Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

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

Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Columbia (Hamilton)
65
67%
Harvard
32
33%
 
Total votes: 97

hlsperson1111

Bronze
Posts: 386
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:10 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby hlsperson1111 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:58 am

jbagelboy wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:It sounds like you want to go to H, but would feel guilty if you made your parents pay for it. It also sounds like your family really would derive some pride/joy out of having you go to H. So ask them: "Hey, this is a tough decision and I want to know what you think I should do. I know you said that you'd be willing to pay for a lot of the cost of going to Harvard, but it's a lot of money for both of us, and I want to make sure that's something you're really OK with before I decide to go there."


This isn’t going to harvard versus not going to law school. This is going to one ivy league law school or another ivy league law school


That's your perspective. But it might not be the perspective of the people who are offering to pay for OP's law school education.

TheProsecutor

Bronze
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 12:50 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby TheProsecutor » Wed May 02, 2018 1:33 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
TheProsecutor wrote:
tinman wrote:I’ve thought about this more today, and I think Harvard is the obvious answer. Your family is willing to chip in. They must think it will make them happy to see you at Harvard. Is it better they spend their money on cars, or boats, or vacation? I’m not sure. Assuming your parents are set for retirement (ie, a few million net worth and/or awesome pension), I say take the generous support. My family contributed zero to my law school education, and I still chose Y over the Hamilton. No one really cares where I went to school now—my value is based on my work. But I’m not sure I would have gotten my firm of choice from Columbia. Could I have gotten a biglaw gig regardless? Certainly. But I think some firms are better places to work than other, and you’ll have more options from Harvard. Here is an a small anecdote: not one personal from my YLS class went to Cravath despite like 20+ people getting offers. From HLS you will have more choice than from CLS—for firms, clerkships, etc. Sure the clerkships and firms may pay the same, but I think having more choice is better. Also, if you decide to switch careers into business and go work internationally or something, the Harvard name will have more weight.


In 2006, I choose to take YLS over the Hamilton. People thought it was the dumbest idea ever. I graduated in 2009. By then, lots of CLS kids couldn't find jobs. Choosing YLS seemed pretty smart by the time the recession hit. You never know what the economy is going to do, but Yale and Harvard are always a sure bet for its graduates to be ok. All the other schools, its a gamble. So, i'd choose Harvard, but for slightly different reasons than the post above.


Columbia actually outperformed harvard in 2009 eip because cls moved its recruiting calendar up, and more harvard students wound up without SAs

Know your facts


lol. I said I graduated in 2009. My SA class was actually 2008. Pretty sure Harvard beat out Columbia that year. And 2009 was when firms were rescinding offers. Pretty sure Harvard grads made out better in the rush to get jobs in that scenario. . .

learn to read and comprehend. :)

nixy

Bronze
Posts: 451
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby nixy » Wed May 02, 2018 5:38 pm

I have a hard time thinking the Columbia grads were actually suffering compared to the vast majority of students out there, though.

User avatar
tinman

Bronze
Posts: 238
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:17 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby tinman » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:04 pm

nixy wrote:I have a hard time thinking the Columbia grads were actually suffering compared to the vast majority of students out there, though.


Agreed! Though it sounds like OP has little risk here
regardless. S/he is awesome enough to get Harvard and Hamilton. Also has generous parents with deeper pockets than most. Also is thoughtful enough to not want to burden parents. I say enjoy Harvard and let your parents enjoy having a kid at Harvard!

Npret

Silver
Posts: 1358
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby Npret » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:29 pm

I don’t understand these numbers. What are the actual cost differences?
Next year the total cost for Harvard is 95,800 (you can save $3,364 if you have health insurance)
Tuition is 63,800
The rest is living expenses

Next year the cost for Columbia is $93,740
Tuition is $65,252 plus some random fees that add up to $70,660 with a waivable health fee of $2,991
The rest is living expenses

Can you explain where your numbers come from exactly?
Have you included the yearly increases of Harvard in your calculations?

I think you are underestimating the cost differences,are you including the 50k of your savings?

Edit- I just saw you like DC and California potentially as locations, both schools place well there.
I echo that statements that the Hamilton is higly prestigious when it comes to hiring. Is prestige what you are seeking here?
These questions always confuse me because I don’t understand spending a huge amount of money to get a comparable outcome. So is it just prestige you want here?
Last edited by Npret on Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Npret

Silver
Posts: 1358
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby Npret » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:34 pm

tinman wrote:
nixy wrote:I have a hard time thinking the Columbia grads were actually suffering compared to the vast majority of students out there, though.


Agreed! Though it sounds like OP has little risk here
regardless. S/he is awesome enough to get Harvard and Hamilton. Also has generous parents with deeper pockets than most. Also is thoughtful enough to not want to burden parents. I say enjoy Harvard and let your parents enjoy having a kid at Harvard!

OPs parents aren’t rich enough to just spend money enjoying a kid at Harvard or he wouldn’t be asking.
That money invested over time is going to give them a larger safety net rather than spending it unnecessarily on law school education.

