H vs S

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: H vs S

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:47 am

JRSmithCantMiss wrote:For big law aspirations in the NE/Chi/TX market, I feel like harvard has more fungibility


Nice username

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WeeBey
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Re: H vs S

Postby WeeBey » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:15 pm

Cali > Mass.

JRSmithCantMiss
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Re: H vs S

Postby JRSmithCantMiss » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:25 pm

Mack.Hambleton wrote:Nice username


It was pretty true when I made the account like 7 minutes into the game.

I think the real question you should ask is "WWJ(R)D?"

UpandDown97
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Re: H vs S

Postby UpandDown97 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:36 pm

Doesn't Stanford basically have no grades? All you need to do is pass, and no one doesn't actually pass?

Go there. You won't have to try.

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jbagelboy
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Re: H vs S

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:00 pm

UpandDown97 wrote:Doesn't Stanford basically have no grades? All you need to do is pass, and no one doesn't actually pass?

Go there. You won't have to try.


This isn't true at all but nice contribution

I think the grading systems are similar enough that it shouldnt be a factor

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ph14
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Re: H vs S

Postby ph14 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:04 pm

H/P grading system doesn't reduce competition. It just pushes it to other aspects of law school.

UpandDown97
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Re: H vs S

Postby UpandDown97 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:31 pm

ph14 wrote:H/P grading system doesn't reduce competition. It just pushes it to other aspects of law school.


Like what? Competition for jobs?

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ph14
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Re: H vs S

Postby ph14 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:35 pm

UpandDown97 wrote:
ph14 wrote:H/P grading system doesn't reduce competition. It just pushes it to other aspects of law school.


Like what? Competition for jobs?


I had clerkships in mind.

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rpupkin
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Re: H vs S

Postby rpupkin » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:46 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
What data are you looking at? Most recent stats, Stanford 30.5%, Chicago 15.7%, Harvard 14.5%

This data is accurate but it's at least a little misleading. First, it's just a single year, and it was a particularly strong clerkship year for SLS and a particularly weak one for HLS. Second, I think there's more self-selection out of clerkships at HLS. This is just my impression, but I sense that there are a higher percentage of students at HLS who are focused on transactional big law and who therefore have little interest in clerkships.

To use a somewhat analogous comparison, look at the clerkship placement difference between Boalt and CLS: 13.9% versus 4.7%. Do you really think that Boalt gives you a 3X better shot at a clerkship than CLS? Perhaps Boalt is a slightly better choice if landing a clerkship is your goal, but I suspect that a lot of the difference can be explained by self selection. I think a similar dynamic is at play with SLS and HLS.

to116
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Re: H vs S

Postby to116 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:48 pm

rpupkin wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
What data are you looking at? Most recent stats, Stanford 30.5%, Chicago 15.7%, Harvard 14.5%

This data is accurate but it's at least a little misleading. First, it's just a single year, and it was a particularly strong clerkship year for SLS and a particularly weak one for HLS. Second, I think there's more self-selection out of clerkships at HLS. This is just my impression, but I sense that there are a higher percentage of students at HLS who are focused on transactional big law and who therefore have little interest in clerkships.

To use a somewhat analogous comparison, look at the clerkship placement difference between Boalt and CLS: 13.9% versus 4.7%. Do you really think that Boalt gives you a 3X better shot at a clerkship than CLS? Perhaps Boalt is a slightly better choice if landing a clerkship is your goal, but I suspect that a lot of the difference can be explained by self selection. I think a similar dynamic is at play with SLS and HLS.


i think it also has to do with class size, given that stanford and chicago are tiny and harvard is huge

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TasmanianToucan
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Re: H vs S

Postby TasmanianToucan » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:55 pm

Mack I think you need to do some serious (and quick) thinking about where you want to end up. Although both degrees are obviously portable, they each have an advantage on their own coast. If you can decide where you want to end up the decision becomes pretty easy.

You can flip a coin and still be certain of a great outcome, though. Congrats!

