Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

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

Where should I go?

Poll ended at Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:18 pm

Harvard (COA $204,000)
18
34%
Columbia (COA $140,000)
14
26%
Reapply (making $40-50,000 during the year)
21
40%
 
Total votes: 53

Npret
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby Npret » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:22 pm

lawlorbust wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:the prius / tesla analogy has no relevance to Columbia / Harvard, which are just two very similar models of Teslas.

also law schools don't have brands


Shockingly, no one--like, not no one at HLS, but no one in the world--thinks that CLS is one of HLS's peer schools. Is the "they are basically the same" argument really the hill you want to die on? :wink:


The work grads do is the same. As soon as people hit biglaw they realize that they may even being working with grads from the lower T14 or God forbid Fordham.

I don't care about fighting this battle and trying to help 0Ls reject unnecessary massive debt.

People talk about fictional or imagined major differences between these schools for their pretend careers.

Debt and having to repay it is the only real thing in these hypothetical. It's so real you can actually calculate it and know what the number will be when you start to repay it with whatever job you get.

Have fun fighting about perceived prestige instead of debt repayment. It's an endless discussion here.

lawlorbust
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby lawlorbust » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:27 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:the prius / tesla analogy has no relevance to Columbia / Harvard, which are just two very similar models of Teslas.

also law schools don't have brands


Shockingly, no one--like, not no one at HLS, but no one in the world--thinks that CLS is one of HLS's peer schools. Is the "they are basically the same" argument really the hill you want to die on? :wink:


you've deeply mischaracterized my comment. they are not basically the same. it depends on how narrowly you are defining a peer group, which is an empirical question. in the microscopic focus of law school applicants and certain classes of employers, Harvard's only true peer school is Stanford. the broader you go, the broader the peer group. you are incorrect in stating that people do not consider CLS and HLS, among other top schools like Stanford, Chicago, and NYU, to be "peers" in the general sense that they are all top flight law programs that offer substantially similar opportunities. that's how most people actually think about this. anyway that is not the focus of the debate. If Harvard and Columbia were equally priced I would say Harvard every time barring some personal irregularity. if you want to use the hybrid car analogy for law schools, a prius is like UCLA. CLS and HLS are like two teslas where the HLS tesla has some frills and a slightly more powerful engine. Some shitty Russian attempt at a hybrid that doesn't work would be a TTT.


All fine, but you're assuming that there is some unanimity as to how the peer group is defined. There isn't. No one is saying that CLS forecloses any options that you'd get from HLS, but that doesn't equate to them necessarily being peers. For example, sure you can get a 2/9/DC clerkship from CLS, but it's just easier from HLS. At the other end, if you're in the bottom quarter of the class, it's just easier to do biglaw out of HLS. None of this is rocket science. Just saying that the schools are "peers" because they have the same span of outcomes boils down into they are all "cars" because they all can get you where you want to go. By that metric, going to Cal or NW doesn't absolutely you from academia or clerking on SCOTUS or any other unicorn job, but I've never see any CLS alums rushing to claim them as peer schools. If you want to slice the salami in a way that puts HLS (#2/#3) and CLS (#4/#5) together, that's fine, but most people just don't, even if everyone agrees about what the likely difference in outcomes is.

That's the strong form of the argument. But I was specifically responding to your exchange about law school not having "brands." That's obviously wrong. And clearly, people regard HLS to have a different brand from CLS--the same way YLS and SLS have different brands too--that 0Ls are entitled to take into account and place a value on. (Also it's striking how the Prius owner tends to think that his car is basically a Tesla, whereas it's the Tesla owner vehemently disagrees.) You might think that "brand" is completely divorced from real-world outcomes, but I think it's perfectly fine for someone to just take some intrinsic value from it.

Personally, I think OP's justified in either decision. It's probably easier that it boils down to a straight-up comparison. When I chose, I focused on what I could get out of HLS. If I had to do it again, now I'd probably invert the inquiry and ask what you're not likely to get from CLS. The school's obvious strength is NY biglaw. And then what (relative to any other T6)?

- It doesn't have any strengths in secondary markets
- Academia is not a realistic possibility
- It punches way below its weight in federal clerkships
- My impression is that it punches below its weight for PI
- It's got great university-wide resources, but so does every other T6

(I'm sure lots of people will nitpick at this. But the general argument is that CLS, compared to HLS or YLS or UChi or NYU, does one thing really well but is either no better or quantifiably worse at everything else.)