LBJ's Hair

New
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby LBJ's Hair » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:37 pm

Columbia rising 2L here who was 1) really pissed he didn't get off the H waitlist, and 2) briefly considered transferring after 1L but ultimately decided against (Top 3-5%, academic awards, etc - I would have been accepted had I applied)/

Here's my perspective - there's no difference between Columbia and Harvard in BigLaw. Ie, for 80% of students, the outcomes at H and CLS are identical. You're making $190K a year at a prestigious law firm. Median students can get offers at V10, and IIRC 30% of my class summered at a firm their 1L summer. The "firm" stuff that TLS makes sound so prestigious and amazing...like it's sorta routine.

For government, my perspective is limited to NY, so like SDNY/EDNY. There again - seemingly very similar outcomes? Many, many AUSAs are H and CLS, with YLS too (and I'm sure overrepresented vs their class size; it's Yale). The pipeline is pretty clear: get top 20% grades, work at a V10 in white collar, clerk SDNY/EDNY, and you will have a good shot at AUSA in the most prestigious or w/e district in the country. Tons of people intern/extern because we're in NYC. It's pretty sick. Maybe you can extern USAO as an H student in Boston? Idk.

Now, clerking...is a little different, and why I briefly considered the transfer. Columbia is strong in NY, so SDNY/EDNY clerkships are not unusual. Same with 2nd Cir. But the school's placement stats, particularly compared to its USNWR ranking, is not good. A lot of this has to do with the NYC location: honestly, once you're here, you don't want to leave. I'm not from the area and was intending to apply to appellate positions broadly as soon as my spring semester grades hit when I first entered CLS. Time came, my grades were good enough and...I had second thoughts. Didn't happen. (Hiring plan = 2nd Cir, DC Cir, among others, and their affiliated district courts are refusing to consider anyone with fewer than 4 semesters of grades.) This isn't necessarily bad - it's because NYC is the best city on earth and CLS students don't want to live anywhere else. But it does mean that the school does not have the sort of...national clerkship culture that Yale, Harvard and even UChicago have. It's not part of the school's DNA in a way that NY BigLaw and AUSA is.

You'll see that reflected in the SCOTUS clerkship numbers, which is a decent proxy IMO: the Columbia numbers are lower, and the clerks disproportionately come from 2nd/DC/SDNY/EDNY. The question therefore is...if you're a Columbia student AND willing to go outside the Acela corridor, are you disadvantaged compared to a Harvard applicant? I'd say a little (like the name is better and I'd bet your clerkship office is better than ours), but even as a clerkship gunner who wants DC/feeder, it wasn't enough to get me to bother transferring. With top grades, you're fine. For an incoming student though, a CLS/Yale question is very different: because of their bullshit grading system, basically anyone can clerk. Not the case at CLS and Harvard. (Harvard friends have complained that judges and firms just treat Harvard's Hs as As and Ps as Bs). My grades make me very competitive anyway, so again, it wasn't worth it to transfer even to Yale. But if you're *choosing* your law school and *truly* a gunner, Yale over CLS/Harvard is a no-brainer.

RE Hamilton specifically: it's awesome from a money perspective, but you shouldn't take it for the "prestige." When you're applying for internships/jobs as a 1L, no one gives a shit that you had a good LSAT and college GPA. They care about *law school grades*. (And FWIW a Hamilton isn't predictive of good grades - know several below median kids with it.)

I, candidly, have plenty of money, so I wasn't worried about paying for law school and was a clerkship nut coming in. Were I in your shoes I would choose Harvard. But for the vast majority of students, there's no difference in career outcome! So choosing Columbia for the location, the ASW experience, etc is a perfectly reasonable choice. And obviously the $$$. Big deal. Like it would be stupid to choose "Simpson Thacher associate, Harvard alum" over "Simpson Thacher associate, CLS alum, + $150K." A median outcome at H is the same as a median outcome at CLS and, to most people, would not be worth $150K for the extra USNWR spot. Now if you're shooting for that top 10/20% of the class outcome, maybe it does matter. The question is 1) whether you want that (it is truly a *fuckload* more work), and 2) whether you think you can get it.

Ie, do you think you're smarter/are you willing to work harder than 80% of the HLS class? And are you willing to bet the Hamilton money on that? You're really the only person who can answer this question - I don't know you. (FWIW I think most TLS people would answer "yes" to 1. Aaaand we'd end up at the end of 1L and they would be pretty close to median, because that's how a normal distribution works lol. Dunno about 2 though.)

User avatar
Dcc617

Gold
Posts: 2327
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:01 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby Dcc617 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:19 pm

Are your parents millionaires? If not, then absolutely don’t pay sticker at Harvard over a full ride at Columbia. That’s insane. I’m willing to wager that none of the people telling you to take Harvard are in law school. 0Ls have no clue what they’re talking about.

That’s a life changing amount of money. Harvard does have some marginal advantages over Columbia. However, they’re absolutely not worth that sort of debt. Plus, it doesn’t even sound like you know what you want to do. “Clerking” isn’t a career. Your plans will likely change as you progress through law school. No debt and a bunch of cash from your family is the way to go.

Seriously, I’m a rising 3L at Harvard. I’m doing my SA with people from all over the T14. I have friends who started regretting the obscene debt as soon as they saw their loans.

Save your money and go to an amazing school for free. It’s idiotic not to.