UpandDown97
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Re: H vs S

Postby UpandDown97 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:05 pm

ph14 wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:
ph14 wrote:H/P grading system doesn't reduce competition. It just pushes it to other aspects of law school.


Like what? Competition for jobs?


I had clerkships in mind.


I think that's the same competition you'd face anywhere. It's not like the spectrum of competition is expandable.

You're saying this: where X and Y are values of competition, competition for grades at normal/other school= X. Competition for clerkships at normal/other school= Y.

Because at Stanford there are no real grades, thus competition for grades= 0 and competition for clerkships= X + Y.

I don't think that is the case.

abl
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Re: H vs S

Postby abl » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:09 pm

rpupkin wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
What data are you looking at? Most recent stats, Stanford 30.5%, Chicago 15.7%, Harvard 14.5%

This data is accurate but it's at least a little misleading. First, it's just a single year, and it was a particularly strong clerkship year for SLS and a particularly weak one for HLS. Second, I think there's more self-selection out of clerkships at HLS. This is just my impression, but I sense that there are a higher percentage of students at HLS who are focused on transactional big law and who therefore have little interest in clerkships.

To use a somewhat analogous comparison, look at the clerkship placement difference between Boalt and CLS: 13.9% versus 4.7%. Do you really think that Boalt gives you a 3X better shot at a clerkship than CLS? Perhaps Boalt is a slightly better choice if landing a clerkship is your goal, but I suspect that a lot of the difference can be explained by self selection. I think a similar dynamic is at play with SLS and HLS.


Re clerkships: Class size is pretty important for these things. Also, there are other important factors that are harder to evaluate (overall strength of recommender connections, overall strength of alumni connections, strength of clerkship offices, preferences of individual judges, etc). Given that the difference has persisted over many years, I think it's a fair inference that there is some real difference. I doubt it's twice as easy to get a clerkship from SLS than HLS. But 50% may not be far off. Re Berkeley and CLS, what do the five-year averages look like? You'd expect greater variation with schools with smaller numbers, but if Berkeley is consistently placing twice as many folks in clerkships as CLS, I do think it likely means something. The fact that 40% of Columbia students may want to do transactional law as opposed to 30% at Berkeley (or something like that) isn't going to come close to accounting for the difference between a 5% clerkship placement rate and a 10% clerkship placement rate.

Regarding competitiveness, grading systems have a huge impact on competitiveness. Sure, not having grades doesn't mean that there is no competition. But, without a doubt, I do think it means that there is less. But the grading differences between H and S are relatively minimal and shouldn't play a big role in anyone's decision.

Finally, this brings me to prestige. The small differences between H and S's grading systems are, without a doubt, larger than whatever extra portability the Harvard name brings. As a practicing attorney who has spent substantial time on both coasts, I've never seen any "Harvard" bonus among lawyers. (There is DEFINITELY a lay prestige difference between the east and west coasts. Stanford is the lay equivalent or even superior to Harvard on the west coast. On the east coast it's more likely to be grouped with Princeton or Yale or Columbia--e.g., as one of the best institutions--as opposed to being named as the best.)

To emphasize this final point further, I think it'd be a huge mistake to go to Harvard because you think the degree is more portable -- unless you're looking for a job in which lay prestige matters (some non-legal jobs, some international jobs, some small market jobs, etc). My sense is that Stanford is at least equally as respected to Harvard in the legal community in all of the major U.S. markets (and, if anything, has less stigma attached to it--which is a good thing).