How much are you willing to pay for that optionality? 60K? TLS is deeply schizophrenic on this. Conventional wisdom is that NY biglaw should be the goal, so anything else you might do shouldn't be worth very much. Conventional wisdom here is also that NY biglaw is terrible, and you should instead put a premium on keeping your paths open and hopefully landing in a legal job that you do like. OP can decide which of the two boxes he belongs in and go from there.

McMooch
Posts: 57
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:28 pm

Npret wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:the prius / tesla analogy has no relevance to Columbia / Harvard, which are just two very similar models of Teslas.

also law schools don't have brands


Shockingly, no one--like, not no one at HLS, but no one in the world--thinks that CLS is one of HLS's peer schools. Is the "they are basically the same" argument really the hill you want to die on? :wink:


The work grads do is the same. As soon as people hit biglaw they realize that they may even being working with grads from the lower T14 or God forbid Fordham.

I don't care about fighting this battle and trying to help 0Ls reject unnecessary massive debt.

People talk about fictional or imagined major differences between these schools for their pretend careers.

Debt and having to repay it is the only real thing in these hypothetical. It's so real you can actually calculate it and know what the number will be when you start to repay it with whatever job you get.

Have fun fighting about perceived prestige instead of debt repayment. It's an endless discussion here.


Let's move away from prestige and talk about perceive benefit in litigation in a secondary market as well as other non-law practice jobs later in the career. Does it matter?
Also, what kind of debt difference makes a marginal difference reasonable?

McMooch
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:19 pm

Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:30 pm

lawlorbust wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:the prius / tesla analogy has no relevance to Columbia / Harvard, which are just two very similar models of Teslas.

also law schools don't have brands


Shockingly, no one--like, not no one at HLS, but no one in the world--thinks that CLS is one of HLS's peer schools. Is the "they are basically the same" argument really the hill you want to die on? :wink:


you've deeply mischaracterized my comment. they are not basically the same. it depends on how narrowly you are defining a peer group, which is an empirical question. in the microscopic focus of law school applicants and certain classes of employers, Harvard's only true peer school is Stanford. the broader you go, the broader the peer group. you are incorrect in stating that people do not consider CLS and HLS, among other top schools like Stanford, Chicago, and NYU, to be "peers" in the general sense that they are all top flight law programs that offer substantially similar opportunities. that's how most people actually think about this. anyway that is not the focus of the debate. If Harvard and Columbia were equally priced I would say Harvard every time barring some personal irregularity. if you want to use the hybrid car analogy for law schools, a prius is like UCLA. CLS and HLS are like two teslas where the HLS tesla has some frills and a slightly more powerful engine. Some shitty Russian attempt at a hybrid that doesn't work would be a TTT.


All fine, but you're assuming that there is some unanimity as to how the peer group is defined. There isn't. No one is saying that CLS forecloses any options that you'd get from HLS, but that doesn't equate to them necessarily being peers. For example, sure you can get a 2/9/DC clerkship from CLS, but it's just easier from HLS. At the other end, if you're in the bottom quarter of the class, it's just easier to do biglaw out of HLS. None of this is rocket science. Just saying that the schools are "peers" because they have the same span of outcomes boils down into they are all "cars" because they all can get you where you want to go. By that metric, going to Cal or NW doesn't absolutely you from academia or clerking on SCOTUS or any other unicorn job, but I've never see any CLS alums rushing to claim them as peer schools. If you want to slice the salami in a way that puts HLS (#2/#3) and CLS (#4/#5) together, that's fine, but most people just don't, even if everyone agrees about what the likely difference in outcomes is.

That's the strong form of the argument. But I was specifically responding to your exchange about law school not having "brands." That's obviously wrong. And clearly, people regard HLS to have a different brand from CLS--the same way YLS and SLS have different brands too--that 0Ls are entitled to take into account and place a value on. (Also it's striking how the Prius owner tends to think that his car is basically a Tesla, whereas it's the Tesla owner vehemently disagrees.) You might think that "brand" is completely divorced from real-world outcomes, but I think it's perfectly fine for someone to just take some intrinsic value from it.