Also,if you ever see anyone tell you to blow off hundreds of thousands of dollars of scholarship money because of Supreme Court clerkship rates, then you know to absolutely ignore that person. That’s completely insane.

Npret

Silver
Posts: 1358
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby Npret » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:41 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:Columbia rising 2L here who was 1) really pissed he didn't get off the H waitlist, and 2) briefly considered transferring after 1L but ultimately decided against (Top 3-5%, academic awards, etc - I would have been accepted had I applied)/

Here's my perspective - there's no difference between Columbia and Harvard in BigLaw. Ie, for 80% of students, the outcomes at H and CLS are identical. You're making $190K a year at a prestigious law firm. Median students can get offers at V10, and IIRC 30% of my class summered at a firm their 1L summer. The "firm" stuff that TLS makes sound so prestigious and amazing...like it's sorta routine.

For government, my perspective is limited to NY, so like SDNY/EDNY. There again - seemingly very similar outcomes? Many, many AUSAs are H and CLS, with YLS too (and I'm sure overrepresented vs their class size; it's Yale). The pipeline is pretty clear: get top 20% grades, work at a V10 in white collar, clerk SDNY/EDNY, and you will have a good shot at AUSA in the most prestigious or w/e district in the country. Tons of people intern/extern because we're in NYC. It's pretty sick. Maybe you can extern USAO as an H student in Boston? Idk.

Now, clerking...is a little different, and why I briefly considered the transfer. Columbia is strong in NY, so SDNY/EDNY clerkships are not unusual. Same with 2nd Cir. But the school's placement stats, particularly compared to its USNWR ranking, is not good. A lot of this has to do with the NYC location: honestly, once you're here, you don't want to leave. I'm not from the area and was intending to apply to appellate positions broadly as soon as my spring semester grades hit when I first entered CLS. Time came, my grades were good enough and...I had second thoughts. Didn't happen. (Hiring plan = 2nd Cir, DC Cir, among others, and their affiliated district courts are refusing to consider anyone with fewer than 4 semesters of grades.) This isn't necessarily bad - it's because NYC is the best city on earth and CLS students don't want to live anywhere else. But it does mean that the school does not have the sort of...national clerkship culture that Yale, Harvard and even UChicago have. It's not part of the school's DNA in a way that NY BigLaw and AUSA is.

You'll see that reflected in the SCOTUS clerkship numbers, which is a decent proxy IMO: the Columbia numbers are lower, and the clerks disproportionately come from 2nd/DC/SDNY/EDNY. The question therefore is...if you're a Columbia student AND willing to go outside the Acela corridor, are you disadvantaged compared to a Harvard applicant? I'd say a little (like the name is better and I'd bet your clerkship office is better than ours), but even as a clerkship gunner who wants DC/feeder, it wasn't enough to get me to bother transferring. With top grades, you're fine. For an incoming student though, a CLS/Yale question is very different: because of their bullshit grading system, basically anyone can clerk. Not the case at CLS and Harvard. (Harvard friends have complained that judges and firms just treat Harvard's Hs as As and Ps as Bs). My grades make me very competitive anyway, so again, it wasn't worth it to transfer even to Yale. But if you're *choosing* your law school and *truly* a gunner, Yale over CLS/Harvard is a no-brainer.

RE Hamilton specifically: it's awesome from a money perspective, but you shouldn't take it for the "prestige." When you're applying for internships/jobs as a 1L, no one gives a shit that you had a good LSAT and college GPA. They care about *law school grades*. (And FWIW a Hamilton isn't predictive of good grades - know several below median kids with it.)

I, candidly, have plenty of money, so I wasn't worried about paying for law school and was a clerkship nut coming in. Were I in your shoes I would choose Harvard. But for the vast majority of students, there's no difference in career outcome! So choosing Columbia for the location, the ASW experience, etc is a perfectly reasonable choice. And obviously the $$$. Big deal. Like it would be stupid to choose "Simpson Thacher associate, Harvard alum" over "Simpson Thacher associate, CLS alum, + $150K." A median outcome at H is the same as a median outcome at CLS and, to most people, would not be worth $150K for the extra USNWR spot. Now if you're shooting for that top 10/20% of the class outcome, maybe it does matter. The question is 1) whether you want that (it is truly a *fuckload* more work), and 2) whether you think you can get it.

Ie, do you think you're smarter/are you willing to work harder than 80% of the HLS class? And are you willing to bet the Hamilton money on that? You're really the only person who can answer this question - I don't know you. (FWIW I think most TLS people would answer "yes" to 1. Aaaand we'd end up at the end of 1L and they would be pretty close to median, because that's how a normal distribution works lol. Dunno about 2 though.)

You decided not to go to Harvard when you have plenty of money, but you want OP to throw away hundreds of thousands of dollars to go there?
How does that make any sense?
OPs numbers seemed wrong to me from the beginning, but OP never bothered to follow up.

I’m guessing he’s going to Harvard. But that’s ok, someone who appreciates money and the prestige of a named scholarship will gladly take the Hamilton to the bank.

