Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for PI/clerking

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

Help me pick!

Columbia
63
66%
Harvard
33
34%
 
Total votes: 96

blueperiod

New
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:43 am

Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for PI/clerking

Postby blueperiod » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:58 am

Hi all, I have searched and searched and found a lot of threads about my dilemma but for people interested in biglaw. Not much info for people absolutely committed to PI/HLS LIPP-eligible employment. Please forgive me if I've missed posts like that.

I want to do impact litigation or PI-oriented appellate work of some kind. Absolutely interested in academia but I know that's tough to crack too. I'd like to have a solid chance at a prestigious clerkship or two.

Not at all interested in typical biglaw although I guess somewhere down the road a stint in private appellate litigation/work at a private firm that does a lot of pro bono work could be a possibility if it'll advance my PI-oriented litigation goals.

I know that relying on LIPP vs getting a full scholarship is hugely different. But I will need to take full cost of living loans for CLS, so I will actually be stuck on CLS LRAP for at least a few years in most scenarios I can think of, even to pay that smaller sum off. And LIPP's flexibility for eligible employment (academia, PhD, non-law govt and non profit work) really appeals to me, just in case I change my mind at some point.

I know that huge debt from HLS/relying on LIPP will be psychologically and actually burdensome in some ways but as described above I want to have a shot at the upper limits of PI appellate work and maybe policy/academia/govt down the road. Not really interested in direct legal services for a long-term career.

Haven't gotten my financial aid package from HLS but assuming I will get almost nothing in grants.

From reading this site and doing my research, I know the difference between HLS and CLS isn't worth $200k. But it seems to get a little hazier when loan repayment is in the mix. Thoughts?

Oh and I like both locations, have friends in both. Some family in NYC but that is a minor factor.

Thank you!
Last edited by blueperiod on Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
pretzeltime

Gold
Posts: 1993
Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby pretzeltime » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:39 pm

also interested in this........

blueperiod

New
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:43 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby blueperiod » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:18 pm

Hmm...it's tied up. Interesting. Anyone care to venture some thoughts? :) thanks for voting

gwillygecko

Bronze
Posts: 109
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:04 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby gwillygecko » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:17 pm

if you want prestige, goto harvard

User avatar
RSN

Silver
Posts: 967
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:32 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby RSN » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:45 pm

Read all of the advice from non-0Ls in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=274520. Much of it applies even though you're PI-focused.

A few other points:

1. Don't listen to other 0Ls, and if you're asking around beyond TLS on this, don't listen to anyone that didn't go to law school in the last 15 years either. 0Ls have no more information than you and are likely to give unsupported and bad advice, and people who went to law school before it cost what it does now have no concept of the modern debt burden.

2. Paying off just cost of living loans vs. full cost of attendance is a VASTLY different proposition. $90k of debt is extremely different from $300k (and it is $300k, by the way -- tuition alone will be close to $200k for your class, then you have living costs for three years).

3. HLS may have a slight edge for the handful of actual unicorn jobs that exist, but there aren't many. Planning your career and taking on hundreds of thousands in debt on the off-chance you'll even have the right timing to get to the "upper limits of PI appellate work" is foolish.

4. To the extent those jobs exist and are available, the fact of just being at Harvard over Columbia doesn't make you competitive for them. That's also true with clerkships. You'll have little difference in your chances if you're at median at Harvard than if you're median at Columbia. That's not something you can predict now.

5. If you really want to dive down the rabbit hole: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=245100

TL;DR turn down HLS and take the Hamilton. One of the best decisions I ever made.

warmcherrysoda

New
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:33 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby warmcherrysoda » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:17 pm

.
Last edited by warmcherrysoda on Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

curry1

Silver
Posts: 879
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 11:41 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby curry1 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:41 pm

warmcherrysoda wrote:
LetsGoMets wrote:Read all of the advice from non-0Ls in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=274520. Much of it applies even though you're PI-focused.

A few other points:

1. Don't listen to other 0Ls, and if you're asking around beyond TLS on this, don't listen to anyone that didn't go to law school in the last 15 years either. 0Ls have no more information than you and are likely to give unsupported and bad advice, and people who went to law school before it cost what it does now have no concept of the modern debt burden.

2. Paying off just cost of living loans vs. full cost of attendance is a VASTLY different proposition. $90k of debt is extremely different from $300k (and it is $300k, by the way -- tuition alone will be close to $200k for your class, then you have living costs for three years).