Go to Harvard because you love Boston. Go to Harvard because you're interested in some niche legal field that Harvard has classes in but Stanford doesn't. Go to Harvard because you thrive in bigger more anonymous environments. Go to Harvard because you like its more intense vibe. Hell, go to Harvard because you care about how impressed your future mother-in-law will be with your degree. There are lots of (at least somewhat) good reasons to choose Harvard over Stanford. Degree portability, for the average HYS grad, is not one of them.
Last edited by abl on Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

UpandDown97
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Re: H vs S

Postby UpandDown97 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:14 pm

abl wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
What data are you looking at? Most recent stats, Stanford 30.5%, Chicago 15.7%, Harvard 14.5%

This data is accurate but it's at least a little misleading. First, it's just a single year, and it was a particularly strong clerkship year for SLS and a particularly weak one for HLS. Second, I think there's more self-selection out of clerkships at HLS. This is just my impression, but I sense that there are a higher percentage of students at HLS who are focused on transactional big law and who therefore have little interest in clerkships.

To use a somewhat analogous comparison, look at the clerkship placement difference between Boalt and CLS: 13.9% versus 4.7%. Do you really think that Boalt gives you a 3X better shot at a clerkship than CLS? Perhaps Boalt is a slightly better choice if landing a clerkship is your goal, but I suspect that a lot of the difference can be explained by self selection. I think a similar dynamic is at play with SLS and HLS.


Class size is pretty important for these things. Also, the difference has persisted over many years, so I think it's a fair inference that there is some real difference. I doubt it's twice as easy to get a clerkship from SLS than HLS. But 50% may not be far off. Re Berkeley and CLS, what do the five-year averages look like? You'd expect greater variation with schools with smaller numbers, but if Berkeley is consistently placing twice as many folks in clerkships as CLS, I do think it likely means something. The fact that 40% of Columbia students may want to do transactional law as opposed to 30% at Berkeley (or something like that) isn't going to come close to accounting for the difference between a 5% clerkship placement rate and a 10% clerkship placement rate.

Regarding competitiveness, no grades has a huge impact on competitiveness. Sure, no grades doesn't mean that there is no competition. But, without a doubt, I do think it means that there is less. But the grading differences between H and S are relatively minimal and shouldn't play a big role in anyone's decision. (Although I don't know that these differences are less substantial than the whatever east coast prestige difference folks are talking about between H and S -- which, incidentally, as a practicing attorney who has spent substantial time on both coasts, I've never personally experienced among lawyers. (There is DEFINITELY a lay prestige difference between the east and west coasts. Stanford is the lay equivalent or even superior to Harvard on the west coast. On the east coast it's more likely to be grouped with Princeton or Yale or Columbia--e.g., as one of the best institutions--as opposed to being named as the best.))

To emphasize this final point further, I think it'd be a huge mistake to go to Harvard because you think the degree is more portable -- unless you're looking for a job in which lay prestige matters. My sense is that Stanford is equally respected to Harvard in the legal community in all of the major U.S. markets (and, if anything, has less stigma attached to it--which is a good thing).

Go to Harvard because you love Boston. Go to Harvard because you're interested in some niche legal field that Harvard has classes in but Stanford doesn't. Go to Harvard because you thrive in bigger more anonymous environments. Go to Harvard because you like its more intense vibe. There are lots of good reasons to choose Harvard over Stanford. Degree portability, for the average HYS grad, is not one of them.


I like what you have to say, but one issue I have is this: In my mind, lay prestige=portability of a degree. Since Harvard has more lay prestige, it has more portability.

Lay prestige is much more important than people think.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: H vs S

Postby Elston Gunn » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:18 pm

UpandDown97 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:
ph14 wrote:H/P grading system doesn't reduce competition. It just pushes it to other aspects of law school.


Like what? Competition for jobs?


I had clerkships in mind.


I think that's the same competition you'd face anywhere. It's not like the spectrum of competition is expandable.

You're saying this: where X and Y are values of competition, competition for grades at normal/other school= X. Competition for clerkships at normal/other school= Y.

Because at Stanford there are no real grades, thus competition for grades= 0 and competition for clerkships= X + Y.

I don't think that is the case.

Why do you think Stanford has no real grades? And anyway, I think he's talking about competition being pushed to things like courting professors' favor, Eboard positions, other resume lines, etc. in order to get clerkships.

