Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

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

Thanks again for your help!

Harvard
46
70%
Yale
20
30%
 
Total votes: 66

qgprhtnf
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Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby qgprhtnf » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:12 pm

Thanks for all of your help!

------

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
-Your general career goals

-> I am an international student from one of Mainland China/Korea/Singapore/Japan/Hong Kong, and I would like to move to a law firm in my home country after working in the US for a couple of years.
Last edited by qgprhtnf on Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:07 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:14 pm

Yale.

ETA:
Congrats!
Last edited by OhBoyOhBortles on Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tanicius
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby Tanicius » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:18 pm

OhBoyOhBortles wrote:Yale.

ETA: Congrats!


Disagree. Harvard is better for Biglaw. More specialized courses for him to take, probably more prestige than Yale in China, and larger alumni network for his location. He's going to be fine either way though.

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Ohiobumpkin
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby Ohiobumpkin » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:21 pm

I thought the common wisdom was that for Asian students seeking to go back to Asia to practice law, Harvard was the better choice. I've heard the Harvard name carries a lot of weight with Asian employers, and might suit your goals better than doing Yale. However, your career goal seems kind of unicorn-ish, so Yale might honestly be the better option (especially depending on how many years you want to stay in the U.S.).

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Tanicius
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby Tanicius » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:23 pm

I don't think it's that unicornish. A ton of commercial lit is arbitration. Doubly so with international commercial lit. If he starts off doing just regular ol' business lit, he could easily specialize in arbitration after a few years.

qgprhtnf
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby qgprhtnf » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:24 pm

A pole has been added. I really appreciate all of your help!

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bretby
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby bretby » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:25 pm

Harvard by a mile.

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eriedoctrine
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby eriedoctrine » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:31 pm

In Asia, law school prestige:
Harvard > Stanford > Berkeley > Yale > UCLA

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:32 pm

Sorry OP, it appears I had no idea what I was talking about. Enjoy Harvard!

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leslieknope
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby leslieknope » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:36 pm

You should try reaching out to an attorney working in your home market and asking them. Being able to work in my native country is something I'm thinking about too, and talking to some local attorneys has clarified a lot for me in terms of what I should be thinking about. If you ask HLS's admissions office, they'll put you in touch with an alum, and I'm sure the YLS admin office could do something similar.

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AreJay711
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:52 pm

Tanicius wrote:I don't think it's that unicornish. A ton of commercial lit is arbitration. Doubly so with international commercial lit. If he starts off doing just regular ol' business lit, he could easily specialize in arbitration after a few years.


Yeah, not unicornish at all. A bunch of American firms have HK offices. Lots have one in at least one of Shanghai or Beijing. Knowing Mandarin is a huge help -- a lot of the associates just speak English. Same deal with Singapore, Souel, and Tokyo, to lesser extents. For those firms, Yale is probably as good as Harvard.

sapien
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby sapien » Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:00 pm

Both schools can get you to your goals. Go where you prefer to spend three years of your life. They are very different in size, location, curriculum, student bodies, etc. That seems much more important than intangible things like name recognition, especially when everyone who matters in Asia is well aware that Yale is a good school (even if it doesn't have the brand of Harvard).

For me, Yale seems like a much less stressful experience and a better academic environment. I would choose that. If you prefer Harvard's bigger size and all that comes with it, then pick that.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:54 am

My initial reaction was that Harvard is the better choice due to its superior worldwide name recognition & status, larger student body & more course options, but either school should work for you.

It might help to know which undergraduate school you attended & what you liked & disliked about the small school experience as this really comes down to a choice based on personal preference. Also, it would probably be much easier to transfer from Yale to Harvard than the opposite if you regretted your initial choice.

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RunnerRunner
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby RunnerRunner » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:59 am

It'd be easier for you to get a more prestigious initial biglaw job from Yale, but I think Harvard's international reputation outweighs this fact since you'll be returning home after your stint in the US. Go to Harvard.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:12 pm

It seriously doesn't matter. All this "oh but the lay prestige in asia" stuff is tangential, it's not like you're trying to impress a certain taipei or Seoul niche political circle, in which case I'd go to the Kennedy school instead and forgo law school altogether. If you want to actually practice law with a US law degree, it's US employers that will matter, and no one will fault you for having your jd from Yale.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:06 pm

"Harvard prestige in Asia" doesn't matter since you're working for American law firms. You're not job hunting at Asian law firms.