3. HLS may have a slight edge for the handful of actual unicorn jobs that exist, but there aren't many. Planning your career and taking on hundreds of thousands in debt on the off-chance you'll even have the right timing to get to the "upper limits of PI appellate work" is foolish.

4. To the extent those jobs exist and are available, the fact of just being at Harvard over Columbia doesn't make you competitive for them. That's also true with clerkships. You'll have little difference in your chances if you're at median at Harvard than if you're median at Columbia. That's not something you can predict now.

5. If you really want to dive down the rabbit hole: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=245100

TL;DR turn down HLS and take the Hamilton. One of the best decisions I ever made.


Thanks for the insight! I found those threads you linked very helpful.

There is a big difference between paying off CoL and full sticker, to be sure.

But it seems to me nobody has made a case against taking Harvard if you will certainly use LIPP. The strongest caution I've seen is that LIPP has some administrative difficulties (checks coming late, etc.). If someone is absolutely positive they want to do PI -- and they thus are not paying their full debt -- what's stopping them from taking Harvard? Of course, not everyone will stay in for 10 years. But even if you stay for only 5 years, that's half your loans. I'd really like to hear people's thoughts on this.


One major problem with LIPP that I've heard about is that spousal income is counted. If you marry someone who makes decent (but not incredible) money you could be kind of screwed.

User avatar
RSN

Silver
Posts: 967
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:32 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby RSN » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:54 pm

warmcherrysoda wrote:
LetsGoMets wrote:Read all of the advice from non-0Ls in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=274520. Much of it applies even though you're PI-focused.

A few other points:

1. Don't listen to other 0Ls, and if you're asking around beyond TLS on this, don't listen to anyone that didn't go to law school in the last 15 years either. 0Ls have no more information than you and are likely to give unsupported and bad advice, and people who went to law school before it cost what it does now have no concept of the modern debt burden.

2. Paying off just cost of living loans vs. full cost of attendance is a VASTLY different proposition. $90k of debt is extremely different from $300k (and it is $300k, by the way -- tuition alone will be close to $200k for your class, then you have living costs for three years).

3. HLS may have a slight edge for the handful of actual unicorn jobs that exist, but there aren't many. Planning your career and taking on hundreds of thousands in debt on the off-chance you'll even have the right timing to get to the "upper limits of PI appellate work" is foolish.

4. To the extent those jobs exist and are available, the fact of just being at Harvard over Columbia doesn't make you competitive for them. That's also true with clerkships. You'll have little difference in your chances if you're at median at Harvard than if you're median at Columbia. That's not something you can predict now.

5. If you really want to dive down the rabbit hole: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=245100

TL;DR turn down HLS and take the Hamilton. One of the best decisions I ever made.


Thanks for the insight! I found those threads you linked very helpful.

There is a big difference between paying off CoL and full sticker, to be sure.

But it seems to me nobody has made a case against taking Harvard if you will certainly use LIPP. The strongest caution I've seen is that LIPP has some administrative difficulties (checks coming late, etc.). If someone is absolutely positive they want to do PI -- and they thus are not paying their full debt -- what's stopping them from taking Harvard? Of course, not everyone will stay in for 10 years. But even if you stay for only 5 years, that's half your loans. I'd really like to hear people's thoughts on this.


The problem is it's really hard to be absolutely positive you want to do anything as a 0L. First, there are many, many people that come into school with bold PI ambitions and end up deciding to do biglaw anyway, at least for a while. There's nothing wrong with that, but the fact that it happens so much underscores how often plans that seem completely solid as a 0L can change relatively easily. Second, say you do make it through three years still certain you want to start a job at $45k a year with limited potential for salary growth. What happens when you decide you want to buy a house, have kids, find out you have to care for an ailing parent, develop an unexpected illness. That's when you see how constrained you are and how the house of cards of debt that's only being held off by your LIPP-eligible job could topple on you rapidly. It's just not so simple as "I'm set on social justice, I'll work at my PI job until my debt's forgiven, no big deal." You're actually committing yourself to a single, difficult, constraining life plan for the next 13 years. And if you duck out halfway, that's still $150k of debt you're dealing with. And it's not so easy to just walk into a job where you have a decent chance of making debt payments and rent every month.