LBJ's Hair

New
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby LBJ's Hair » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:32 pm

Npret wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:Columbia rising 2L here who was 1) really pissed he didn't get off the H waitlist, and 2) briefly considered transferring after 1L but ultimately decided against (Top 3-5%, academic awards, etc - I would have been accepted had I applied)/

Here's my perspective - there's no difference between Columbia and Harvard in BigLaw. Ie, for 80% of students, the outcomes at H and CLS are identical. You're making $190K a year at a prestigious law firm. Median students can get offers at V10, and IIRC 30% of my class summered at a firm their 1L summer. The "firm" stuff that TLS makes sound so prestigious and amazing...like it's sorta routine.

For government, my perspective is limited to NY, so like SDNY/EDNY. There again - seemingly very similar outcomes? Many, many AUSAs are H and CLS, with YLS too (and I'm sure overrepresented vs their class size; it's Yale). The pipeline is pretty clear: get top 20% grades, work at a V10 in white collar, clerk SDNY/EDNY, and you will have a good shot at AUSA in the most prestigious or w/e district in the country. Tons of people intern/extern because we're in NYC. It's pretty sick. Maybe you can extern USAO as an H student in Boston? Idk.

Now, clerking...is a little different, and why I briefly considered the transfer. Columbia is strong in NY, so SDNY/EDNY clerkships are not unusual. Same with 2nd Cir. But the school's placement stats, particularly compared to its USNWR ranking, is not good. A lot of this has to do with the NYC location: honestly, once you're here, you don't want to leave. I'm not from the area and was intending to apply to appellate positions broadly as soon as my spring semester grades hit when I first entered CLS. Time came, my grades were good enough and...I had second thoughts. Didn't happen. (Hiring plan = 2nd Cir, DC Cir, among others, and their affiliated district courts are refusing to consider anyone with fewer than 4 semesters of grades.) This isn't necessarily bad - it's because NYC is the best city on earth and CLS students don't want to live anywhere else. But it does mean that the school does not have the sort of...national clerkship culture that Yale, Harvard and even UChicago have. It's not part of the school's DNA in a way that NY BigLaw and AUSA is.

You'll see that reflected in the SCOTUS clerkship numbers, which is a decent proxy IMO: the Columbia numbers are lower, and the clerks disproportionately come from 2nd/DC/SDNY/EDNY. The question therefore is...if you're a Columbia student AND willing to go outside the Acela corridor, are you disadvantaged compared to a Harvard applicant? I'd say a little (like the name is better and I'd bet your clerkship office is better than ours), but even as a clerkship gunner who wants DC/feeder, it wasn't enough to get me to bother transferring. With top grades, you're fine. For an incoming student though, a CLS/Yale question is very different: because of their bullshit grading system, basically anyone can clerk. Not the case at CLS and Harvard. (Harvard friends have complained that judges and firms just treat Harvard's Hs as As and Ps as Bs). My grades make me very competitive anyway, so again, it wasn't worth it to transfer even to Yale. But if you're *choosing* your law school and *truly* a gunner, Yale over CLS/Harvard is a no-brainer.

RE Hamilton specifically: it's awesome from a money perspective, but you shouldn't take it for the "prestige." When you're applying for internships/jobs as a 1L, no one gives a shit that you had a good LSAT and college GPA. They care about *law school grades*. (And FWIW a Hamilton isn't predictive of good grades - know several below median kids with it.)

I, candidly, have plenty of money, so I wasn't worried about paying for law school and was a clerkship nut coming in. Were I in your shoes I would choose Harvard. But for the vast majority of students, there's no difference in career outcome! So choosing Columbia for the location, the ASW experience, etc is a perfectly reasonable choice. And obviously the $$$. Big deal. Like it would be stupid to choose "Simpson Thacher associate, Harvard alum" over "Simpson Thacher associate, CLS alum, + $150K." A median outcome at H is the same as a median outcome at CLS and, to most people, would not be worth $150K for the extra USNWR spot. Now if you're shooting for that top 10/20% of the class outcome, maybe it does matter. The question is 1) whether you want that (it is truly a *fuckload* more work), and 2) whether you think you can get it.

Ie, do you think you're smarter/are you willing to work harder than 80% of the HLS class? And are you willing to bet the Hamilton money on that? You're really the only person who can answer this question - I don't know you. (FWIW I think most TLS people would answer "yes" to 1. Aaaand we'd end up at the end of 1L and they would be pretty close to median, because that's how a normal distribution works lol. Dunno about 2 though.)

You decided not to go to Harvard when you have plenty of money, but you want OP to throw away hundreds of thousands of dollars to go there?
How does that make any sense?
OPs numbers seemed wrong to me from the beginning, but OP never bothered to follow up.

I’m guessing he’s going to Harvard. But that’s ok, someone who appreciates money and the prestige of a named scholarship will gladly take the Hamilton to the bank.


how did you read that post and conclude that i was telling him to go to Harvard lmao. i said 80% of people at Harvard will do the same thing they'd be doing at Columbia, so he'd be turning down a full ride for no real reason

*i* didn't transfer because im top 3-5% at CLS and that's competitive for like, SCOTUS, so what's the point. but you don't....enter 1L *expecting to be at the top of your class at cls*, right, and top 20% at H may have different clerkship outcomes than top 20% at CLS

so if you have a lot of money and really want to maximize clerkship opps, maybe that's an argument for H over the Hamilton.