Personally, I think OP's justified in either decision. It's probably easier that it boils down to a straight-up comparison. When I chose, I focused on what I could get out of HLS. If I had to do it again, now I'd probably invert the inquiry and ask what you're not likely to get from CLS. The school's obvious strength is NY biglaw. And then what (relative to any other T6)?

- It doesn't have any strengths in secondary markets
- Academia is not a realistic possibility
- It punches way below its weight in federal clerkships
- My impression is that it punches below its weight for PI
- It's got great university-wide resources, but so does every other T6

(I'm sure lots of people will nitpick at this. But the general argument is that CLS, compared to HLS or YLS or UChi or NYU, does one thing really well but is either no better or quantifiably worse at everything else.)

How much are you willing to pay for that optionality? 60K? TLS is deeply schizophrenic on this. Conventional wisdom is that NY biglaw should be the goal, so anything else you might do shouldn't be worth very much. Conventional wisdom here is also that NY biglaw is terrible, and you should instead put a premium on keeping your paths open and hopefully landing in a legal job that you do like. OP can decide which of the two boxes he belongs in and go from there.


Very solid points. I'll have to do some soul-searching.
What do you think about the other conventional wisdom about reapplying?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:37 pm

lawlorbust wrote:- It doesn't have any strengths in secondary markets
- Academia is not a realistic possibility

I don't think either of these are true.

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Nebby
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby Nebby » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:40 pm

lawlorbust wrote:- It doesn't have any strengths in secondary markets
- Academia is not a realistic possibility

- It punches way below its weight in federal clerkships
- My impression is that it punches below its weight for PI
- It's got great university-wide resources, but so does every other T6

The bolded are false. Please stick to speaking on topics with which you have some knowledge of. And in that case you'd do best to just delete your account

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Dcc617
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby Dcc617 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:41 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:- It doesn't have any strengths in secondary markets
- Academia is not a realistic possibility

I don't think either of these are true.


And academia is a long shot from anywhere, especially without a PhD.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:43 pm

Dcc617 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:- It doesn't have any strengths in secondary markets
- Academia is not a realistic possibility

I don't think either of these are true.


And academia is a long shot from anywhere, especially without a PhD.

Yeah, I should have said, academia is tough wherever you go. But if you have the ability to get academia from Harvard, you can get it from Columbia. It's much more about what you bring to the table.

lawlorbust
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby lawlorbust » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:46 pm

Nebby wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:- It doesn't have any strengths in secondary markets
- Academia is not a realistic possibility

- It punches way below its weight in federal clerkships
- My impression is that it punches below its weight for PI
- It's got great university-wide resources, but so does every other T6

The bolded are false. Please stick to speaking on topics with which you have some knowledge of. And in that case you'd do best to just delete your account


Oof. No need to get defensive.

Let's start from the top. What's one secondary market that CLS places better than HLS, YLS, UChi, or NYU?

Camden? Newark?

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UVA2B
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby UVA2B » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:52 pm

lawlorbust wrote:
Nebby wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:- It doesn't have any strengths in secondary markets
- Academia is not a realistic possibility

- It punches way below its weight in federal clerkships
- My impression is that it punches below its weight for PI
- It's got great university-wide resources, but so does every other T6

The bolded are false. Please stick to speaking on topics with which you have some knowledge of. And in that case you'd do best to just delete your account


Oof. No need to get defensive.

Let's start from the top. What's one secondary market that CLS places better than HLS, YLS, UChi, or NYU?

Camden? Newark?


Wow, another weird dichotomous proposition to double down. CLS doesn't place better than HLS, YLS, UChi, or NYU in any secondary market. HLS and YLS might even place better in a couple of hyper insular secondary markets, but on the whole all of those schools can place in secondary markets, and trying to falsely create distinctions within their placement power in secondary markets is ridiculous. If there are 30 SA spots in a given secondary market, it's entirely possible CLS may dominate that market one year with 6 of the 30 spots because a bunch of people are gunning for that market from CLS during that year that have ties to the market while placing none the next year because none were even shooting for that market.