Now, if you don't have any better financial options but you're committed to doing law school, that's one thing, and people do it all the time and are justified in doing so. But to choose that path when you have a T6 school offering to give it all to you for free if you cover your living expenses? That's asinine.

blueperiod

New
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:43 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby blueperiod » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:56 pm

LetsGoMets wrote:Read all of the advice from non-0Ls in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=274520. Much of it applies even though you're PI-focused.

A few other points:

1. Don't listen to other 0Ls, and if you're asking around beyond TLS on this, don't listen to anyone that didn't go to law school in the last 15 years either. 0Ls have no more information than you and are likely to give unsupported and bad advice, and people who went to law school before it cost what it does now have no concept of the modern debt burden.

2. Paying off just cost of living loans vs. full cost of attendance is a VASTLY different proposition. $90k of debt is extremely different from $300k (and it is $300k, by the way -- tuition alone will be close to $200k for your class, then you have living costs for three years).

3. HLS may have a slight edge for the handful of actual unicorn jobs that exist, but there aren't many. Planning your career and taking on hundreds of thousands in debt on the off-chance you'll even have the right timing to get to the "upper limits of PI appellate work" is foolish.

4. To the extent those jobs exist and are available, the fact of just being at Harvard over Columbia doesn't make you competitive for them. That's also true with clerkships. You'll have little difference in your chances if you're at median at Harvard than if you're median at Columbia. That's not something you can predict now.

5. If you really want to dive down the rabbit hole: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=245100

TL;DR turn down HLS and take the Hamilton. One of the best decisions I ever made.


Thanks so much for your response. I was leaning HLS and you swung me back towards CLS (of course that's still happening a couple times a day).

Reeeeaallly going down a rabbit hole with the long thread you posted. Really interesting. Thanks. A lot to think about.

User avatar
RSN

Silver
Posts: 967
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:32 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby RSN » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:02 pm

blueperiod wrote:
LetsGoMets wrote:Read all of the advice from non-0Ls in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=274520. Much of it applies even though you're PI-focused.

A few other points:

1. Don't listen to other 0Ls, and if you're asking around beyond TLS on this, don't listen to anyone that didn't go to law school in the last 15 years either. 0Ls have no more information than you and are likely to give unsupported and bad advice, and people who went to law school before it cost what it does now have no concept of the modern debt burden.

2. Paying off just cost of living loans vs. full cost of attendance is a VASTLY different proposition. $90k of debt is extremely different from $300k (and it is $300k, by the way -- tuition alone will be close to $200k for your class, then you have living costs for three years).

3. HLS may have a slight edge for the handful of actual unicorn jobs that exist, but there aren't many. Planning your career and taking on hundreds of thousands in debt on the off-chance you'll even have the right timing to get to the "upper limits of PI appellate work" is foolish.

4. To the extent those jobs exist and are available, the fact of just being at Harvard over Columbia doesn't make you competitive for them. That's also true with clerkships. You'll have little difference in your chances if you're at median at Harvard than if you're median at Columbia. That's not something you can predict now.

5. If you really want to dive down the rabbit hole: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=245100

TL;DR turn down HLS and take the Hamilton. One of the best decisions I ever made.


Thanks so much for your response. I was leaning HLS and you swung me back towards CLS (of course that's still happening a couple times a day).

Reeeeaallly going down a rabbit hole with the long thread you posted. Really interesting. Thanks. A lot to think about.


Happy to help. Feel free to PM also (that's an open offer to anyone else lurking who's making this decision).

blueperiod

New
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:43 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby blueperiod » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:11 pm

What I find bizarre is that I'm still going to have to use CLS LRAP for COL debt and for as long as I am in a loan repayment program, from either school, I'll be making (essentially) the same payment every month.

I get that there are unforeseen circumstances and caveat caveat I could stray to big law for some reason (I really truly don't believe that will be the case but I understand I'm not allowed to claim to know that for certain etc etc etc) but if I actually do PI/LRAP eligible employment for most or all of 10 years, it's going to be the same. I'm very committed to PI and the only way I can foresee myself leaving eligibility is for some miraculous impact litigation/appellate work gig that would be worth leaving LIPP.

People say you shouldn't go to HLS for the chance of the marginal upper limit PI unicorn jobs, but let's say I go to HLS and I'm median and unremarkable and don't get a snazzy clerkship and go into a legal aid job I could've easily gotten from CLS. Well, then I'm definitely eligible for LIPP so I'm still not paying $200k for unicorn chances from HLS...