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Re: H vs S

Postby red5332 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:20 pm

UpandDown97 wrote:I like what you have to say, but one issue I have is this: In my mind, lay prestige=portability of a degree. Since Harvard has more lay prestige, it has more portability.

Lay prestige is much more important than people think.


I would think even more so if he is interested in "MBB/business stuff", since to some degree that would be dealing with people more outside of the legal world.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: H vs S

Postby Elston Gunn » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:25 pm

I didn't go to Stanford or Harvard, so maybe I've just got things totally wrong, but the idea that they "don't have real grades" seems extremely off. Those schools as I understand it have strict curves for most classes, and grades remain the first level way to distinguish between different students for jobs. Even Yale has "real grades" after first semester, even though they are not officially held to any curve.

UpandDown97
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Re: H vs S

Postby UpandDown97 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:28 pm

Elston Gunn wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:
ph14 wrote:H/P grading system doesn't reduce competition. It just pushes it to other aspects of law school.


Like what? Competition for jobs?


I had clerkships in mind.


I think that's the same competition you'd face anywhere. It's not like the spectrum of competition is expandable.

You're saying this: where X and Y are values of competition, competition for grades at normal/other school= X. Competition for clerkships at normal/other school= Y.

Because at Stanford there are no real grades, thus competition for grades= 0 and competition for clerkships= X + Y.

I don't think that is the case.

Why do you think Stanford has no real grades? And anyway, I think he's talking about competition being pushed to things like courting professors' favor, Eboard positions, other resume lines, etc. in order to get clerkships.


My formula still remains. I'm not understanding your argument that where grade competition=0, then competition in other areas now has X (normal value of grade competition) added into it. I don't view competition as fungible.

Even if there is an increase beyond a standard deviation, with 30 percent of the class getting fed clerkships and significant portions of the class getting great outcomes, I have to believe that the increased competition only affects a few people who do not get their first choice outcome.

Re no grades: it's all H/P/F, and no one gets Fails. So, really, it's a question of your level of passing. H or P. Is there any real distinction in that?

abl
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Re: H vs S

Postby abl » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:29 pm


I like what you have to say, but one issue I have is this: In my mind, lay prestige=portability of a degree. Since Harvard has more lay prestige, it has more portability.

Lay prestige is much more important than people think.


Lay prestige only matters for portability if you're looking for jobs in which the layman is making the decision. For example, UNC-Chapel Hill has far more lay prestige than Swarthmore. That matters if you're trying to get a job in your local bank. But if you're applying for top PhD programs, it doesn't matter--because the folks who make those decisions know better. It's no different here. The fact that Cornell has more lay prestigious than NYU doesn't actually make a Cornell Law degree more portable in biglaw than an NYU Law degree. Ditto H and S.

Incidentally, we're not talking about UNC vs Swarthmore here (or even Cornell vs. NYU). We're talking about two of the most well-known and prestigious organizations in the world. If Harvard has a lay prestige advantage over Stanford, it's incredibly small. Moreover, EVEN assuming you're aiming for positions in which lay prestige matters (and I do not get the sense that you are), the chances that you'll be competing with a graduate with a similarly prestigious degree are basically 0. Thus, the advantage you'll gain from going to the #1 most lay prestigious school in the world instead of the #4 most lay prestigious school in the world will be close to 0--it'll be a nonfactor in your prospective employer's decision to hire you, the Emory MBA, or the local law school candidate.

abl
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Re: H vs S

Postby abl » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:31 pm

UpandDown97 wrote:
Elston Gunn wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:
ph14 wrote:H/P grading system doesn't reduce competition. It just pushes it to other aspects of law school.


Like what? Competition for jobs?


I had clerkships in mind.


I think that's the same competition you'd face anywhere. It's not like the spectrum of competition is expandable.

You're saying this: where X and Y are values of competition, competition for grades at normal/other school= X. Competition for clerkships at normal/other school= Y.

Because at Stanford there are no real grades, thus competition for grades= 0 and competition for clerkships= X + Y.

I don't think that is the case.