Especially since cost doesn't matter, YLS opens more doors and sounds like a better way to spend 3 years studying law than HLS.

(I recently met a YLS admit here, so if that's you, lol small world) There can't be that many YLS admits in Asia. Anyway, congrats.

a corsair
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby a corsair » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:32 pm

jbagelboy wrote:It seriously doesn't matter. All this "oh but the lay prestige in asia" stuff is tangential, it's not like you're trying to impress a certain taipei or Seoul niche political circle, in which case I'd go to the Kennedy school instead and forgo law school altogether. If you want to actually practice law with a US law degree, it's US employers that will matter, and no one will fault you for having your jd from Yale.


I absolutely disagree with this. I have direct experience with high-level hiring in mainland China, and the school that you attended matters more than just about anything else (including your current/past work experience), especially if you're talking like 5 years out of school.

If you're thinking about transferring to the HK office of an American firm, then I would agree that your school doesn't really matter. If you apply outside your existing job to anywhere else in China, then it absolutely matters.

Certainly no one is going to knock you for having a degree from Yale, but it definitely does not carry the same weight as a degree from Harvard (in China). And in a country where everything is extremely political, brand names are everything, and your meritocratic ability is secondary. But if you're from mainland China then you already know this.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:26 am

a corsair wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:It seriously doesn't matter. All this "oh but the lay prestige in asia" stuff is tangential, it's not like you're trying to impress a certain taipei or Seoul niche political circle, in which case I'd go to the Kennedy school instead and forgo law school altogether. If you want to actually practice law with a US law degree, it's US employers that will matter, and no one will fault you for having your jd from Yale.


I absolutely disagree with this. I have direct experience with high-level hiring in mainland China, and the school that you attended matters more than just about anything else (including your current/past work experience), especially if you're talking like 5 years out of school.

If you're thinking about transferring to the HK office of an American firm, then I would agree that your school doesn't really matter. If you apply outside your existing job to anywhere else in China, then it absolutely matters.

Certainly no one is going to knock you for having a degree from Yale, but it definitely does not carry the same weight as a degree from Harvard (in China). And in a country where everything is extremely political, brand names are everything, and your meritocratic ability is secondary. But if you're from mainland China then you already know this.


If OP wants to practice law, they have to work for an American firm. Getting a JD from HYS and then looking for some consulting/non-practicing job at a local law firms sounds like a bad idea. American firms pay much more, you work less hours than your equal-tenure motherland counterparts, and most importantly, you actually get to practice law.

OP can't go wrong with Harvard, but turning down Yale simply based on prestige for Asian law firms is rather unreasonable. Unless, of course, OP wants to work at Asian law firms (no idea why), then yeah go H. If, however, OP wants international transaction or lit, Yale is probably credited.

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eriedoctrine
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby eriedoctrine » Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:00 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:
a corsair wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:It seriously doesn't matter. All this "oh but the lay prestige in asia" stuff is tangential, it's not like you're trying to impress a certain taipei or Seoul niche political circle, in which case I'd go to the Kennedy school instead and forgo law school altogether. If you want to actually practice law with a US law degree, it's US employers that will matter, and no one will fault you for having your jd from Yale.


I absolutely disagree with this. I have direct experience with high-level hiring in mainland China, and the school that you attended matters more than just about anything else (including your current/past work experience), especially if you're talking like 5 years out of school.

If you're thinking about transferring to the HK office of an American firm, then I would agree that your school doesn't really matter. If you apply outside your existing job to anywhere else in China, then it absolutely matters.

Certainly no one is going to knock you for having a degree from Yale, but it definitely does not carry the same weight as a degree from Harvard (in China). And in a country where everything is extremely political, brand names are everything, and your meritocratic ability is secondary. But if you're from mainland China then you already know this.


If OP wants to practice law, they have to work for an American firm. Getting a JD from HYS and then looking for some consulting/non-practicing job at a local law firms sounds like a bad idea. American firms pay much more, you work less hours than your equal-tenure motherland counterparts, and most importantly, you actually get to practice law.