(Also I'm late twenties and do not want children and don't care about legal marriage. My parents aren't wealthy enough to pay for school but they will be able to finance their health care if they have a significant illness, etc. I think I have relatively few of the risky/limiting factors that make LIPP an absolute no-no)

IDK, it's all very complicated....

I know that there are like a million other suboptimal or bad bad scenarios with LIPP and I've considered a lot of them, just not going to write em out at this time.

Really appreciate the thoughts....

blueperiod

New
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:43 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby blueperiod » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:12 pm

LetsGoMets wrote:
blueperiod wrote:
LetsGoMets wrote:Read all of the advice from non-0Ls in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=274520. Much of it applies even though you're PI-focused.

A few other points:

1. Don't listen to other 0Ls, and if you're asking around beyond TLS on this, don't listen to anyone that didn't go to law school in the last 15 years either. 0Ls have no more information than you and are likely to give unsupported and bad advice, and people who went to law school before it cost what it does now have no concept of the modern debt burden.

2. Paying off just cost of living loans vs. full cost of attendance is a VASTLY different proposition. $90k of debt is extremely different from $300k (and it is $300k, by the way -- tuition alone will be close to $200k for your class, then you have living costs for three years).

3. HLS may have a slight edge for the handful of actual unicorn jobs that exist, but there aren't many. Planning your career and taking on hundreds of thousands in debt on the off-chance you'll even have the right timing to get to the "upper limits of PI appellate work" is foolish.

4. To the extent those jobs exist and are available, the fact of just being at Harvard over Columbia doesn't make you competitive for them. That's also true with clerkships. You'll have little difference in your chances if you're at median at Harvard than if you're median at Columbia. That's not something you can predict now.

5. If you really want to dive down the rabbit hole: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=245100

TL;DR turn down HLS and take the Hamilton. One of the best decisions I ever made.


Thanks so much for your response. I was leaning HLS and you swung me back towards CLS (of course that's still happening a couple times a day).

Reeeeaallly going down a rabbit hole with the long thread you posted. Really interesting. Thanks. A lot to think about.


Happy to help. Feel free to PM also (that's an open offer to anyone else lurking who's making this decision).


Will take you up on that at some point. Thanks a bunch.

warmcherrysoda

New
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:33 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby warmcherrysoda » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:49 pm

.
Last edited by warmcherrysoda on Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Clemenceau

Silver
Posts: 942
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:33 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby Clemenceau » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:34 pm

I'd go hamilton in a heartbeat. I doubt the average hamilton scholars outcomes are much different than the average hls grads outcomes. Except debt. The average hamilton scholar definitely has less debt.

Nebby

Diamond
Posts: 31197
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:23 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby Nebby » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:25 am

As an average CLS student I landed a coveted entry-level impact litigation associate position where I do both trial and appellate litigation. I can say with confidence that there are no appreciable differences between a CLS and HLS degree for PI employment purposes because PI hiring is too idiosyncratic to make distinctions between the two.

What matters most for PI hiring is whether in law school you got lots of substantive practice experience and worked in subject matter areas similar to the ones you hope to practice as a PI attorney. After work experience, the second most important thing is your personality and strong professional references. The third most important thing are grades and publications. This is generally the order of importance. No hiring attorney will pick the HLS over the CLS student with more work experience or a better personality.

The posts above have done a great job explaining why the COL debt is a much better outcome than the full HLS COA debt. I think CLS is a perfect fit for your goals.

Also please remove "prestigious" from your lexicon. Whenever I talk to a student interested in "prestigious" PI jobs I immediately think they have no idea what they're talking about. (perhaps TLS has ruined me in that way haha)

User avatar
RSN

Silver
Posts: 967
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:32 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby RSN » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:42 am

warmcherrysoda wrote:
LetsGoMets wrote:
warmcherrysoda wrote:
LetsGoMets wrote:Read all of the advice from non-0Ls in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=274520. Much of it applies even though you're PI-focused.

A few other points:

1. Don't listen to other 0Ls, and if you're asking around beyond TLS on this, don't listen to anyone that didn't go to law school in the last 15 years either. 0Ls have no more information than you and are likely to give unsupported and bad advice, and people who went to law school before it cost what it does now have no concept of the modern debt burden.