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Dcc617
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby Dcc617 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:54 pm

UVA2B wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:
Nebby wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:- It doesn't have any strengths in secondary markets
- Academia is not a realistic possibility

- It punches way below its weight in federal clerkships
- My impression is that it punches below its weight for PI
- It's got great university-wide resources, but so does every other T6

The bolded are false. Please stick to speaking on topics with which you have some knowledge of. And in that case you'd do best to just delete your account


Oof. No need to get defensive.

Let's start from the top. What's one secondary market that CLS places better than HLS, YLS, UChi, or NYU?

Camden? Newark?


Wow, another weird dichotomous proposition to double down. CLS doesn't place better than HLS, YLS, UChi, or NYU in any secondary market. HLS and YLS might even place better in a couple of hyper insular secondary markets, but on the whole all of those schools can place in secondary markets, and trying to falsely create distinctions within their placement power in secondary markets is ridiculous. If there are 30 SA spots in a given secondary market, it's entirely possible CLS may dominate that market one year with 6 of the 30 spots because a bunch of people are gunning for that market from CLS during that year that have ties to the market while placing none the next year because none were even shooting for that market.


laworbust, please tell us where you are drawing your conclusions from. Are you a current student or attorney?

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jbagelboy
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:58 pm

[double post]
Last edited by jbagelboy on Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:59 pm

lawlorbust wrote:
All fine, but you're assuming that there is some unanimity as to how the peer group is defined. There isn't. No one is saying that CLS forecloses any options that you'd get from HLS, but that doesn't equate to them necessarily being peers. For example, sure you can get a 2/9/DC clerkship from CLS, but it's just easier from HLS. At the other end, if you're in the bottom quarter of the class, it's just easier to do biglaw out of HLS. None of this is rocket science. Just saying that the schools are "peers" because they have the same span of outcomes boils down into they are all "cars" because they all can get you where you want to go. By that metric, going to Cal or NW doesn't absolutely you from academia or clerking on SCOTUS or any other unicorn job, but I've never see any CLS alums rushing to claim them as peer schools. If you want to slice the salami in a way that puts HLS (#2/#3) and CLS (#4/#5) together, that's fine, but most people just don't, even if everyone agrees about what the likely difference in outcomes is.

That's the strong form of the argument. But I was specifically responding to your exchange about law school not having "brands." That's obviously wrong. And clearly, people regard HLS to have a different brand from CLS--the same way YLS and SLS have different brands too--that 0Ls are entitled to take into account and place a value on. (Also it's striking how the Prius owner tends to think that his car is basically a Tesla, whereas it's the Tesla owner vehemently disagrees.) You might think that "brand" is completely divorced from real-world outcomes, but I think it's perfectly fine for someone to just take some intrinsic value from it.

Personally, I think OP's justified in either decision. It's probably easier that it boils down to a straight-up comparison. When I chose, I focused on what I could get out of HLS. If I had to do it again, now I'd probably invert the inquiry and ask what you're not likely to get from CLS. The school's obvious strength is NY biglaw. And then what (relative to any other T6)?

- It doesn't have any strengths in secondary markets
- Academia is not a realistic possibility
- It punches way below its weight in federal clerkships
- My impression is that it punches below its weight for PI
- It's got great university-wide resources, but so does every other T6

(I'm sure lots of people will nitpick at this. But the general argument is that CLS, compared to HLS or YLS or UChi or NYU, does one thing really well but is either no better or quantifiably worse at everything else.)

How much are you willing to pay for that optionality? 60K? TLS is deeply schizophrenic on this. Conventional wisdom is that NY biglaw should be the goal, so anything else you might do shouldn't be worth very much. Conventional wisdom here is also that NY biglaw is terrible, and you should instead put a premium on keeping your paths open and hopefully landing in a legal job that you do like. OP can decide which of the two boxes he belongs in and go from there.


As others have noted, while you make some fair points in your post above, your comments about Columbia and its strengths are not well-informed. But taking it at face value, I do not contend that Columbia:

(1) has superior clerkship placement to Chicago or Harvard (it clearly does not, in fact, it has weaker placement although not as much weaker as you suggest--about 15-18% of each CLS class will clerk, whereas closer to 25-30% of Chicago and HLS classes will clerk);

(2) or that it has superior public interest network than NYU or Yale (it clearly does not, but it is on par with NYU and obviously inferior to Yale in some respects);

(3) or that it is superior for an academic track than Chicago or Harvard or Yale (in fact it is likely more difficult, although as pointed out by other posters, the kind of people that could break into academia from HLS likely could do so from CLS as well);

(4) or that it has superior secondary market placement than Harvard (I think Harvard arguably has the best placement into some secondary markets of any law school since it has the broadest reach, but you are incorrect that Columbia does not have strong placement outside of New York; it has stronger secondary market placement than NYU around the country and is equal to Chicago in markets such as California, Texas, and Boston).

