Choosing HLS over YLS?

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wksen
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Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby wksen » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:47 pm

I already know several people who are choosing Yale over Harvard, and everyone agrees that Yale is superior to Harvard for clerkships and academia. However, I am not an American citizen so I can't be a clerk, and I am not interested in academia, which makes my choice more difficult. I'm leaning towards Public Interest Law right now. While I like the prestige Yale enjoys in legal circles and the attention that students get from faculty/administration, I love the location of Cambridge and could really see myself settling down in Boston as opposed to New Haven. I'm also worried that being in such a small/relatively isolated school as YLS will mean that I won't meet as many people and my social life won't be as great.

Has anyone here picked HLS over YLS, or know anyone that has? Why did they pick HLS? Did they regret their choice? I would really appreciate it!

RedPurpleBlue
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:44 pm

Yale has ~20% of admits who go elsewhere IIRC, meaning they pick places like HLS, SLS, Chicago, etc. over YLS. Considering you don't want academia and can't clerk, the majority of Yale's advantage is effectively neutralized. Harvard is great for PI work. If you really love it there, then you should by all means attend. I think you have a reasonable case.

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RCSOB657
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby RCSOB657 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:49 pm

You can clerk. You, just won't be able to draw pay.

goldenbear2020
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby goldenbear2020 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:54 pm

A lot of international students pick H over Y because of the stronger prestige overseas.

dirac
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby dirac » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:56 pm

wksen wrote:I already know several people who are choosing Yale over Harvard, and everyone agrees that Yale is superior to Harvard for clerkships and academia. However, I am not an American citizen so I can't be a clerk, and I am not interested in academia, which makes my choice more difficult. I'm leaning towards Public Interest Law right now. While I like the prestige Yale enjoys in legal circles and the attention that students get from faculty/administration, I love the location of Cambridge and could really see myself settling down in Boston as opposed to New Haven. I'm also worried that being in such a small/relatively isolated school as YLS will mean that I won't meet as many people and my social life won't be as great.

Has anyone here picked HLS over YLS, or know anyone that has? Why did they pick HLS? Did they regret their choice? I would really appreciate it!


I am a 2L at HLS. Everything you said makes sense to me. Yale is undoubtedly a more superior school to Harvard for clerkships and academia. For Public Interest, both schools are excellent. I am from Asia and did not apply to YLS when I applied to law school. I have quite a few friends, especially those from Asia who chose HLS over YLS. None of them regretted their choices and they are all very happy at HLS. Feel free to message me if you want to chat in more detail.

wksen
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby wksen » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:29 pm

RCSOB657 wrote:You can clerk. You, just won't be able to draw pay.


Is there a point in clerking for no pay if there's no end-game for me working for the government?

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rpupkin
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:08 am

RedPurpleBlue wrote:Yale has ~20% of admits who go elsewhere IIRC, meaning they pick places like HLS, SLS, Chicago, etc. over YLS. Considering you don't want academia and can't clerk, the majority of Yale's advantage is effectively neutralized.

Is this true? I'm not a PI person, but my impression is that YLS is better than HLS for PI—for the same reasons that YLS is better than HLS for clerkships and academia: smaller class sizes and better faculty connections increase one's opportunities.

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Nebby
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby Nebby » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:13 am

wksen wrote:
RCSOB657 wrote:You can clerk. You, just won't be able to draw pay.


Is there a point in clerking for no pay if there's no end-game for me working for the government?

No. Ignore RCSO

RedPurpleBlue
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:16 am

rpupkin wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:Yale has ~20% of admits who go elsewhere IIRC, meaning they pick places like HLS, SLS, Chicago, etc. over YLS. Considering you don't want academia and can't clerk, the majority of Yale's advantage is effectively neutralized.

Is this true? I'm not a PI person, but my impression is that YLS is better than HLS for PI—for the same reasons that YLS is better than HLS for clerkships and academia: smaller class sizes and better faculty connections increase one's opportunities.


YLS may very well be better than HLS for PI, but it's to such a marginal extent that OP would be plenty justified in picking HLS.

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oopsu812
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby oopsu812 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:23 am

I was under the impression that only BigLaw firms will sponsor your H1-B visa?