2. Paying off just cost of living loans vs. full cost of attendance is a VASTLY different proposition. $90k of debt is extremely different from $300k (and it is $300k, by the way -- tuition alone will be close to $200k for your class, then you have living costs for three years).

3. HLS may have a slight edge for the handful of actual unicorn jobs that exist, but there aren't many. Planning your career and taking on hundreds of thousands in debt on the off-chance you'll even have the right timing to get to the "upper limits of PI appellate work" is foolish.

4. To the extent those jobs exist and are available, the fact of just being at Harvard over Columbia doesn't make you competitive for them. That's also true with clerkships. You'll have little difference in your chances if you're at median at Harvard than if you're median at Columbia. That's not something you can predict now.

5. If you really want to dive down the rabbit hole: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=245100

TL;DR turn down HLS and take the Hamilton. One of the best decisions I ever made.


Thanks for the insight! I found those threads you linked very helpful.

There is a big difference between paying off CoL and full sticker, to be sure.

But it seems to me nobody has made a case against taking Harvard if you will certainly use LIPP. The strongest caution I've seen is that LIPP has some administrative difficulties (checks coming late, etc.). If someone is absolutely positive they want to do PI -- and they thus are not paying their full debt -- what's stopping them from taking Harvard? Of course, not everyone will stay in for 10 years. But even if you stay for only 5 years, that's half your loans. I'd really like to hear people's thoughts on this.


The problem is it's really hard to be absolutely positive you want to do anything as a 0L. First, there are many, many people that come into school with bold PI ambitions and end up deciding to do biglaw anyway, at least for a while. There's nothing wrong with that, but the fact that it happens so much underscores how often plans that seem completely solid as a 0L can change relatively easily. Second, say you do make it through three years still certain you want to start a job at $45k a year with limited potential for salary growth. What happens when you decide you want to buy a house, have kids, find out you have to care for an ailing parent, develop an unexpected illness. That's when you see how constrained you are and how the house of cards of debt that's only being held off by your LIPP-eligible job could topple on you rapidly. It's just not so simple as "I'm set on social justice, I'll work at my PI job until my debt's forgiven, no big deal." You're actually committing yourself to a single, difficult, constraining life plan for the next 13 years. And if you duck out halfway, that's still $150k of debt you're dealing with. And it's not so easy to just walk into a job where you have a decent chance of making debt payments and rent every month.

Now, if you don't have any better financial options but you're committed to doing law school, that's one thing, and people do it all the time and are justified in doing so. But to choose that path when you have a T6 school offering to give it all to you for free if you cover your living expenses? That's asinine.


Wow! Thanks for another really thoughtful post.

I think your second point is really important, especially about personal illness. Unlike intent to do PI or desire to own a house or get married or have kids, there is really no way of knowing in advance whether one will get sick. That is a real and important possibility that a young healthy person might not otherwise consider. Being debt-free would make a big difference -- especially considering the current uncertainty regarding healthcare and health insurance in America.

I do have a question, if you don't mind my asking, about where you write, "And if you duck out halfway, that's still $150k of debt you're dealing with. And it's not so easy to just walk into a job where you have a decent chance of making debt payments and rent every month."

I'm wondering, why would you duck out unless you were going to a job that paid enough to make you ineligible for LIPP? Is the risk that someone would go into a private sector job that was not JD-advantage and not high paying? If so, how great is that risk, in your estimation?


Well, that's exactly the point, right? I was responding to your statement that "even if you stay for only 5 years, that's half your loans." What I mean is that if you do decide you want out of PI five years in, well, that's nice, but you're stuck unless you can find a job that will allow you to immediately start making debt payments and also not starve. The risk is that you won't be able to. I don't know enough about lateral hiring to quantify that chance, but my sense (again, others would know better) is that someone five years out of school who's been PI-committed since 1L and has never set foot in a for-profit office is going to have trouble getting biglaw interviews, unless they've developed some major marketable skills (so something like DOJ Honors might be an exception, but a rare one).

warmcherrysoda

New
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:33 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby warmcherrysoda » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:15 am

.
Last edited by warmcherrysoda on Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
nothingtosee

Silver
Posts: 958
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 12:08 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby nothingtosee » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:11 am

Prestigious PI is my favorite career plan

blueperiod

New
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:43 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby blueperiod » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:37 am

Nebby wrote:As an average CLS student I landed a coveted entry-level impact litigation associate position where I do both trial and appellate litigation. I can say with confidence that there are no appreciable differences between a CLS and HLS degree for PI employment purposes because PI hiring is too idiosyncratic to make distinctions between the two.

