check box. Aspiring AUSAs and academics (and PI litigators and whatnot) generally have a fairly specific plan and end-date for their biglaw experience, generally are working in law school and after towards their post-biglaw plans, and generally are hired for their post-biglaw positions based primarily on factors (such as law school attended) other than what they accomplished during their 1-3 years in biglaw.

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jbagelboy
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:57 pm

abl wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
abl wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:abl, I'm not trying to be unfair to your position and if you feel that I'm reducing what you perceive to be a more nuanced argument to the magazine survey, I apologize. You are asking for everyone here, myself included, to take your word that you have very compelling, extrinsic reasons - aside from LST, National Law Journal, US News, any other accessible metric, since you reject these as unrepresentative - for placing three particular schools above all the others. I don't think it's unfair to press you on this since it's logically unsound to make arguments about value premised so heavily on a certain assumption, but deny you're relying on more than your personal experience for that assumption so that I can't evaluate your underlying considerations - I think you're a smart dude and I'm not disputing, and have never disputed, that more Harvard students will access some opportunities and get hired for some jobs than at other schools. But you can't construct this narrative and say A because of A. What else makes you say these things about doors, windows, and other useful apertural metaphors if not, at its base, the magazine surveys and ABA info sheets? Why, then, is the CLS student so pitifully unable to escape his firm, or forced to midlaw, while the HLS grad walks on water to her next exclusive endeavor? You have to imagine how ludicrous this sounds to me and how I don't feel you're giving me much to work with.


Ok, sure, the magazines are part of my basis for saying these things--but not because Harvard is #2 and Columbia is #4. It's more a combination of things (including the near-constant dominance of HYS at the top of USNews, the clerkship numbers, the NLJ numbers that show that Stanford and Yale in particular are not just feeding their grads into biglaw, etc). Also, I base my statements on my experience--which is on the high side for TLS (even though I would be the first to acknowledge that I am still very early in my career).

I am also a little confused about how hard you are pushing back on this. I have never found it to be a controversial point in the legal community that HYS open more doors than CCN. I think we both agree that this difference is probably at its slightest when you are comparing Harvard and Columbia. But I still think the accepted wisdom--which is supported by USNews's reputation surveys, clerkship numbers, and numbers for things like Skaddens (which I think are the most relevant indicators of doors opening--but I'm open to the idea that there are other indicators)--is that Harvard nevertheless does open more doors than Columbia.


Yes of course it does! Which is why at equal cost the answer is easy! But that's not the debate here and if you look back to the post I originally responded to you, you'll see why I'm pushing back, logically and intuitively, on how far you're taking this awful doors schtick.


I actually think your original post was a response to a different poster. I think our disagreement is with how significant we believe the marginal value added of Harvard is as compared with Columbia for a student who is leaning away from biglaw. The debate that we've been having (over several different threads now) is what levels of additional debt might justify this marginal additional value.

I think you and I agree that for a student who is purely outcome-drive and wants NYC biglaw, Harvard's value added does not justify an additional $180,000 in debt. I think we disagree about how to value Harvard's advantage when it comes to 0Ls who are not purely outcome-driven and/or who are looking for careers that either only use biglaw as a brief stopping point or avoid biglaw altogether. My sense is that I weigh the marginal cost of debt less than you do, while you weigh the marginal value of a Harvard education (and diploma) less than I do.

But the point raised by the OP here is actually slightly different: the OP was wondering why Harvard students were so confident that they made the correct choice. This calls for a descriptive response, whereas we've been largely making normative arguments. To that end, I'll fall back to what I originally stated: descriptively, I think that the reason why Harvard students so frequently feel confident about choosing a hard-to-value credential over easier-to-value debt is because that is a similar decision to what most of them have repeatedly had to make in order to get into Harvard in the first place. You and I may disagree now over whether normatively that is the correct decision, but my original point was meant to be purely descriptive.