The point is that these schools are similar (not identical) and each have some strengths and some relative weaknesses. You are trying to position Columbia as being categorically weaker than these other schools in each of these areas, which is flatly false. I feel that you have a strange antipathy towards Columbia and its students, which I don't understand. I agree with Dcc that the Harvard posters on this website in a sense do the school a disservice in their attitudes and do not reflect how my friends, co-clerks, and fellow associates that attended Harvard approach these situations. They are not obsessed with differentiating their alma mater from other top law schools, and they wouldn't hesitate to refer to HLS and CLS as peers (and not just for anyone's particular benefit). That doesn't mean they don't think Harvard is the better school ceteris paribus--I think Harvard is the better school all things equal--but the ways many (purportedly) HLS students comport themselves on this website has always been curious to me.

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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby LHS17 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:04 pm

McMooch wrote:
Npret wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:the prius / tesla analogy has no relevance to Columbia / Harvard, which are just two very similar models of Teslas.

also law schools don't have brands


Shockingly, no one--like, not no one at HLS, but no one in the world--thinks that CLS is one of HLS's peer schools. Is the "they are basically the same" argument really the hill you want to die on? :wink:


The work grads do is the same. As soon as people hit biglaw they realize that they may even being working with grads from the lower T14 or God forbid Fordham.

I don't care about fighting this battle and trying to help 0Ls reject unnecessary massive debt.

People talk about fictional or imagined major differences between these schools for their pretend careers.

Debt and having to repay it is the only real thing in these hypothetical. It's so real you can actually calculate it and know what the number will be when you start to repay it with whatever job you get.

Have fun fighting about perceived prestige instead of debt repayment. It's an endless discussion here.


Let's move away from prestige and talk about perceive benefit in litigation in a secondary market as well as other non-law practice jobs later in the career. Does it matter?
Also, what kind of debt difference makes a marginal difference reasonable?


Do you have a particular secondary market in mind? I think someone tried to make the point earlier that you should have a very specific goal for this to be a valid consideration.

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Nebby
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby Nebby » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:15 pm

HLS places better in Tampa than CLS. Therefore HLS at sticker is always better than CLS with $. Impenetrable reasoning

lawlorbust
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby lawlorbust » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:00 pm

jbagelboy wrote:As others have noted, while you make some fair points in your post above, your comments about Columbia and its strengths are not well-informed. But taking it at face value, I do not contend that Columbia:

(1) has superior clerkship placement to Chicago or Harvard (it clearly does not, in fact, it has weaker placement although not as much weaker as you suggest--about 15-18% of each CLS class will clerk, whereas closer to 25-30% of Chicago and HLS classes will clerk);

(2) or that it has superior public interest network than NYU or Yale (it clearly does not, but it is on par with NYU and obviously inferior to Yale in some respects);

(3) or that it is superior for an academic track than Chicago or Harvard or Yale (in fact it is likely more difficult, although as pointed out by other posters, the kind of people that could break into academia from HLS likely could do so from CLS as well);

(4) or that it has superior secondary market placement than Harvard (I think Harvard arguably has the best placement into some secondary markets of any law school since it has the broadest reach, but you are incorrect that Columbia does not have strong placement outside of New York; it has stronger secondary market placement than NYU around the country and is equal to Chicago in markets such as California, Texas, and Boston).

The point is that these schools are similar (not identical) and each have some strengths and some relative weaknesses. You are trying to position Columbia as being categorically weaker than these other schools in each of these areas, which is flatly false. I feel that you have a strange antipathy towards Columbia and its students, which I don't understand. I agree with Dcc that the Harvard posters on this website in a sense do the school a disservice in their attitudes and do not reflect how my friends, co-clerks, and fellow associates that attended Harvard approach these situations. They are not obsessed with differentiating their alma mater from other top law schools, and they wouldn't hesitate to refer to HLS and CLS as peers (and not just for anyone's particular benefit). That doesn't mean they don't think Harvard is the better school ceteris paribus--I think Harvard is the better school all things equal--but the ways many (purportedly) HLS students comport themselves on this website has always been curious to me.