What matters most for PI hiring is whether in law school you got lots of substantive practice experience and worked in subject matter areas similar to the ones you hope to practice as a PI attorney. After work experience, the second most important thing is your personality and strong professional references. The third most important thing are grades and publications. This is generally the order of importance. No hiring attorney will pick the HLS over the CLS student with more work experience or a better personality.

The posts above have done a great job explaining why the COL debt is a much better outcome than the full HLS COA debt. I think CLS is a perfect fit for your goals.

Also please remove "prestigious" from your lexicon. Whenever I talk to a student interested in "prestigious" PI jobs I immediately think they have no idea what they're talking about. (perhaps TLS has ruined me in that way haha)


Thanks for weighing in. This is exactly the kind of info for which I am looking. I am gathering that to be the case (no difference between CLS/HLS for impact lit) even though it's not the case for clerking (which, obviously, is not and cannot be a massive part of this decision anyway).

In regards to "prestigious" PI, yes, I should have at least put that in quotation marks. Or called it even-more-competitive-PI. I wanted to indicate, as mentioned in the post, that I'm interested in non-legal-aid, appellate work, and maybe even policy/political-oriented work of some sort eventually. And academia.

Obviously prestigious PI should be oxymoronic but I have gotten the impression that unfortunately it's not....

I guess TLS would have me call it unicorn PI? Unicorn stuff? Okay then. Unicorn stuff.

Thanks to everybody who chimed in, very useful to chew through with you all!

User avatar
pretzeltime

Gold
Posts: 1993
Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for PI/clerking

Postby pretzeltime » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:42 am

Interesting stuff. Definitely good to consider alllll of the potential ramifications of relying on LIPP......

warmcherrysoda

New
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:33 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby warmcherrysoda » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:40 pm

.

warmcherrysoda

New
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:33 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for prestigious PI/clerking

Postby warmcherrysoda » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:40 pm

.

italianlover

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:42 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for PI/clerking

Postby italianlover » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:57 am

I'm making this decision too and I'm leaning hard towards the Hamilton. I also really want to go the academia route though I know it's unlikely. Even the Harvard-trained law professors I've asked for advice don't think H's marginal advantage in academia is worth that much extra over Columbia.

User avatar
RSN

Silver
Posts: 967
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:32 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for PI/clerking

Postby RSN » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:09 am

italianlover wrote:I'm making this decision too and I'm leaning hard towards the Hamilton. I also really want to go the academia route though I know it's unlikely. Even the Harvard-trained law professors I've asked for advice don't think H's marginal advantage in academia is worth that much extra over Columbia.


Glad to hear you're leaning toward CLS, which is the right call.

And look, if you end up doing exceedingly well in 1L (which isn't necessarily a prerequisite for getting to academia, but if you don't, it's a reasonably clear signal that it's not going to be a viable path), Columbia does send a handful of transfers to HYS every year. That shouldn't really be part of the calculus at this stage, but it's something to be aware of.

italianlover

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:42 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard for PI/clerking

Postby italianlover » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:23 am

LetsGoMets wrote:
italianlover wrote:I'm making this decision too and I'm leaning hard towards the Hamilton. I also really want to go the academia route though I know it's unlikely. Even the Harvard-trained law professors I've asked for advice don't think H's marginal advantage in academia is worth that much extra over Columbia.


Glad to hear you're leaning toward CLS, which is the right call.

And look, if you end up doing exceedingly well in 1L (which isn't necessarily a prerequisite for getting to academia, but if you don't, it's a reasonably clear signal that it's not going to be a viable path), Columbia does send a handful of transfers to HYS every year. That shouldn't really be part of the calculus at this stage, but it's something to be aware of.


Thanks, that's good to know. And I'm also told that CLS is trying to up its game in the academic market, so I think there are potentially better prospects for institutional support at Columbia.

The bottom line for me is that I want to have career flexibility if I don't make academia, and I don't want to do NYC biglaw. I figure minimal debt gives me the most leeway in that regard. If it came to it, I'd be happy doing biglaw in my home city (secondary southern market) where I have lots of ties.



Return to “Choosing a Law School�

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Kiskeya and 16 guests