Npret

Silver
Posts: 1358
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby Npret » Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:03 am

LBJ's Hair wrote:
Npret wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:Columbia rising 2L here who was 1) really pissed he didn't get off the H waitlist, and 2) briefly considered transferring after 1L but ultimately decided against (Top 3-5%, academic awards, etc - I would have been accepted had I applied)/

Here's my perspective - there's no difference between Columbia and Harvard in BigLaw. Ie, for 80% of students, the outcomes at H and CLS are identical. You're making $190K a year at a prestigious law firm. Median students can get offers at V10, and IIRC 30% of my class summered at a firm their 1L summer. The "firm" stuff that TLS makes sound so prestigious and amazing...like it's sorta routine.

For government, my perspective is limited to NY, so like SDNY/EDNY. There again - seemingly very similar outcomes? Many, many AUSAs are H and CLS, with YLS too (and I'm sure overrepresented vs their class size; it's Yale). The pipeline is pretty clear: get top 20% grades, work at a V10 in white collar, clerk SDNY/EDNY, and you will have a good shot at AUSA in the most prestigious or w/e district in the country. Tons of people intern/extern because we're in NYC. It's pretty sick. Maybe you can extern USAO as an H student in Boston? Idk.

Now, clerking...is a little different, and why I briefly considered the transfer. Columbia is strong in NY, so SDNY/EDNY clerkships are not unusual. Same with 2nd Cir. But the school's placement stats, particularly compared to its USNWR ranking, is not good. A lot of this has to do with the NYC location: honestly, once you're here, you don't want to leave. I'm not from the area and was intending to apply to appellate positions broadly as soon as my spring semester grades hit when I first entered CLS. Time came, my grades were good enough and...I had second thoughts. Didn't happen. (Hiring plan = 2nd Cir, DC Cir, among others, and their affiliated district courts are refusing to consider anyone with fewer than 4 semesters of grades.) This isn't necessarily bad - it's because NYC is the best city on earth and CLS students don't want to live anywhere else. But it does mean that the school does not have the sort of...national clerkship culture that Yale, Harvard and even UChicago have. It's not part of the school's DNA in a way that NY BigLaw and AUSA is.

You'll see that reflected in the SCOTUS clerkship numbers, which is a decent proxy IMO: the Columbia numbers are lower, and the clerks disproportionately come from 2nd/DC/SDNY/EDNY. The question therefore is...if you're a Columbia student AND willing to go outside the Acela corridor, are you disadvantaged compared to a Harvard applicant? I'd say a little (like the name is better and I'd bet your clerkship office is better than ours), but even as a clerkship gunner who wants DC/feeder, it wasn't enough to get me to bother transferring. With top grades, you're fine. For an incoming student though, a CLS/Yale question is very different: because of their bullshit grading system, basically anyone can clerk. Not the case at CLS and Harvard. (Harvard friends have complained that judges and firms just treat Harvard's Hs as As and Ps as Bs). My grades make me very competitive anyway, so again, it wasn't worth it to transfer even to Yale. But if you're *choosing* your law school and *truly* a gunner, Yale over CLS/Harvard is a no-brainer.

RE Hamilton specifically: it's awesome from a money perspective, but you shouldn't take it for the "prestige." When you're applying for internships/jobs as a 1L, no one gives a shit that you had a good LSAT and college GPA. They care about *law school grades*. (And FWIW a Hamilton isn't predictive of good grades - know several below median kids with it.)

I, candidly, have plenty of money, so I wasn't worried about paying for law school and was a clerkship nut coming in. Were I in your shoes I would choose Harvard. But for the vast majority of students, there's no difference in career outcome! So choosing Columbia for the location, the ASW experience, etc is a perfectly reasonable choice. And obviously the $$$. Big deal. Like it would be stupid to choose "Simpson Thacher associate, Harvard alum" over "Simpson Thacher associate, CLS alum, + $150K." A median outcome at H is the same as a median outcome at CLS and, to most people, would not be worth $150K for the extra USNWR spot. Now if you're shooting for that top 10/20% of the class outcome, maybe it does matter. The question is 1) whether you want that (it is truly a *fuckload* more work), and 2) whether you think you can get it.

Ie, do you think you're smarter/are you willing to work harder than 80% of the HLS class? And are you willing to bet the Hamilton money on that? You're really the only person who can answer this question - I don't know you. (FWIW I think most TLS people would answer "yes" to 1. Aaaand we'd end up at the end of 1L and they would be pretty close to median, because that's how a normal distribution works lol. Dunno about 2 though.)

You decided not to go to Harvard when you have plenty of money, but you want OP to throw away hundreds of thousands of dollars to go there?
How does that make any sense?
OPs numbers seemed wrong to me from the beginning, but OP never bothered to follow up.

I’m guessing he’s going to Harvard. But that’s ok, someone who appreciates money and the prestige of a named scholarship will gladly take the Hamilton to the bank.


how did you read that post and conclude that i was telling him to go to Harvard lmao. i said 80% of people at Harvard will do the same thing they'd be doing at Columbia, so he'd be turning down a full ride for no real reason

*i* didn't transfer because im top 3-5% at CLS and that's competitive for like, SCOTUS, so what's the point. but you don't....enter 1L *expecting to be at the top of your class at cls*, right, and top 20% at H may have different clerkship outcomes than top 20% at CLS

so if you have a lot of money and really want to maximize clerkship opps, maybe that's an argument for H over the Hamilton.