That's pretty much the obverse of what I said, which is: "But the general argument is that CLS, compared to HLS or YLS or UChi or NYU, does one thing really well but is either no better or quantifiably worse at everything else."

In fact, we don't seem to disagree at all. Perhaps on your small claim that CLS is possibly stronger than NYU in some secondary markets, but I'm willing to stipulate to this in order to move on.

On the rest of it, I don't have any antipathy towards CLS. It's a fantastic school, and I'm sorry if you had reason to take anything I've written personally. The unique thing about a HLS-CLS head's-up decision is that it's the easiest dyad to choose between. Basically any other choice, say, between HLS and UCLA, takes on more dimensions, e.g., for someone who might want to go back to California. And I think we both agree that the main question is whether, for the OP, the marginal optionality between the schools is worth 60K.

Also, I want to be clear--I think a lot of my HLS classmates should have taken the money and gone somewhere else. As much as I'm annoyed by the TLS hive mind focus on the dollar debt, unfortunately, it often ends up being right.

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UVA2B
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby UVA2B » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:50 pm

*Checks in to see more people are now voting for Harvard at $200k debt over Columbia for $140k or reapplying for T13 for full ride
*Loses faith in the silent majority who refuse to actually give a good reason for their choice
*Realizes these really have to be 0Ls who don't consider this theoretical "debt" they're taking on compared to the realities of the legal market
*Feels a little bit better

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star fox
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby star fox » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:23 pm

Harvard is objectively better than Columbia which is objectively better than like Virginia but usually not enough to justify a serious cost difference. Seriously I'd do like $10K difference at each of those steps. Real dollars is better than prestige. OP, did you withdraw after getting waitlisted at those schools or stay on? It's not unheard of to go WL -> Full Ride. I think yield protecting does happen, if they assume you'll just go to Harvard anyways.

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UVA2B
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby UVA2B » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:35 pm

star fox wrote:Harvard is objectively better than Columbia which is objectively better than like Virginia but usually not enough to justify a serious cost difference. Seriously I'd do like $10K difference at each of those steps. Real dollars is better than prestige. OP, did you withdraw after getting waitlisted at those schools or stay on? It's not unheard of to go WL -> Full Ride. I think yield protecting does happen, if they assume you'll just go to Harvard anyways.


Cosigned with slight allowance for individual debt/risk aversion.

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QuentonCassidy
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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby QuentonCassidy » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:07 pm

Regarding why Harvard has more votes on the poll: In addition to the already mentioned 0L votes, I also think a lot of it probably comes down to trolling. People want to poke the hive on the internet, and, as evinced on this thread, voting for H in these scenarios stirs up a lot of shit. OP, I think the important thing is to look at the reasoning given in the comments rather than the numbers in the poll. I think reapplying is your best option, for the same reason that others have already thoroughly covered. If you absolutely cannot be swayed to do that then I think Columbia is your best option between the two. FWIW I am a Harvard 1L and I like it here, so this is not coming from any sort of position of buyer's remorse or hostility toward H. I passed up full rides to go to H because I was in an unusual circumstance and I don't regret it at all, but if I were in your position (once again, assuming the inability to reapply) I would absolutely choose CLS.

Also, re: "no one considers HLS and CLS peer schools," I am not so sure about that. As others have said, it depends on how you define peer and what outcome you are looking for. For someone trying to get a generic biglaw job I might very well consider HLS and CLS peer schools. At any rate, I think they are closer to being peer schools than H and Y, so the whole "tier" idea is pretty useless anyway.