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rpupkin
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:32 am

RedPurpleBlue wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:Yale has ~20% of admits who go elsewhere IIRC, meaning they pick places like HLS, SLS, Chicago, etc. over YLS. Considering you don't want academia and can't clerk, the majority of Yale's advantage is effectively neutralized.

Is this true? I'm not a PI person, but my impression is that YLS is better than HLS for PI—for the same reasons that YLS is better than HLS for clerkships and academia: smaller class sizes and better faculty connections increase one's opportunities.


YLS may very well be better than HLS for PI, but it's to such a marginal extent that OP would be plenty justified in picking HLS.

What do you base this assessment on?

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TAD
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby TAD » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:36 am

oopsu812 wrote:I was under the impression that only BigLaw firms will sponsor your H1-B visa?


OP might be Canadian - TN visa.

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oopsu812
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby oopsu812 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:43 am

TAD wrote:
oopsu812 wrote:I was under the impression that only BigLaw firms will sponsor your H1-B visa?


OP might be Canadian - TN visa.


True, but I'd be a bit nervous with this current administration. Although I suppose that could apply to H1-B visas too.

wksen
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby wksen » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:33 am

oopsu812 wrote:
TAD wrote:
oopsu812 wrote:I was under the impression that only BigLaw firms will sponsor your H1-B visa?


OP might be Canadian - TN visa.


True, but I'd be a bit nervous with this current administration. Although I suppose that could apply to H1-B visas too.


Thanks for taking the time to read this thread guys! Yes, I am indeed a Canadian. A current YLS student (KissMyAxe) told me that it's actually possible for me to get state clerkships (just not federal ones) as a Canadian, so I'm doing some more thinking, even though I'm still leaning HLS because social life/location is very important to me (and my emotional well-being lol).

Any more input about PI, social life, and the competitiveness of academics/getting clinical work at either of the two schools would be greatly appreciated!

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heythatslife
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby heythatslife » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:48 am

I mean, you can do a SSC clerkship in some states as a non-US citizen but I don't know there's that much benefit in it to you since you're not getting a government job in the US anyway, unless you're planning on doing litigation-heavy PI work in that particular state.

In terms of competitiveness, there's slightly less pressure at YLS as the first semester of 1L is not graded, if I understand correctly. HLS has more diverse clinical offerings thanks to its size. I think more or less everyone get into the clinic of their first choice eventually. As others have said, since you're not gunning for fed clerkship or academia, I don't think there's a clear correct answer between the two schools here, provided also that CoA is roughly equal. Pick the one you think you'll like better.

wksen
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby wksen » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:54 am

heythatslife wrote:I mean, you can do a SSC clerkship in some states as a non-US citizen but I don't know there's that much benefit in it to you since you're not getting a government job in the US anyway, unless you're planning on doing litigation-heavy PI work in that particular state.

In terms of competitiveness, there's slightly less pressure at YLS as the first semester of 1L is not graded, if I understand correctly. HLS has more diverse clinical offerings thanks to its size. I think more or less everyone get into the clinic of their first choice eventually. As others have said, since you're not gunning for fed clerkship or academia, I don't think there's a clear correct answer between the two schools here, provided also that CoA is roughly equal. Pick the one you think you'll like better.


Yeah, I know Guam/Hawaii/Alaska are my options for SCC clerkship as a Canadian but none of them are appealing to me. Thanks for your input!

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tinman
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby tinman » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:27 am

As others have mentioned, HLS has more prestige overseas. But Canada is not overseas and it sounds like you are more interested in PI in the US anyway.

As someone who has taking classes at both HLS and YLS and lived in both places, I can verify that the social difference is huge, especially for dating and partying. HLS will have a much bigger dating pool--both in the law school and outside of it. HLS will have a lot more and varied social life. YLS will be better for socializing first semester, when you can make meaningful friendships with your classmates while you have no grades and lots of time.

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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby eck456 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:51 am

rpupkin wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:Yale has ~20% of admits who go elsewhere IIRC, meaning they pick places like HLS, SLS, Chicago, etc. over YLS. Considering you don't want academia and can't clerk, the majority of Yale's advantage is effectively neutralized.

