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?
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.