Because we've always had such good natured debates about this and we largely agree I'll concede that reasonable people can weigh these variables differently and agree to disagree on the subjective assessments, i.e. that Chicago or Columbia students are so disadvantaged in the job hunt relative to other schools (and as for reputation, since you cited to USN, it's worth noting that Stanford scored a 4.7 versus CLS and Chicago's 4.6 -- a gap narrower than that between CC and NYU (4.4), when we refer to those schools as essentially peers. So let's not vest such surveys with too much credit!) Cheers!
Last edited by jbagelboy on Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Hikikomorist
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby Hikikomorist » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:58 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Hikkomorist wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
runinthefront wrote:Alma mater Princeton University (A.B.)
University of Oxford (M.Phil.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)

45th United States Solicitor General

COA/SCOTUS Clerk


I mean shit I know I'm late with the commentary but bro is coming from like EMU or something...in a room at least half-full of law students...what an absurd question

Dude, Kagan was below median in her first semester at HLS. She got a B in crim and a B- in Torts. If TLS existed then, everyone would be telling her to drop out and open a Subway franchise.


Where did you get this information, and is it available for the rest of SCOTUS?

You're not going to become a SCOTUS justice, so why do you care?


Just curious about those sorts of things. Why do you care that I care?

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LetsGoMets
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby LetsGoMets » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:05 pm

abl wrote: But the point raised by the OP here is actually slightly different: the OP was wondering why Harvard students were so confident that they made the correct choice. This calls for a descriptive response, whereas we've been largely making normative arguments.


This thread has turned a bit into who did best in college debate/econ classes, but definitely feel free to continue down the normative road, this is interesting stuff.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:56 pm

All lawyers and law students act 100% confident about their decisions, because they are all insufferable pompous douchebags. HTH.

/thread

ryangreenspan
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby ryangreenspan » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:15 am

bearsfan23 wrote:
ryangreenspan wrote:
flockavelli wrote:Well there's obviously a survivorship bias - almost defintely the majority of H students could have gone to a solid law school for free, the ones that are there are those that didn't take those offers. If you're wondering what that selects on, it's probably a risk-seeking temperament. Gambling $300,000 for a greater chance of the outcomes that people actually want out of law school. TLS skews the other way, towards risk aversion, so the two groups are going to have differing opinions as to what the right decision is.

The expected value of a CCN degree with no debt is probably higher than H with hundos in debt, but not necessarily the expected utility. Realistically, a lot of students probably have utility curves which place disproportionate emphasis on relatively unlikely outcomes, and are willing to take risks to maximize expected utility while sacrificing expected value. H increases the odds of those disproportionately valuable outcomes over CCN. Those are the people that take H (higher than 50% yield, so not insubstantial). Expected value maximizers follow the money.


Great post, are you an econ major? This answer is so on point it just made my day. But the difference between risk loving people and risk averse people lies in their marginal utility curves. Risk lovers have an increasing marginal utility for money, risk haters have a decreasing marginal utility for money. Risk neutral actors are the ones that "follow the money" - their marginal utility for money is constant.

If you asked someone who was risk averse to choose between a coin flip where they got $100 if heads or $200 if tails, or a sure deal where they got $149 straight up, the person would choose the $149 even though it does not maximize expected value. The risk lover would choose the coin flip even if the sure deal was $151. The risk neutral player would maximize expected value and choose the coin flip in the first scenario and the sure deal in the second.
This explains why some on TLS say don't go anywhere where you don't get $$$$$ - they're very risk averse and are not maximizing expected utility but are saying "get a high probability of a modest outcome."


Given that most people at H will go into BigLaw, this is absurdly dumb

The idea that H substantially increases your BigLaw odds over any of the CCN is laughable. There might be a slight boost, but its certainly not significant and I've never seen anyone provide any data that shows otherwise.

So if your goal is a $160K job, taking on substantial extra debt just to arrive at the same outcome is just stupid. Then again, hundreds of Harvard students do it every year so they can say they attended H


You're misunderstanding the concept of utility for money. It's not just the utility a person gets from the money he receives. It's the utility a person receives from his outcome, expressed in a dollar amount. So let's say someone values getting a DC clerkship by x amount, and that person thinks going to Harvard over Columbia gives him a y percent better chance of getting a clerkship. If the cost of Harvard is equal to the cost of Columbia plus some premium z, then how big z must be before the person is indifferent between Harvard or Columbia depends on whether that person is risk averse, risk neutral, or risk loving. It's not absurdly dumb, it's a model that can consistently explain how people make choices given uncertainty.