Is this true? I'm not a PI person, but my impression is that YLS is better than HLS for PI—for the same reasons that YLS is better than HLS for clerkships and academia: smaller class sizes and better faculty connections increase one's opportunities.


also as a PI person I think it depends what you want to do in PI...it's a big field, and the schools have different relative strengths. Yale doesn't really do grades and can be very abstract/ theoretical, so how much hands on practice you do is very much up to you. I have a friend who never did a clinic, edits a now-famous left leaning journal and doesn't, as he say it, "do law." I have another friend who's done a clinic every semester of their time at Yale and has a substantive set of clients that she herself has represented with at this point minor oversight. One thing to consider with yale is the quantity of post-graduation public interest fellowships for PI people, which I believe is larger than the equivalent at H/S (although this is according to the friend, not my own research). On the other hand, a professor I trust who knows me well told me I'd hate yale bc it was too impractical and theoretical, and I'm a practical person who intends to be a practitioner not an academic (good thing I didn't get in and wasn't called on to make the choice). In the US people who really really think they know about law schools think Yale is just much better than Harvard on PI, but honestly I think you can't go wrong with either school as long as you're fine with the fact that a substantive portion of the HLS class will be there primarily to go into corporate law, and you will be somewhat in the minority w a PI focus

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CHyde
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby CHyde » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:03 am

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Last edited by CHyde on Thu May 04, 2017 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KissMyAxe
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby KissMyAxe » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:34 am

rpupkin wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:Yale has ~20% of admits who go elsewhere IIRC, meaning they pick places like HLS, SLS, Chicago, etc. over YLS. Considering you don't want academia and can't clerk, the majority of Yale's advantage is effectively neutralized.

Is this true? I'm not a PI person, but my impression is that YLS is better than HLS for PI—for the same reasons that YLS is better than HLS for clerkships and academia: smaller class sizes and better faculty connections increase one's opportunities.


I agree with this impression. YLS students have far less competition and are guaranteed good recommendations from professors given the writing requirements and small groups. But OP's PI interest seems to be related to policy work, something open to international students. That is a very unicorn kind of job, something else YLS excels at. Also, quite a few of those 20% of admits decide to go to another kind of graduate school, and the lion's share of the leftovers choose full-rides (absolutely the best option for someone wanting NY biglaw). For at least the last few years, only ~5 each year choose HLS over YLS. So I have a hard time believing that one poster has quite a few friends who chose HLS over YLS (though I believe they have quite a few friends who say they did so). HLS is a great school, and one would not be dumb to choose it. I really am a big fan of the school, and have a lot of friends there. But let's not pretend YLS's only advantages lie in academia and clerkships, the much smaller class helps it in every field.

Tinman is also wrong on a lot of levels. I'm guessing he's a transfer student here, which makes sense why he doesn't know. Yale is a very small class, with the 1L class all knowing one another by the end of the first year. Because of that, friendships have typically been formed already. A transfer student would be very much out of the loop, and we only accept a small handful of transfers each year, which means they can't as easily band together like they can elsewhere. Now, I'm sure if a transfer was very proactive in their friendship making, they could immerse themselves easier (though I don't know an HLS transfer, and I know everyone). I don't believe HLS has a better social network at all, as it would be impossible to get to know all of their 749,432 students. And I go out 4-5 nights a week, and typically have a fully booked lunch schedule for 2-3 weeks at any given time. We have a lot of socializing and parties. Meanwhile, my friends at HLS are much more stressed out, and work long hours in the library (something not required at YLS).

I'll probably concede on the dating point. Harvard at the end of the day is huge, and even though most are probably married or in committed relationships, that still leaves a sizable dating pool. But you would be dating a Harvard student... And I would not decide a law school based on dating prospects, since it's very likely you could choose a school that's objectively a worse choice for your career goals, and then not meet anyone worth settling down with.

eck456
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby eck456 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:43 am

KissMyAxe wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:Yale has ~20% of admits who go elsewhere IIRC, meaning they pick places like HLS, SLS, Chicago, etc. over YLS. Considering you don't want academia and can't clerk, the majority of Yale's advantage is effectively neutralized.

