myspiritanimal wrote:What does "carry further" really mean? That more people know about H internationally than S? That may be the case. But it likely won't matter. The only example I can think of in which such carry may help a candidate is when mass mailing to small regional firms in small international cities without a global footprint. It's possible that these firms do not understand much about U.S. higher education, and therefore one of these schools may carry further. However, I think this situation is really unlikely. Much, much more likely is a situation in which one applies to a regional office of a large, international firm (law or consulting or other). Most, if not all, of these firms will have recruiting departments that are sufficiently sophisticated such that the idea of carry won't matter, at all.
So, if you plan to follow the first route, then maybe consider the idea of carry. Otherwise, don't. In other words, if you follow the second route with dreams of working in Paris or Hong Kong, I seriously doubt one name will be better than the other.
Without really typing much, this should post should demonstrate my point well: viewtopic.php?t=246004
Also, several assumptions in your post. Plain and simple: Harvard carries more weight internationally. Not all firms, businesses, etc. have sophisticated recruiting departments and some just rely on what they know for hiring and contracting. Often, it's not just about getting a particular job, but about clients- clients care about the school their lawyer attended; example would be getting a mid-size company as a client in China or anywhere in Europe. They know Harvard. If they want the smartest lawyer/businessman, they'll hire the Harvard grad even though some other attorney went to Cornell for free and made the better decision according to TLS. Same applies to a lesser extent, but still applies, to S.
TLS unfortunately does not concentrate enough on the long-term value of a degree, which basically translates to the value of its name. You want to get international clients? Work with foreign companies and contacts? Harvard will get you farther and more money. It's a more valuable degree.
If you want to work in areas in which international lay prestige matters, sure, Harvard might have a slight edge. But if you don't or even if you're not sure, it'd be foolish to put any
weight on this incredibly minor factor. There are probably a grand total of six graduates between these two law schools in a given year who see their careers impacted at all
by international lay prestige, and I bet that just about all of them knew that this would be the case before starting law school.
And, once again, we're talking about two of the most internationally lay prestigious schools in the world -- arguably the
top two, and inarguably two of the top ten. It's possibly
fair to consider lay prestige when deciding between somewhere like NYU and somewhere like Columbia--where there is a noticeable difference between two otherwise similar schools. (Although I would still put very little weight on that distinction.) It's foolish to put any weight on this factor when you're talking about Harvard vs. Stanford (unless you are pretty sure you're doing something in which international lay prestige matters--and no, it will not matter for 98% of HYS careers--and even so, I would only put the slightest weight on this).
There are real differences between Harvard and Stanford. These differences are going to dwarf this silly consideration for a student who is not pretty darn committed to doing some pretty niche sorts of work (and honestly they'll probably dwarf the lay prestige advantages for even such a student). Spend your time thinking about whether you'll academically thrive or flounder in a pleasant climate, because I can almost guarantee that the impact of climate on your law school performance will have a far greater impact on your ultimate career success than the extraordinarily marginal lay prestige differences between Harvard and Stanford. Will Stanford's warm weather keep you in a better mood, and therefore allow you to more happily and healthily perform in law school? Or will the enticement of BBQing outside year-round prove to be a distraction, taking away from your focus? This might seem silly, but I can guarantee that this difference is going to have a bigger career impact on probably something like 98% of H and S students than will international lay prestige. (And climate is obviously far from the most important distinction between H and S.)