And I am particularly dubious about the idea of law school "brand." From what I can tell all of the posters in this thread who are actually practicing lawyers have rejected the idea, and they would certainly be in the best position to know. Further, the little exposure to the practice that I do have corroborates the conclusion that "brand" isn't really a thing. It is well accepted that grades matter far less once you have practiced for a few years because at that point you can actually be judged on your work. It seems to me that what law school you went to would have similar diminished effects for similar reasons.
Last edited by QuentonCassidy on Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:14 pm

QuentonCassidy wrote:Regarding why Harvard has more votes on the poll: In addition to the already mentioned 0L votes, I also think a lot of it probably comes down to trolling. People want to poke the hive on the internet, and, as evinced on this thread, voting for H in these scenarios stirs up a lot of shit. OP, I think the important thing is to look at the reasoning given in the comments rather than the numbers in the poll. I think reapplying is your best option, for the same reason that others have already thoroughly covered. If you absolutely cannot be swayed to do that then I think Columbia is your best option between the two. FWIW I am a Harvard 1L and I like it here, so this is not coming from any sort of position of buyer's remorse or hostility toward H. I passed up full rides to go to H because I was in an unusual circumstance and I don't regret it at all, but if I were in your position (once again, assuming the inability to reapply) I would absolutely choose CLS.

Also, re: "no one considers HLS and CLS peer schools," I am not so sure about that. As others have said, it depends on how you define peer and what outcome you are looking for. For someone trying to get a generic biglaw job I might very well consider HLS and CLS peer schools. At any rate, I think they are closer to being peer schools than H and Y, so the whole "tier" idea is pretty useless anyway.

And I am particularly dubious about the idea of law school "brand." From what I can tell all of the posters in this thread who are actually practicing lawyers have rejected the idea, and they would certainly be in the best position to know. Further, the little exposure to the practice that I do have to the practice corroborates the conclusion that "brand" isn't really a thing. It is well accepted that grades matter far less once you have practiced for a few years because at that point you can actually be judged on your work. It seems to me that what law school you went to would have similar diminished effects for similar reasons.


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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby Studybuddy17 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:17 pm

QuentonCassidy wrote:I passed up full rides to go to H because I was in an unusual circumstance and I don't regret it at all, but if I were in your position (once again, assuming the inability to reapply) I would absolutely choose CLS

If it's not something too personal, would you mind sharing what your unusual circumstance was that led you to turning down the full rides elsewhere? As an 0L, I'm curious as to what circumstances do indeed justify going to H in lieu of the full ride.

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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:21 pm

star fox wrote:Harvard is objectively better than Columbia which is objectively better than like Virginia but usually not enough to justify a serious cost difference. Seriously I'd do like $10K difference at each of those steps. Real dollars is better than prestige. OP, did you withdraw after getting waitlisted at those schools or stay on? It's not unheard of to go WL -> Full Ride. I think yield protecting does happen, if they assume you'll just go to Harvard anyways.

I stayed on a couple of the wait lists and send LOCI, but once I deposit somewhere I can only withdraw to go to another law school right? I can't decide to just back out and push it off a year. That's my understanding correct me if I'm wrong.

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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:22 pm

Rigo wrote:I'd deposit at Columbia but still haggle them through all of May and get another $30-$45k. I'm probably particularly shameless though. Something to consider. Know your worth and hint at willingness to walk (tactfully). You can also buy more time to decide Columbia v. reapply in this scenario.

There is a disconnect between your stats and outcomes for sure but I don't see that you did anything glaringly wrong. You're honestly probably just kind of boring and uninspiring (no offense, I am too probably). I have a few friends with pretty good/great stats (3.9's & 174-176) that ended up with Butler v. H/S and YP+unlucky breaks in the T13. They were k-jd though so pretty unintentesting from a softs perspective. Sometimes it's just the way the cookie crumbles. I don't really get your Northwestern $0 or your initial Columbia hold so maybe something is in fact wrong with your app. *shrug*

I think tackling it in two separate micro decisions is the way to go.
Choose Columbia v. Harvard now and then tackle Winner v. Reapply

Is there really a concept of haggling after accepting their offer? What do you bring to the negotiating table after you've accepted?

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Re: Harvard vs. Columbia ($)

Postby McMooch » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:32 pm

UVA2B wrote:*Checks in to see more people are now voting for Harvard at $200k debt over Columbia for $140k or reapplying for T13 for full ride
*Loses faith in the silent majority who refuse to actually give a good reason for their choice
*Realizes these really have to be 0Ls who don't consider this theoretical "debt" they're taking on compared to the realities of the legal market
*Feels a little bit better

*Will not be able to sleep tonight because worried about botching life altering decision




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