Why do you think Stanford has no real grades? And anyway, I think he's talking about competition being pushed to things like courting professors' favor, Eboard positions, other resume lines, etc. in order to get clerkships.


My formula still remains. I'm not understanding your argument that where grade competition=0, then competition in other areas now has X (normal value of grade competition) added into it. I don't view competition as fungible.

Even if there is an increase beyond a standard deviation, with 30 percent of the class getting fed clerkships and significant portions of the class getting great outcomes, I have to believe that the increased competition only affects a few people who do not get their first choice outcome.

Re no grades: it's all H/P/F, and no one gets Fails. So, really, it's a question of your level of passing. H or P. Is there any real distinction in that?


1. Some folks fail at H (that's the small grading difference).
2. Yes, there is a distinction between Hs and Ps. But it's small. It's hard to be competitive with your fellow students when you're competing for just one of two outcomes. The more finely tuned the distinctions between students are, the more incentives students have to eke out every additional point (or, more to the point, eke out every additional step up on the curve).
3. I don't get the sense that other resume lines like eboard positions are more competitive at HYS than they are at any other law school. In fact, the stories I've heard make me think that schools with the most competition in the classroom (e.g., not HYS) also tend to have the most competition outside of the classroom. That makes sense -- gunner is a largely cultural state and you'd expect someone who's gunning hard inside the classroom is also going to gun hard outside. Likewise, in a school where the classroom culture is generally pretty supportive, you'd expect the out-of-class culture would be likewise pleasant and cooperative.

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jbagelboy
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Re: H vs S

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:59 pm

abl wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
What data are you looking at? Most recent stats, Stanford 30.5%, Chicago 15.7%, Harvard 14.5%

This data is accurate but it's at least a little misleading. First, it's just a single year, and it was a particularly strong clerkship year for SLS and a particularly weak one for HLS. Second, I think there's more self-selection out of clerkships at HLS. This is just my impression, but I sense that there are a higher percentage of students at HLS who are focused on transactional big law and who therefore have little interest in clerkships.

To use a somewhat analogous comparison, look at the clerkship placement difference between Boalt and CLS: 13.9% versus 4.7%. Do you really think that Boalt gives you a 3X better shot at a clerkship than CLS? Perhaps Boalt is a slightly better choice if landing a clerkship is your goal, but I suspect that a lot of the difference can be explained by self selection. I think a similar dynamic is at play with SLS and HLS.


Re clerkships: Class size is pretty important for these things. Also, there are other important factors that are harder to evaluate (overall strength of recommender connections, overall strength of alumni connections, strength of clerkship offices, preferences of individual judges, etc). Given that the difference has persisted over many years, I think it's a fair inference that there is some real difference. I doubt it's twice as easy to get a clerkship from SLS than HLS. But 50% may not be far off. Re Berkeley and CLS, what do the five-year averages look like? [Berkeley around 8%, CLS around 7%] You'd expect greater variation with schools with smaller numbers, but if Berkeley is consistently placing twice as many folks in clerkships as CLS, I do think it likely means something. The fact that 40% of Columbia students may want to do transactional law as opposed to 30% at Berkeley (or something like that) isn't going to come close to accounting for the difference between a 5% clerkship placement rate and a 10% clerkship placement rate.

Regarding competitiveness, grading systems have a huge impact on competitiveness. Sure, not having grades doesn't mean that there is no competition. But, without a doubt, I do think it means that there is less. But the grading differences between H and S are relatively minimal and shouldn't play a big role in anyone's decision.

Finally, this brings me to prestige. The small differences between H and S's grading systems are, without a doubt, larger than whatever extra portability the Harvard name brings. As a practicing attorney who has spent substantial time on both coasts, I've never seen any "Harvard" bonus among lawyers. (There is DEFINITELY a lay prestige difference between the east and west coasts. Stanford is the lay equivalent or even superior to Harvard on the west coast. On the east coast it's more likely to be grouped with Princeton or Yale or Columbia--e.g., as one of the best institutions--as opposed to being named as the best.)