Is this true? I'm not a PI person, but my impression is that YLS is better than HLS for PI—for the same reasons that YLS is better than HLS for clerkships and academia: smaller class sizes and better faculty connections increase one's opportunities.


I agree with this impression. YLS students have far less competition and are guaranteed good recommendations from professors given the writing requirements and small groups. But OP's PI interest seems to be related to policy work, something open to international students. That is a very unicorn kind of job, something else YLS excels at. Also, quite a few of those 20% of admits decide to go to another kind of graduate school, and the lion's share of the leftovers choose full-rides (absolutely the best option for someone wanting NY biglaw). For at least the last few years, only ~5 each year choose HLS over YLS. So I have a hard time believing that one poster has quite a few friends who chose HLS over YLS (though I believe they have quite a few friends who say they did so). HLS is a great school, and one would not be dumb to choose it. I really am a big fan of the school, and have a lot of friends there. But let's not pretend YLS's only advantages lie in academia and clerkships, the much smaller class helps it in every field.

Tinman is also wrong on a lot of levels. I'm guessing he's a transfer student here, which makes sense why he doesn't know. Yale is a very small class, with the 1L class all knowing one another by the end of the first year. Because of that, friendships have typically been formed already. A transfer student would be very much out of the loop, and we only accept a small handful of transfers each year, which means they can't as easily band together like they can elsewhere. Now, I'm sure if a transfer was very proactive in their friendship making, they could immerse themselves easier (though I don't know an HLS transfer, and I know everyone). I don't believe HLS has a better social network at all, as it would be impossible to get to know all of their 749,432 students. And I go out 4-5 nights a week, and typically have a fully booked lunch schedule for 2-3 weeks at any given time. We have a lot of socializing and parties. Meanwhile, my friends at HLS are much more stressed out, and work long hours in the library (something not required at YLS).

I'll probably concede on the dating point. Harvard at the end of the day is huge, and even though most are probably married or in committed relationships, that still leaves a sizable dating pool. But you would be dating a Harvard student... And I would not decide a law school based on dating prospects, since it's very likely you could choose a school that's objectively a worse choice for your career goals, and then not meet anyone worth settling down with.


I am not single here at harvard, but my friends who are really hate it (guys + girls, straight, gay, everywhere on the spectrum). they say everyone thinks they can do better with whoever they're on a date with...i.e. if you go on a date you think you're settling for them, and they think they're settling for you. that's not to say a couple of cohort/section romances haven't sprouted, but tbh I have quite a few friends who would be very upset if I let the comment that dating at harvard is easy/ fun. I think it has a LOT to do with the above comment about library hours - hls students feel like the most stressed people on a stressed campus, and it's hard to date when you're exhausted and booked all the time. prob not a deciding factor, but I think the poster above had a good point about how grades and library expectations can and do affect your social life, even w a bigger class Edited to add: I currently go to HKS not HLS, but friends have certainly incorporated hls into their dating pool so not totally separate groups of people

dirac
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby dirac » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:50 am

KissMyAxe wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:Yale has ~20% of admits who go elsewhere IIRC, meaning they pick places like HLS, SLS, Chicago, etc. over YLS. Considering you don't want academia and can't clerk, the majority of Yale's advantage is effectively neutralized.

Is this true? I'm not a PI person, but my impression is that YLS is better than HLS for PI—for the same reasons that YLS is better than HLS for clerkships and academia: smaller class sizes and better faculty connections increase one's opportunities.


I agree with this impression. YLS students have far less competition and are guaranteed good recommendations from professors given the writing requirements and small groups. But OP's PI interest seems to be related to policy work, something open to international students. That is a very unicorn kind of job, something else YLS excels at. Also, quite a few of those 20% of admits decide to go to another kind of graduate school, and the lion's share of the leftovers choose full-rides (absolutely the best option for someone wanting NY biglaw). For at least the last few years, only ~5 each year choose HLS over YLS. So I have a hard time believing that one poster has quite a few friends who chose HLS over YLS (though I believe they have quite a few friends who say they did so). HLS is a great school, and one would not be dumb to choose it. I really am a big fan of the school, and have a lot of friends there. But let's not pretend YLS's only advantages lie in academia and clerkships, the much smaller class helps it in every field.