“Were I in your shoes I would choose Harvard.”

LBJ's Hair

New
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby LBJ's Hair » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:23 pm

Npret wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Npret wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:Columbia rising 2L here who was 1) really pissed he didn't get off the H waitlist, and 2) briefly considered transferring after 1L but ultimately decided against (Top 3-5%, academic awards, etc - I would have been accepted had I applied)/

Here's my perspective - there's no difference between Columbia and Harvard in BigLaw. Ie, for 80% of students, the outcomes at H and CLS are identical. You're making $190K a year at a prestigious law firm. Median students can get offers at V10, and IIRC 30% of my class summered at a firm their 1L summer. The "firm" stuff that TLS makes sound so prestigious and amazing...like it's sorta routine.

For government, my perspective is limited to NY, so like SDNY/EDNY. There again - seemingly very similar outcomes? Many, many AUSAs are H and CLS, with YLS too (and I'm sure overrepresented vs their class size; it's Yale). The pipeline is pretty clear: get top 20% grades, work at a V10 in white collar, clerk SDNY/EDNY, and you will have a good shot at AUSA in the most prestigious or w/e district in the country. Tons of people intern/extern because we're in NYC. It's pretty sick. Maybe you can extern USAO as an H student in Boston? Idk.

Now, clerking...is a little different, and why I briefly considered the transfer. Columbia is strong in NY, so SDNY/EDNY clerkships are not unusual. Same with 2nd Cir. But the school's placement stats, particularly compared to its USNWR ranking, is not good. A lot of this has to do with the NYC location: honestly, once you're here, you don't want to leave. I'm not from the area and was intending to apply to appellate positions broadly as soon as my spring semester grades hit when I first entered CLS. Time came, my grades were good enough and...I had second thoughts. Didn't happen. (Hiring plan = 2nd Cir, DC Cir, among others, and their affiliated district courts are refusing to consider anyone with fewer than 4 semesters of grades.) This isn't necessarily bad - it's because NYC is the best city on earth and CLS students don't want to live anywhere else. But it does mean that the school does not have the sort of...national clerkship culture that Yale, Harvard and even UChicago have. It's not part of the school's DNA in a way that NY BigLaw and AUSA is.

You'll see that reflected in the SCOTUS clerkship numbers, which is a decent proxy IMO: the Columbia numbers are lower, and the clerks disproportionately come from 2nd/DC/SDNY/EDNY. The question therefore is...if you're a Columbia student AND willing to go outside the Acela corridor, are you disadvantaged compared to a Harvard applicant? I'd say a little (like the name is better and I'd bet your clerkship office is better than ours), but even as a clerkship gunner who wants DC/feeder, it wasn't enough to get me to bother transferring. With top grades, you're fine. For an incoming student though, a CLS/Yale question is very different: because of their bullshit grading system, basically anyone can clerk. Not the case at CLS and Harvard. (Harvard friends have complained that judges and firms just treat Harvard's Hs as As and Ps as Bs). My grades make me very competitive anyway, so again, it wasn't worth it to transfer even to Yale. But if you're *choosing* your law school and *truly* a gunner, Yale over CLS/Harvard is a no-brainer.

RE Hamilton specifically: it's awesome from a money perspective, but you shouldn't take it for the "prestige." When you're applying for internships/jobs as a 1L, no one gives a shit that you had a good LSAT and college GPA. They care about *law school grades*. (And FWIW a Hamilton isn't predictive of good grades - know several below median kids with it.)

I, candidly, have plenty of money, so I wasn't worried about paying for law school and was a clerkship nut coming in. Were I in your shoes I would choose Harvard. But for the vast majority of students, there's no difference in career outcome! So choosing Columbia for the location, the ASW experience, etc is a perfectly reasonable choice. And obviously the $$$. Big deal. Like it would be stupid to choose "Simpson Thacher associate, Harvard alum" over "Simpson Thacher associate, CLS alum, + $150K." A median outcome at H is the same as a median outcome at CLS and, to most people, would not be worth $150K for the extra USNWR spot. Now if you're shooting for that top 10/20% of the class outcome, maybe it does matter. The question is 1) whether you want that (it is truly a *fuckload* more work), and 2) whether you think you can get it.

Ie, do you think you're smarter/are you willing to work harder than 80% of the HLS class? And are you willing to bet the Hamilton money on that? You're really the only person who can answer this question - I don't know you. (FWIW I think most TLS people would answer "yes" to 1. Aaaand we'd end up at the end of 1L and they would be pretty close to median, because that's how a normal distribution works lol. Dunno about 2 though.)

You decided not to go to Harvard when you have plenty of money, but you want OP to throw away hundreds of thousands of dollars to go there?
How does that make any sense?
OPs numbers seemed wrong to me from the beginning, but OP never bothered to follow up.