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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:55 am

ryangreenspan wrote:You're misunderstanding the concept of utility for money. It's not just the utility a person gets from the money he receives. It's the utility a person receives from his outcome, expressed in a dollar amount. So let's say someone values getting a DC clerkship by x amount, and that person thinks going to Harvard over Columbia gives him a y percent better chance of getting a clerkship. If the cost of Harvard is equal to the cost of Columbia plus some premium z, then how big z must be before the person is indifferent between Harvard or Columbia depends on whether that person is risk averse, risk neutral, or risk loving. It's not absurdly dumb, it's a model that can consistently explain how people make choices given uncertainty.

How do you actually place a number of any of those variables?

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Helioze
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby Helioze » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:07 am

LetsGoMets wrote:
abl wrote: But the point raised by the OP here is actually slightly different: the OP was wondering why Harvard students were so confident that they made the correct choice. This calls for a descriptive response, whereas we've been largely making normative arguments.


This thread has turned a bit into who did best in college debate/econ classes, but definitely feel free to continue down the normative road, this is interesting stuff.



I summarily declare abl the winner over jbagel


I also second the continuation of the normative discussion, but I think abl hit the descriptive ball out of the park.

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Clearly
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby Clearly » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:47 am

Nice avatar. Also a lot of them come from money so the money prestige ratio is off.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:13 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:All lawyers and law students act 100% confident about their decisions, because they are all insufferable pompous douchebags. HTH.

/thread


And re: this thread, because they are naive poors who never had to manage their own money.

Here's my thoughts:
(1) Most students at the T-14, or at least a large percentage, come from multi-millionaire families. Half of my friends at a T-14 (not HYS) had no loans. One of my friend's families had 50 million dollars; my best friend had over 10 million. These people don't give a f*ck because 200-300k is like a penny in the bucket.
(2) Most law students are stupid about money and have never worked a real job.
(3) They haven't worked biglaw yet.

I am 100% sure that most of the ones paying with loans will regret their decision when they start working. And in my experience, HYS grads burn out the fastest in biglaw (not sure why - half of those who burn out don't end up leaving for another job...so it's not like they have other options). Once you're in biglaw, you realize that a lot of the best associates are not the ones who went to the highest ranked schools. We've had some shitty Columbia law grads and HYS grads at my firm (with the exception of partners) generally burn out first.
Last edited by BiglawAssociate on Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:15 am

BiglawAssociate wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:All lawyers and law students act 100% confident about their decisions, because they are all insufferable pompous douchebags. HTH.

/thread


And re: this thread, because they are naive poors who never had to manage their own money.

Here's my thoughts:
(1) Most students at the T-14, or at least a large percentage, come from multi-millionaire families. Half of my friends at a T-14 (not HYS) had no loans. One of my friend's families had 50 million dollars; my best friend had over 10 million. These people don't give a f*ck because 200-300k is like a penny in the bucket.
(2) Most law students are stupid about money and have never worked a real job.
(3) They haven't worked biglaw yet.

I am 100% sure that most of the ones paying with loans will regret their decision when they start working. And in my experience, HYS grads burn out the fastest in biglaw (not sure why - half of those who burn out don't end up leaving for another job...so it's not like they have other options).


I think you answered your own question there...

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:17 am

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
BiglawAssociate wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:All lawyers and law students act 100% confident about their decisions, because they are all insufferable pompous douchebags. HTH.

/thread


And re: this thread, because they are naive poors who never had to manage their own money.

Here's my thoughts:
(1) Most students at the T-14, or at least a large percentage, come from multi-millionaire families. Half of my friends at a T-14 (not HYS) had no loans. One of my friend's families had 50 million dollars; my best friend had over 10 million. These people don't give a f*ck because 200-300k is like a penny in the bucket.
(2) Most law students are stupid about money and have never worked a real job.
(3) They haven't worked biglaw yet.

I am 100% sure that most of the ones paying with loans will regret their decision when they start working. And in my experience, HYS grads burn out the fastest in biglaw (not sure why - half of those who burn out don't end up leaving for another job...so it's not like they have other options).


I think you answered your own question there...


No, I didn't go to HYS. I'm saying there are rich families at all of the T-14. HYS just burns out faster than other T-14s. Don't know why. They aren't leaving for better options either - the JD is not a versatile degree without experience.

