Julius wrote:pupperlover wrote:Could you briefly summarize the main things you were considering when choosing between the two schools? (I am also incredibly grateful/fortunate to have this decision to make. I am currently strongly leaning SLS because of its strong IP program, less gunner/more congenial environment, but my parents are enamored with HLS' lay prestige which is not a very good reason. I will be visiting both schools in the upcoming ASWs)
My main reason for choosing SLS was that it was a smaller school. To me, this had two benefits. I was somewhat risk averse given the sums of money involved, and felt that I'd be less likely to get lost in the crowd at SLS. I felt that since very few peers are competing for the same market/practice area/etc., I would have more institutional support when it came to placement. I never went to HLS, so I don't like drawing direct comparisons between schools, but I suspect that the difference in clerkship numbers between the two schools is in part a result of this difference -- we simply got more time and support per student from our institution given our small class size. Similarly, and more important for me, I felt that the class would be more congenial because students were not in as much direct competition. Very few SLS students have the same long-term goals as one another. For what it's worth, I'm far enough along in my career that I've been involved in a couple hiring processes, and I (and my non-HYS peers) have eliminated HLS students from contention simply because they were lower on the pecking order than their HLS peer applicants. Those students at the bottom of the HLS stack were impressive people, but during the first cut or two they are considered in the context of their HLS peers, not the law student universe as a whole. Sample of 1, but I'd be surprised if this sort of thing didn't happen elsewhere.
If you have a serious interest in IP, I'd say SLS should be the presumptive choice. It's one of the few areas where I think there is an appreciable difference between the two schools.
+1 on IP.
Lay prestige only matters if you plan on working outside of a professional context. If it helps, you can show your parents some rankings on how lawyers and judges rate law schools- almost all consider Harvard and Stanford peers.
As Julius said the difference is the number of students fighting for the same opportunities. A small class size is a big help when applying for clerkships and certain other highly competitive positions.
The schools present very differently. See where youll be happier. Theyre both great.