I’m guessing he’s going to Harvard. But that’s ok, someone who appreciates money and the prestige of a named scholarship will gladly take the Hamilton to the bank.


how did you read that post and conclude that i was telling him to go to Harvard lmao. i said 80% of people at Harvard will do the same thing they'd be doing at Columbia, so he'd be turning down a full ride for no real reason

*i* didn't transfer because im top 3-5% at CLS and that's competitive for like, SCOTUS, so what's the point. but you don't....enter 1L *expecting to be at the top of your class at cls*, right, and top 20% at H may have different clerkship outcomes than top 20% at CLS

so if you have a lot of money and really want to maximize clerkship opps, maybe that's an argument for H over the Hamilton.

“Were I in your shoes I would choose Harvard.”


reread the part of that sentence where I caveated with "I have a lot of money and don't care about paying for school and am a clerkship nut"

Alive97

Bronze
Posts: 335
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:26 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby Alive97 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:59 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:
Npret wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Npret wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:Columbia rising 2L here who was 1) really pissed he didn't get off the H waitlist, and 2) briefly considered transferring after 1L but ultimately decided against (Top 3-5%, academic awards, etc - I would have been accepted had I applied)/

Here's my perspective - there's no difference between Columbia and Harvard in BigLaw. Ie, for 80% of students, the outcomes at H and CLS are identical. You're making $190K a year at a prestigious law firm. Median students can get offers at V10, and IIRC 30% of my class summered at a firm their 1L summer. The "firm" stuff that TLS makes sound so prestigious and amazing...like it's sorta routine.

For government, my perspective is limited to NY, so like SDNY/EDNY. There again - seemingly very similar outcomes? Many, many AUSAs are H and CLS, with YLS too (and I'm sure overrepresented vs their class size; it's Yale). The pipeline is pretty clear: get top 20% grades, work at a V10 in white collar, clerk SDNY/EDNY, and you will have a good shot at AUSA in the most prestigious or w/e district in the country. Tons of people intern/extern because we're in NYC. It's pretty sick. Maybe you can extern USAO as an H student in Boston? Idk.

Now, clerking...is a little different, and why I briefly considered the transfer. Columbia is strong in NY, so SDNY/EDNY clerkships are not unusual. Same with 2nd Cir. But the school's placement stats, particularly compared to its USNWR ranking, is not good. A lot of this has to do with the NYC location: honestly, once you're here, you don't want to leave. I'm not from the area and was intending to apply to appellate positions broadly as soon as my spring semester grades hit when I first entered CLS. Time came, my grades were good enough and...I had second thoughts. Didn't happen. (Hiring plan = 2nd Cir, DC Cir, among others, and their affiliated district courts are refusing to consider anyone with fewer than 4 semesters of grades.) This isn't necessarily bad - it's because NYC is the best city on earth and CLS students don't want to live anywhere else. But it does mean that the school does not have the sort of...national clerkship culture that Yale, Harvard and even UChicago have. It's not part of the school's DNA in a way that NY BigLaw and AUSA is.

You'll see that reflected in the SCOTUS clerkship numbers, which is a decent proxy IMO: the Columbia numbers are lower, and the clerks disproportionately come from 2nd/DC/SDNY/EDNY. The question therefore is...if you're a Columbia student AND willing to go outside the Acela corridor, are you disadvantaged compared to a Harvard applicant? I'd say a little (like the name is better and I'd bet your clerkship office is better than ours), but even as a clerkship gunner who wants DC/feeder, it wasn't enough to get me to bother transferring. With top grades, you're fine. For an incoming student though, a CLS/Yale question is very different: because of their bullshit grading system, basically anyone can clerk. Not the case at CLS and Harvard. (Harvard friends have complained that judges and firms just treat Harvard's Hs as As and Ps as Bs). My grades make me very competitive anyway, so again, it wasn't worth it to transfer even to Yale. But if you're *choosing* your law school and *truly* a gunner, Yale over CLS/Harvard is a no-brainer.

RE Hamilton specifically: it's awesome from a money perspective, but you shouldn't take it for the "prestige." When you're applying for internships/jobs as a 1L, no one gives a shit that you had a good LSAT and college GPA. They care about *law school grades*. (And FWIW a Hamilton isn't predictive of good grades - know several below median kids with it.)

I, candidly, have plenty of money, so I wasn't worried about paying for law school and was a clerkship nut coming in. Were I in your shoes I would choose Harvard. But for the vast majority of students, there's no difference in career outcome! So choosing Columbia for the location, the ASW experience, etc is a perfectly reasonable choice. And obviously the $$$. Big deal. Like it would be stupid to choose "Simpson Thacher associate, Harvard alum" over "Simpson Thacher associate, CLS alum, + $150K." A median outcome at H is the same as a median outcome at CLS and, to most people, would not be worth $150K for the extra USNWR spot. Now if you're shooting for that top 10/20% of the class outcome, maybe it does matter. The question is 1) whether you want that (it is truly a *fuckload* more work), and 2) whether you think you can get it.

Ie, do you think you're smarter/are you willing to work harder than 80% of the HLS class? And are you willing to bet the Hamilton money on that? You're really the only person who can answer this question - I don't know you. (FWIW I think most TLS people would answer "yes" to 1. Aaaand we'd end up at the end of 1L and they would be pretty close to median, because that's how a normal distribution works lol. Dunno about 2 though.)