To emphasize this final point further, I think it'd be a huge mistake to go to Harvard because you think the degree is more portable -- unless you're looking for a job in which lay prestige matters (some non-legal jobs, some international jobs, some small market jobs, etc). My sense is that Stanford is at least equally as respected to Harvard in the legal community in all of the major U.S. markets (and, if anything, has less stigma attached to it--which is a good thing).


I agree, and I'm also sympathetic to rpupkin's very fair criticisms. One year of data isn't reliable. Using clerkship placement at all as a metric is problematic. (To use CLS as an example, it traditionally averaged around 8-10% of the class, but the past few years have seen few grads going directly to their clerkships; upwards of 20% of c/o 2011 and 2012 ultimately clerked while only single digits did so for the purposes of the ABA report). Culture plays a big role here and HLS may share this trait vis a vis SLS.

Trends are telling, though. Stanford's placement has been on an upward trend towards 30% for the past few years. While it's certainly not double HLS, it's had a meaningful advantage for some time. Whatever that's worth -- maybe nothing for this OP.
Last edited by jbagelboy on Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: H vs S

Postby Elston Gunn » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:00 pm

UpandDown97 wrote:
Why do you think Stanford has no real grades? And anyway, I think he's talking about competition being pushed to things like courting professors' favor, Eboard positions, other resume lines, etc. in order to get clerkships.


My formula still remains. I'm not understanding your argument that where grade competition=0, then competition in other areas now has X (normal value of grade competition) added into it. I don't view competition as fungible.

Even if there is an increase beyond a standard deviation, with 30 percent of the class getting fed clerkships and significant portions of the class getting great outcomes, I have to believe that the increased competition only affects a few people who do not get their first choice outcome.

Re no grades: it's all H/P/F, and no one gets Fails. So, really, it's a question of your level of passing. H or P. Is there any real distinction in that?

Ugh, you will make (are making?) a great law student. The point is that gunners are gonna gun, and the people that go to HYS are by and large lifetime gunners. They find a way to compete. Situations matter, and I'm sure that there is relatively less acrimony and/or truly brutal competition--or at least that you can safely opt out of it--but trust me, there is plenty.

abl
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Re: H vs S

Postby abl » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:18 pm

Elston Gunn wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:
Why do you think Stanford has no real grades? And anyway, I think he's talking about competition being pushed to things like courting professors' favor, Eboard positions, other resume lines, etc. in order to get clerkships.


My formula still remains. I'm not understanding your argument that where grade competition=0, then competition in other areas now has X (normal value of grade competition) added into it. I don't view competition as fungible.

Even if there is an increase beyond a standard deviation, with 30 percent of the class getting fed clerkships and significant portions of the class getting great outcomes, I have to believe that the increased competition only affects a few people who do not get their first choice outcome.

Re no grades: it's all H/P/F, and no one gets Fails. So, really, it's a question of your level of passing. H or P. Is there any real distinction in that?

Ugh, you will make (are making?) a great law student. The point is that gunners are gonna gun, and the people that go to HYS are by and large lifetime gunners. They find a way to compete. Situations matter, and I'm sure that there is relatively less acrimony and/or truly brutal competition--or at least that you can safely opt out of it--but trust me, there is plenty.


Folks at HYS are going to work hard and overachieve no matter what, sure, but what sort of culture that this hard work leads to is going to be substantially affected by the respective systems and broader cultures at these schools. Harvard profs use the Socratic method more than Stanford profs do. Chicago has a point-based grading system whereas Yale is pretty much just 50% Hs and 50% Ps. These things aren't going to have much of an impact on how hard folks are working, but they will absolutely have an impact on how folks work. How likely is it that you'll share outlines? Study in groups? Help a classmate out? Ask questions that you're genuinely curious about as opposed to questions designed to make you look smart? I am sure there is some amount of bad gunner behavior at all of these schools, and some amount of great cooperative spirit. And, without a doubt, much of your experience will be determined by what personalities happen to be placed in your small section, what professor is teaching your civpro class, etc. But there are also very real persistent differences between these schools based on broader circumstances and structures that really should not be swept under the blanket statement that "gunners are gonna gun." Stanford is very impacted by California culture, by being in Silicon Valley, by its small size, and, yes, by having an H-P grading system. Harvard is very impacted by east coast culture, by its incredible history, by its large size, and, yes, by having an H-P(-LP) grading system.