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:21 am

BiglawAssociate wrote:
No, I didn't go to HYS. I'm saying there are rich families at all of the T-14. HYS just burns out faster than other T-14s. Don't know why. Half of them don't leave for a law job or any job.....


Maybe the very top of the academic food chain has a skill set that's so well suited for exams that it doesn't translate well into actual work. Add in the fact that most of them will never have to make the "work or go homeless" decision, and I think that's enough to explain it.

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kulizy1
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby kulizy1 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:29 am

(personal tangent)

I'm facing a similar choice and asked Harvard to me in touch with someone who had turned down a full scholarship at CCN...

They put me in touch with someone who is ~ literally ~ a trust fund baby - and identifiable as such from a 20 second Google search. His entire argument was, "It is HARVARD and I liked my SA." I have no idea if he is representative of HLS students, but our conversation was not flattering to Harvard. He had no concept of cost and basically waved all arguments having to do with money. More than anything, I am just baffled that Harvard thought this kid would be able to persuade to me, especially given that I have clear middle class roots.

kartelite
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby kartelite » Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:39 am

ryangreenspan wrote:
You're misunderstanding the concept of utility for money. It's not just the utility a person gets from the money he receives. It's the utility a person receives from his outcome, expressed in a dollar amount. So let's say someone values getting a DC clerkship by x amount, and that person thinks going to Harvard over Columbia gives him a y percent better chance of getting a clerkship. If the cost of Harvard is equal to the cost of Columbia plus some premium z, then how big z must be before the person is indifferent between Harvard or Columbia depends on whether that person is risk averse, risk neutral, or risk loving. It's not absurdly dumb, it's a model that can consistently explain how people make choices given uncertainty.


Note: this is only focused on the employment outcome component of the school decision, not factors like regional preferences and intangibles such as school prestige. And strictly speaking, this doesn't actually have to do with risk aversion, although I guess you could say that would be reflected in the $-utility function ("risk-averse" individuals would have "elite" and "okay" outcomes at closer values than a "risk-seeker" would, who puts an inordinately large value on something like academia or a clerkship).

To understand the way (rational) people make decisions, think of the possible outcomes (jobs = x1, x2, x3,..., xn) and corresponding $-utility values of each job to the individual under consideration U(x1)=u1, U(x2)=u2, etc. Such $-utility values do exist for every individual (although the exact number would depend on how we define certain things and take into account discount rates, opportunity cost, etc.). Empirically, you could find them by asking individuals which of two outcomes they would prefer in iteration until you converge on the $ amount for each outcome.

We can think of each school as a "function" that maps an outcome to the probability of receiving that outcome (assuming that no preferred outcomes were realized).

For example, if our universe of outcomes was (academia, clerkship, big law, unemployment), then perhaps the Harvard function would look something like:

H(academia) = 0.03
H(clerkship) = 0.12
H(big law) = 0.80
H(unemployed) = 0.05

Now, our student's utility function (this doesn't depend on the school, just outcomes) may look like:

U(academia) = $500,000
U(clerkship) = $300,000
U(big law) = $200,000
U(unemployed) = $0

So, note that our agent wishes to maximize expected utility (this follows from the rationality assumption). Given the H and U functions, expected utility from attending Harvard would be:

0.03*$500,000 + 0.12*$300,000 + 0.80*$200,000 + 0.05*$0 = $15,000 + $36,000 + $160,000 + $0 = $211,000

If the Columbia function is:

C(academia) = 0.01
C(clerkship) = 0.05
C(big law) = 0.85
C(unemployed) = 0.09

Then expected utility from attending Columbia would be:

0.01*$500,000 + 0.05*$300,000 + 0.85*$200,000 + 0.09*$0 = $5000 + $15,000 + $170,000 + $0 = $190,000

If COA was the same at these schools (and all else equal), then the break-even point to choose Columbia would be when it offered greater than $21,000 in merit aid (assuming Harvard offered none). Given that many people are choosing Harvard over Columbia with much greater Columbia aid, revealed preferences show that either (1) they view the $-utility benefit of outcomes like academia and clerking to be much more above big law than in my example above, (2) they think there is a much larger difference in the probabilities of the "best" outcomes between H and C than in my example above, (3) they consider other factors such as location or school prestige as significant components of their personal utility functions, or (4) they are irrational.