Tinman is also wrong on a lot of levels. I'm guessing he's a transfer student here, which makes sense why he doesn't know. Yale is a very small class, with the 1L class all knowing one another by the end of the first year. Because of that, friendships have typically been formed already. A transfer student would be very much out of the loop, and we only accept a small handful of transfers each year, which means they can't as easily band together like they can elsewhere. Now, I'm sure if a transfer was very proactive in their friendship making, they could immerse themselves easier (though I don't know an HLS transfer, and I know everyone). I don't believe HLS has a better social network at all, as it would be impossible to get to know all of their 749,432 students. And I go out 4-5 nights a week, and typically have a fully booked lunch schedule for 2-3 weeks at any given time. We have a lot of socializing and parties. Meanwhile, my friends at HLS are much more stressed out, and work long hours in the library (something not required at YLS).

I'll probably concede on the dating point. Harvard at the end of the day is huge, and even though most are probably married or in committed relationships, that still leaves a sizable dating pool. But you would be dating a Harvard student... And I would not decide a law school based on dating prospects, since it's very likely you could choose a school that's objectively a worse choice for your career goals, and then not meet anyone worth settling down with.


I completely understand that for folks studying at YLS (especially those who turned down HLS), it is very hard to believe an insignificant number of students turned down YLS over HLS. But it is true. I am originally from Asia and have both international friends and American friends who turned down YLS for HLS. Four of them are as below:

1. CLASS of 2019, coming to HLS after finishing MIT PhD (International student)
2. CLASS of 2018, Stanford undergraduate who did a couple of years financial work at Wall street before coming to HLS (American)
3. CLASS of 2017, doing PhD in Economics at Yale while studying at HLS (going to work in the Federal Reserve) (Born in Asia and came to the States when he was a kid)
4. CLASS of 2016, Upenn undergraduate straight through (went to a law firm in Silicon Valley) (born in the US, of Asian descent)

I have the consent of all the four people to share the above information. I admit that for those who want to go into academia or clerk, YLS has an obvious edge over HLS. However, for students more interested in corporate work, Harvard's alumni network is very attractive (especially those who want to work overseas). For many of those who want to work in government, HLS is also as attractive as YLS.
Last edited by dirac on Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:22 am, edited 4 times in total.

dirac
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby dirac » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:55 am

eck456 wrote:
KissMyAxe wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:Yale has ~20% of admits who go elsewhere IIRC, meaning they pick places like HLS, SLS, Chicago, etc. over YLS. Considering you don't want academia and can't clerk, the majority of Yale's advantage is effectively neutralized.

Is this true? I'm not a PI person, but my impression is that YLS is better than HLS for PI—for the same reasons that YLS is better than HLS for clerkships and academia: smaller class sizes and better faculty connections increase one's opportunities.


I agree with this impression. YLS students have far less competition and are guaranteed good recommendations from professors given the writing requirements and small groups. But OP's PI interest seems to be related to policy work, something open to international students. That is a very unicorn kind of job, something else YLS excels at. Also, quite a few of those 20% of admits decide to go to another kind of graduate school, and the lion's share of the leftovers choose full-rides (absolutely the best option for someone wanting NY biglaw). For at least the last few years, only ~5 each year choose HLS over YLS. So I have a hard time believing that one poster has quite a few friends who chose HLS over YLS (though I believe they have quite a few friends who say they did so). HLS is a great school, and one would not be dumb to choose it. I really am a big fan of the school, and have a lot of friends there. But let's not pretend YLS's only advantages lie in academia and clerkships, the much smaller class helps it in every field.

Tinman is also wrong on a lot of levels. I'm guessing he's a transfer student here, which makes sense why he doesn't know. Yale is a very small class, with the 1L class all knowing one another by the end of the first year. Because of that, friendships have typically been formed already. A transfer student would be very much out of the loop, and we only accept a small handful of transfers each year, which means they can't as easily band together like they can elsewhere. Now, I'm sure if a transfer was very proactive in their friendship making, they could immerse themselves easier (though I don't know an HLS transfer, and I know everyone). I don't believe HLS has a better social network at all, as it would be impossible to get to know all of their 749,432 students. And I go out 4-5 nights a week, and typically have a fully booked lunch schedule for 2-3 weeks at any given time. We have a lot of socializing and parties. Meanwhile, my friends at HLS are much more stressed out, and work long hours in the library (something not required at YLS).