UpandDown97
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Re: H vs S

Postby UpandDown97 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:20 pm

Elston Gunn wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:
Why do you think Stanford has no real grades? And anyway, I think he's talking about competition being pushed to things like courting professors' favor, Eboard positions, other resume lines, etc. in order to get clerkships.


My formula still remains. I'm not understanding your argument that where grade competition=0, then competition in other areas now has X (normal value of grade competition) added into it. I don't view competition as fungible.

Even if there is an increase beyond a standard deviation, with 30 percent of the class getting fed clerkships and significant portions of the class getting great outcomes, I have to believe that the increased competition only affects a few people who do not get their first choice outcome.

Re no grades: it's all H/P/F, and no one gets Fails. So, really, it's a question of your level of passing. H or P. Is there any real distinction in that?

Ugh, you will make (are making?) a great law student. The point is that gunners are gonna gun, and the people that go to HYS are by and large lifetime gunners. They find a way to compete. Situations matter, and I'm sure that there is relatively less acrimony and/or truly brutal competition--or at least that you can safely opt out of it--but trust me, there is plenty.


Well thank you. That's got to be one of the few compliments doled out on TLS.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: H vs S

Postby Elston Gunn » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:25 pm

abl wrote:
Elston Gunn wrote:
UpandDown97 wrote:
Why do you think Stanford has no real grades? And anyway, I think he's talking about competition being pushed to things like courting professors' favor, Eboard positions, other resume lines, etc. in order to get clerkships.


My formula still remains. I'm not understanding your argument that where grade competition=0, then competition in other areas now has X (normal value of grade competition) added into it. I don't view competition as fungible.

Even if there is an increase beyond a standard deviation, with 30 percent of the class getting fed clerkships and significant portions of the class getting great outcomes, I have to believe that the increased competition only affects a few people who do not get their first choice outcome.

Re no grades: it's all H/P/F, and no one gets Fails. So, really, it's a question of your level of passing. H or P. Is there any real distinction in that?

Ugh, you will make (are making?) a great law student. The point is that gunners are gonna gun, and the people that go to HYS are by and large lifetime gunners. They find a way to compete. Situations matter, and I'm sure that there is relatively less acrimony and/or truly brutal competition--or at least that you can safely opt out of it--but trust me, there is plenty.


Folks at HYS are going to work hard and overachieve no matter what, sure, but what sort of culture that this hard work leads to is going to be substantially affected by the respective systems and broader cultures at these schools. Harvard profs use the Socratic method more than Stanford profs do. Chicago has a point-based grading system whereas Yale is pretty much just 50% Hs and 50% Ps. These things aren't going to have much of an impact on how hard folks are working, but they will absolutely have an impact on how folks work. How likely is it that you'll share outlines? Study in groups? Help a classmate out? Ask questions that you're genuinely curious about as opposed to questions designed to make you look smart? I am sure there is some amount of bad gunner behavior at all of these schools, and some amount of great cooperative spirit. And, without a doubt, much of your experience will be determined by what personalities happen to be placed in your small section, what professor is teaching your civpro class, etc. But there are also very real persistent differences between these schools based on broader circumstances and structures that really should not be swept under the blanket statement that "gunners are gonna gun." Stanford is very impacted by California culture, by being in Silicon Valley, by its small size, and, yes, by having an H-P grading system. Harvard is very impacted by east coast culture, by its incredible history, by its large size, and, yes, by having an H-P(-LP) grading system.

So basically what I said, but longer and with a slightly different emphasis?




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