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LetsGoMets
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby LetsGoMets » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:11 am

kulizy1 wrote:(personal tangent)

I'm facing a similar choice and asked Harvard to me in touch with someone who had turned down a full scholarship at CCN...

They put me in touch with someone who is ~ literally ~ a trust fund baby - and identifiable as such from a 20 second Google search. His entire argument was, "It is HARVARD and I liked my SA." I have no idea if he is representative of HLS students, but our conversation was not flattering to Harvard. He had no concept of cost and basically waved all arguments having to do with money. More than anything, I am just baffled that Harvard thought this kid would be able to persuade to me, especially given that I have clear middle class roots.


That's pretty embarrassing for them, honestly.

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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby UnicornHunter » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:40 am

A lot of experts in the burgeoning field of law school and economics ITT.

At the end of the day, I think jbagel's got the strongest normative and descriptive argument*. If you want to maximize flexibility, minimizing debt (or if you're rich, maximizing savings**) is the best way to do it. The stats speak for themselves: the overwhelming majority of T6 grads end up at the same places. It might be easy to say you value some unicorn outcome (say AUSA) at $1,000,000+ or whatever our law school and econ experts think would justify sticker at H> a ruby before you've even looked at the AUSA payscale,*** but it's much harder to do when you're looking at $300,000 of debt. Given that most AUSA's only stay in their positions for 5 years or so, you can't even say "but PSLF". The argument against unnecessary debt is even stronger when you consider that a lot of the unicorn jobs people want coming into law school (politics, art, sports, small/mid market firm work) are NOT PSLF eligible. By taking on additional debt in order to "keep doors open," people are actually reducing the odds that they'll end up in one of these fields. To answer OP's original question, the only way to explain the vast majority of H students who turned down full-rides at CCN is that they either didn't take the time to fully understand what they were getting into or that they're coming from rich families and it really didn't matter.



*Yale's LRAP is so broad that my argument might not apply to it.
** I don't understand why TLS treats no debt as synonymous with no cost. Even for relatively wealthy families who have saved up enough to pay for law school, $200,000 is going to be a significant amount of $$$ for most.
*** Spoiler alert: it's shitty.

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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby UnicornHunter » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:46 am

kartelite wrote:If COA was the same at these schools (and all else equal), then the break-even point to choose Columbia would be when it offered greater than $21,000 in merit aid (assuming Harvard offered none). Given that many people are choosing Harvard over Columbia with much greater Columbia aid, revealed preferences show that either (1) they view the $-utility benefit of outcomes like academia and clerking to be much more above big law than in my example above, (2) they think there is a much larger difference in the probabilities of the "best" outcomes between H and C than in my example above, (3) they consider other factors such as location or school prestige as significant components of their personal utility functions, or (4) they are irrational.


Or 5 (related to #4): they're going to law school because they suck at math and haven't attempted to/straight up failed to quantify these things.

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LetsGoMets
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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby LetsGoMets » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:59 am

Does anyone, possibly the HLS students who have dropped in, want to comment more on how Harvard's fairly generous LRAP (aka LIPP) factors into these calculations? Thinking back more that was definitely an answer I got from a few of the kids I talked to, who said something along the lines of "well, Harvard doesn't give merit aid on the front end, but they help you on the back end by paying off your loans through LIPP", which sounded questionable to me, but may not be totally baseless. I haven't spent a lot of time looking at other schools' LRAPs, but one point the financial aid reps hammered on in their presentation was that unlike at other schools, LIPP isn't tied to any government programs (PSLF, PAYE, etc), covers any JD-required job, lets you go in and out of the program as needed, and is calculated simply on how much debt you have and what your income is.

It sounded a little too good to be true, and looking deeper into the information they gave it definitely looks like there's a donut hole of sorts where you can be making too much to qualify, but not enough to make your loan payments and still have a livable amount of take-home pay. Nonetheless I was surprised by how generous it sounded overall, particularly in the sense that it might remove some of the pressure to stay in a Biglaw job because of debt, since in theory if you go from 160k to 60k, you can immediately start getting LIPP assistance.