I'll probably concede on the dating point. Harvard at the end of the day is huge, and even though most are probably married or in committed relationships, that still leaves a sizable dating pool. But you would be dating a Harvard student... And I would not decide a law school based on dating prospects, since it's very likely you could choose a school that's objectively a worse choice for your career goals, and then not meet anyone worth settling down with.


I am not single here at harvard, but my friends who are really hate it (guys + girls, straight, gay, everywhere on the spectrum). they say everyone thinks they can do better with whoever they're on a date with...i.e. if you go on a date you think you're settling for them, and they think they're settling for you. that's not to say a couple of cohort/section romances haven't sprouted, but tbh I have quite a few friends who would be very upset if I let the comment that dating at harvard is easy/ fun. I think it has a LOT to do with the above comment about library hours - hls students feel like the most stressed people on a stressed campus, and it's hard to date when you're exhausted and booked all the time. prob not a deciding factor, but I think the poster above had a good point about how grades and library expectations can and do affect your social life, even w a bigger class Edited to add: I currently go to HKS not HLS, but friends have certainly incorporated hls into their dating pool so not totally separate groups of people


LOL, are you talking about HLS 1Ls? Even HLS 1Ls are less stressed than Harvard grads in those science departments.

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KissMyAxe
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby KissMyAxe » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:28 am

dirac wrote:
KissMyAxe wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:Yale has ~20% of admits who go elsewhere IIRC, meaning they pick places like HLS, SLS, Chicago, etc. over YLS. Considering you don't want academia and can't clerk, the majority of Yale's advantage is effectively neutralized.

Is this true? I'm not a PI person, but my impression is that YLS is better than HLS for PI—for the same reasons that YLS is better than HLS for clerkships and academia: smaller class sizes and better faculty connections increase one's opportunities.


I agree with this impression. YLS students have far less competition and are guaranteed good recommendations from professors given the writing requirements and small groups. But OP's PI interest seems to be related to policy work, something open to international students. That is a very unicorn kind of job, something else YLS excels at. Also, quite a few of those 20% of admits decide to go to another kind of graduate school, and the lion's share of the leftovers choose full-rides (absolutely the best option for someone wanting NY biglaw). For at least the last few years, only ~5 each year choose HLS over YLS. So I have a hard time believing that one poster has quite a few friends who chose HLS over YLS (though I believe they have quite a few friends who say they did so). HLS is a great school, and one would not be dumb to choose it. I really am a big fan of the school, and have a lot of friends there. But let's not pretend YLS's only advantages lie in academia and clerkships, the much smaller class helps it in every field.

Tinman is also wrong on a lot of levels. I'm guessing he's a transfer student here, which makes sense why he doesn't know. Yale is a very small class, with the 1L class all knowing one another by the end of the first year. Because of that, friendships have typically been formed already. A transfer student would be very much out of the loop, and we only accept a small handful of transfers each year, which means they can't as easily band together like they can elsewhere. Now, I'm sure if a transfer was very proactive in their friendship making, they could immerse themselves easier (though I don't know an HLS transfer, and I know everyone). I don't believe HLS has a better social network at all, as it would be impossible to get to know all of their 749,432 students. And I go out 4-5 nights a week, and typically have a fully booked lunch schedule for 2-3 weeks at any given time. We have a lot of socializing and parties. Meanwhile, my friends at HLS are much more stressed out, and work long hours in the library (something not required at YLS).

I'll probably concede on the dating point. Harvard at the end of the day is huge, and even though most are probably married or in committed relationships, that still leaves a sizable dating pool. But you would be dating a Harvard student... And I would not decide a law school based on dating prospects, since it's very likely you could choose a school that's objectively a worse choice for your career goals, and then not meet anyone worth settling down with.