OP can't go wrong with Harvard, but turning down Yale simply based on prestige for Asian law firms is rather unreasonable. Unless, of course, OP wants to work at Asian law firms (no idea why), then yeah go H. If, however, OP wants international transaction or lit, Yale is probably credited.


While this may be true, I have seen first hand Asian clients for American law firms operating in Asia, DEMAND to have their work done by Harvard Law graduates.
It's absolutely stupid but firms cater to their will. Thus, the firms in turn prefer HLS > YLS when considering associates laterally to their Asia offices.

tl;dr: Harvard

qgprhtnf
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby qgprhtnf » Wed May 20, 2015 9:39 pm

Thanks for all of your input, everyone! Despite the consensus that emerged in this thread, I've decided to attend Yale--but I've got to say, even though I already made the decision, I'm still torn about which school I should have selected.

NEdelton1987
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby NEdelton1987 » Mon May 25, 2015 10:38 am

Is the strong preference for Yale mostly a manifestation of risk-averseness? A student in the 20% (or perhaps even top 30%) at Harvard probably have a lot more resources and opportunities (Harvard international brand, Harvard network outside of law, access to courses at HBS/MIT, etc.) than a top student at Yale/Stanford.

Can't really choose wrong among HYS. Congrats on the decision OP.

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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon May 25, 2015 5:30 pm

NEdelton1987 wrote:A student in the 20% (or perhaps even top 30%) at Harvard probably have a lot more resources and opportunities (Harvard international brand, Harvard network outside of law, access to courses at HBS/MIT, etc.) than a top student at Yale/Stanford.


This just isn't true.

It's a sliding scale within the T14. It's not like going to Yale gives you an opportunity Harvard or Chicago students won't have. Some positions will just be a little harder from those schools and a little more available from Y. The difference b/t H and Y will range from negligible to somewhat significant depending on what you're aiming for. I wouldn't call this risk aversion.

qgprhtnf
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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby qgprhtnf » Wed May 27, 2015 2:03 am

NEdelton1987 wrote:Is the strong preference for Yale mostly a manifestation of risk-averseness? A student in the 20% (or perhaps even top 30%) at Harvard probably have a lot more resources and opportunities (Harvard international brand, Harvard network outside of law, access to courses at HBS/MIT, etc.) than a top student at Yale/Stanford.

Can't really choose wrong among HYS. Congrats on the decision OP.


I took the following into consideration when making the decision.

(1) When I asked many legal practitioners working in my home country (some who graduated from U.S. law schools), nearly everyone recommended that I attend Harvard. Those who were familiar with U.S. law schools told me that Harvard and Yale are equally prestigious within the legal field of my home country, so Harvard's lay prestige (which may be very important when lawyers become partners and have to attract clients themselves) and much larger international alumni network should give the school an edge over Yale. Most of the lawyers I asked work at national law firms.

(2) Nearly every international student from my home country I know of who was accepted to both Harvard and Yale ended up choosing Yale (I asked about seven people -- six chose Yale, and one chose Harvard). They told me that when I return to my home country, the law firms there will basically hire any one who graduated from one of HYS, so finding a job will not be a problem. Further, they told me that Yale students have a much easier time landing a job at the top law firms in the U.S., and that the name-value of the law firm I will have worked at in the U.S. may be important when returning to my home country.

(3) Harvard degree carries with it a wow factor in my home country, while Yale has much less of that. This consideration probably played an irrationally big role in making my decision.

(4) Yale is quite more selective than Harvard. Again, this consideration probably played an irrationally big role in making my decision.

(5) I think I'm more comfortable to be part of a big class size, and I would probably prefer Boston to New Haven, but these factors played almost no role in making my decision.

In the end, I chose Yale, but I was 50:50 all the way until the time I made the decision. I'm still 50:50.

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Re: Yale vs. Harvard (Biglaw, working in Asia, international)

Postby yenisey » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:59 am

qgprhtnf wrote:Thanks for all of your help!

------

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
-Your general career goals

-> I am an international student from one of Mainland China/Korea/Singapore/Japan/Hong Kong, and I would like to move to a law firm in my home country after working in the US for a couple of years.


Greater China? Harvard definitely.




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