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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby bklynlady » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:01 am

What about turning down a Butler (1/2 tuition) at CLS to go to HLS? Throw into the equation that I live in NYC and cost of living would be much less for me than moving to Boston. And how would an approx. 3/4 tuition scholarship at NYU size up against HLS?

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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:05 am

LetsGoMets wrote:Does anyone, possibly the HLS students who have dropped in, want to comment more on how Harvard's fairly generous LRAP (aka LIPP) factors into these calculations? Thinking back more that was definitely an answer I got from a few of the kids I talked to, who said something along the lines of "well, Harvard doesn't give merit aid on the front end, but they help you on the back end by paying off your loans through LIPP", which sounded questionable to me, but may not be totally baseless. I haven't spent a lot of time looking at other schools' LRAPs, but one point the financial aid reps hammered on in their presentation was that unlike at other schools, LIPP isn't tied to any government programs (PSLF, PAYE, etc), covers any JD-required job, lets you go in and out of the program as needed, and is calculated simply on how much debt you have and what your income is.

It sounded a little too good to be true, and looking deeper into the information they gave it definitely looks like there's a donut hole of sorts where you can be making too much to qualify, but not enough to make your loan payments and still have a livable amount of take-home pay. Nonetheless I was surprised by how generous it sounded overall, particularly in the sense that it might remove some of the pressure to stay in a Biglaw job because of debt, since in theory if you go from 160k to 60k, you can immediately start getting LIPP assistance.

It's great if you aren't planning to go into biglaw and then do the traditional private sector post-biglaw stuff a lot of people do. If you are planning on that path then odds are very high you'll have to pay it all back out of your own pocket anyways.

bklynlady wrote:What about turning down a Butler (1/2 tuition) at CLS to go to HLS? Throw into the equation that I live in NYC and cost of living would be much less for me than moving to Boston. And how would an approx. 3/4 tuition scholarship at NYU size up against HLS?

Both are preferable to H if you plan to get a job where you'll need to pay back all your debt.

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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby bklynlady » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:13 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
LetsGoMets wrote:Does anyone, possibly the HLS students who have dropped in, want to comment more on how Harvard's fairly generous LRAP (aka LIPP) factors into these calculations? Thinking back more that was definitely an answer I got from a few of the kids I talked to, who said something along the lines of "well, Harvard doesn't give merit aid on the front end, but they help you on the back end by paying off your loans through LIPP", which sounded questionable to me, but may not be totally baseless. I haven't spent a lot of time looking at other schools' LRAPs, but one point the financial aid reps hammered on in their presentation was that unlike at other schools, LIPP isn't tied to any government programs (PSLF, PAYE, etc), covers any JD-required job, lets you go in and out of the program as needed, and is calculated simply on how much debt you have and what your income is.

It sounded a little too good to be true, and looking deeper into the information they gave it definitely looks like there's a donut hole of sorts where you can be making too much to qualify, but not enough to make your loan payments and still have a livable amount of take-home pay. Nonetheless I was surprised by how generous it sounded overall, particularly in the sense that it might remove some of the pressure to stay in a Biglaw job because of debt, since in theory if you go from 160k to 60k, you can immediately start getting LIPP assistance.

It's great if you aren't planning to go into biglaw and then do the traditional private sector post-biglaw stuff a lot of people do. If you are planning on that path then odds are very high you'll have to pay it all back out of your own pocket anyways.

bklynlady wrote:What about turning down a Butler (1/2 tuition) at CLS to go to HLS? Throw into the equation that I live in NYC and cost of living would be much less for me than moving to Boston. And how would an approx. 3/4 tuition scholarship at NYU size up against HLS?

Both are preferable to H if you plan to get a job where you'll need to pay back all your debt.

To echo Mr. Met, how does LRAP figure into that? And for LRAP, do they include spousal income into paying that back? If so, if your spouse makes a decent salary and you decide to ditch biglaw, you may still be stuck with the debt...anyone know anything about this?

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Re: What's the deal with Harvard students?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:15 am

http://hls.harvard.edu/dept/sfs/low-inc ... s-in-lipp/

Generally you should assume your spouse's income will affect you if on PAYE/LRAP




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