I completely understand that for folks studying at YLS (especially those who turned down HLS), it is very hard to believe an insignificant number of students turned down YLS over HLS. But it is true. I am an international students and have both international friends and American friends. The friends of mine who turned down YLS to come to HLS are mainly international students and four of them (one is native American) are as below:

1. CLASS of 2019, coming to HLS after finishing MIT PhD
2. CLASS of 2018, Stanford undergraduate who did a couple of years financial work at Wall street before coming to HLS
3. CLASS of 2017, doing PhD in Economics at Yale while studying at HLS (going to work in the Federal Reserve)
4. CLASS of 2016, Upenn undergraduate straight through (went to a law firm in Silicon Valley)

I have the consent of all the four people to share the above information. I admit that for those who want to go into academia or clerk, YLS has an obvious edge over HLS. However, for students are more interested in corporate work, Harvard's alumni network is very attractive (especially those who want to work overseas). For many of those who want to work in government, HLS is also as attractive as YLS.


Where did I say no one did so? I'll believe you about this friend you have in each class. I've seen the actual admissions statistics here. Typically, they admit around 250 students, not counting deferrals, since they're a wash. 15-20 will choose not to attend any law school that year. 10-15 will take a scholarship elsewhere. Around 10 will go to Stanford (usually Californians who want to work in California), and around 5 will go to Harvard. And the class at YLS will be between 200-210 students. Those are simple statistics. When only 40 students are not going to attend YLS for ANY reason (and our site, which is browsed by virtually all applicants, always recommends taking the full-ride), you can't have a lot of students choosing Harvard. So, your friends can all be telling the truth, but at the end of the day, that's still relatively insignificant.

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tinman
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Re: Choosing HLS over YLS?

Postby tinman » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:57 pm

KissMyAxe wrote: Tinman is also wrong on a lot of levels. I'm guessing he's a transfer student here, which makes sense why he doesn't know. Yale is a very small class, with the 1L class all knowing one another by the end of the first year. Because of that, friendships have typically been formed already. A transfer student would be very much out of the loop, and we only accept a small handful of transfers each year, which means they can't as easily band together like they can elsewhere. Now, I'm sure if a transfer was very proactive in their friendship making, they could immerse themselves easier (though I don't know an HLS transfer, and I know everyone). I don't believe HLS has a better social network at all, as it would be impossible to get to know all of their 749,432 students. And I go out 4-5 nights a week, and typically have a fully booked lunch schedule for 2-3 weeks at any given time. We have a lot of socializing and parties. Meanwhile, my friends at HLS are much more stressed out, and work long hours in the library (something not required at YLS).

I'll probably concede on the dating point. Harvard at the end of the day is huge, and even though most are probably married or in committed relationships, that still leaves a sizable dating pool. But you would be dating a Harvard student... And I would not decide a law school based on dating prospects, since it's very likely you could choose a school that's objectively a worse choice for your career goals, and then not meet anyone worth settling down with.


I graduated from YLS a few years back. I was not a transfer. I have awesome friends from YLS who I see all the time, and others I wish I had time to see more. I agree that first semester is the best time to make friends. Many people go out nearly every night, and people share outlines and study together. I think first semester at YLS is without a doubt a much more rewarding experience than 1L at any other schools (unless you like learning and/or beating other people on exams).

After 1L, I think the social advantages of YLS drop significantly. I found that most people let their obsessions and perfectionism get the best of them after first semester. People work too hard on journal stuff, research, or jockeying for recommendations for selective jobs.

OP mentioned a concern about being in such a small school as YLS, as they won't meet as many people and my social life won't be as great. If OP just wants to make 10-20 meaningful friendships and a few dozen more meaningful acquaintances, many with very similar backgrounds and goals, then YLS will serve. If OP wants to interact with people outside of the law school, HLS is probably a better place for that.

I think YLS is a particularly nice place to be if you are married or in a committed relationship. My single friends had fun with their friends and certainly dated some both within and outside of the law school, but I think they would have had more fun and met more potential life partners at a place like HLS. Both YLS and Yale graduate school are pretty small.

So depending on OP's goals on socializing during law school, HLS may be a better place to do it.




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