You decided not to go to Harvard when you have plenty of money, but you want OP to throw away hundreds of thousands of dollars to go there?
How does that make any sense?
OPs numbers seemed wrong to me from the beginning, but OP never bothered to follow up.

I’m guessing he’s going to Harvard. But that’s ok, someone who appreciates money and the prestige of a named scholarship will gladly take the Hamilton to the bank.


how did you read that post and conclude that i was telling him to go to Harvard lmao. i said 80% of people at Harvard will do the same thing they'd be doing at Columbia, so he'd be turning down a full ride for no real reason

*i* didn't transfer because im top 3-5% at CLS and that's competitive for like, SCOTUS, so what's the point. but you don't....enter 1L *expecting to be at the top of your class at cls*, right, and top 20% at H may have different clerkship outcomes than top 20% at CLS

so if you have a lot of money and really want to maximize clerkship opps, maybe that's an argument for H over the Hamilton.

“Were I in your shoes I would choose Harvard.”


reread the part of that sentence where I caveated with "I have a lot of money and don't care about paying for school and am a clerkship nut"


You sound extremely pretentious.

LBJ's Hair

New
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby LBJ's Hair » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:22 am

Alive97 wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Npret wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Npret wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:Columbia rising 2L here who was 1) really pissed he didn't get off the H waitlist, and 2) briefly considered transferring after 1L but ultimately decided against (Top 3-5%, academic awards, etc - I would have been accepted had I applied)/

Here's my perspective - there's no difference between Columbia and Harvard in BigLaw. Ie, for 80% of students, the outcomes at H and CLS are identical. You're making $190K a year at a prestigious law firm. Median students can get offers at V10, and IIRC 30% of my class summered at a firm their 1L summer. The "firm" stuff that TLS makes sound so prestigious and amazing...like it's sorta routine.

For government, my perspective is limited to NY, so like SDNY/EDNY. There again - seemingly very similar outcomes? Many, many AUSAs are H and CLS, with YLS too (and I'm sure overrepresented vs their class size; it's Yale). The pipeline is pretty clear: get top 20% grades, work at a V10 in white collar, clerk SDNY/EDNY, and you will have a good shot at AUSA in the most prestigious or w/e district in the country. Tons of people intern/extern because we're in NYC. It's pretty sick. Maybe you can extern USAO as an H student in Boston? Idk.

Now, clerking...is a little different, and why I briefly considered the transfer. Columbia is strong in NY, so SDNY/EDNY clerkships are not unusual. Same with 2nd Cir. But the school's placement stats, particularly compared to its USNWR ranking, is not good. A lot of this has to do with the NYC location: honestly, once you're here, you don't want to leave. I'm not from the area and was intending to apply to appellate positions broadly as soon as my spring semester grades hit when I first entered CLS. Time came, my grades were good enough and...I had second thoughts. Didn't happen. (Hiring plan = 2nd Cir, DC Cir, among others, and their affiliated district courts are refusing to consider anyone with fewer than 4 semesters of grades.) This isn't necessarily bad - it's because NYC is the best city on earth and CLS students don't want to live anywhere else. But it does mean that the school does not have the sort of...national clerkship culture that Yale, Harvard and even UChicago have. It's not part of the school's DNA in a way that NY BigLaw and AUSA is.

You'll see that reflected in the SCOTUS clerkship numbers, which is a decent proxy IMO: the Columbia numbers are lower, and the clerks disproportionately come from 2nd/DC/SDNY/EDNY. The question therefore is...if you're a Columbia student AND willing to go outside the Acela corridor, are you disadvantaged compared to a Harvard applicant? I'd say a little (like the name is better and I'd bet your clerkship office is better than ours), but even as a clerkship gunner who wants DC/feeder, it wasn't enough to get me to bother transferring. With top grades, you're fine. For an incoming student though, a CLS/Yale question is very different: because of their bullshit grading system, basically anyone can clerk. Not the case at CLS and Harvard. (Harvard friends have complained that judges and firms just treat Harvard's Hs as As and Ps as Bs). My grades make me very competitive anyway, so again, it wasn't worth it to transfer even to Yale. But if you're *choosing* your law school and *truly* a gunner, Yale over CLS/Harvard is a no-brainer.

RE Hamilton specifically: it's awesome from a money perspective, but you shouldn't take it for the "prestige." When you're applying for internships/jobs as a 1L, no one gives a shit that you had a good LSAT and college GPA. They care about *law school grades*. (And FWIW a Hamilton isn't predictive of good grades - know several below median kids with it.)

I, candidly, have plenty of money, so I wasn't worried about paying for law school and was a clerkship nut coming in. Were I in your shoes I would choose Harvard. But for the vast majority of students, there's no difference in career outcome! So choosing Columbia for the location, the ASW experience, etc is a perfectly reasonable choice. And obviously the $$$. Big deal. Like it would be stupid to choose "Simpson Thacher associate, Harvard alum" over "Simpson Thacher associate, CLS alum, + $150K." A median outcome at H is the same as a median outcome at CLS and, to most people, would not be worth $150K for the extra USNWR spot. Now if you're shooting for that top 10/20% of the class outcome, maybe it does matter. The question is 1) whether you want that (it is truly a *fuckload* more work), and 2) whether you think you can get it.

Ie, do you think you're smarter/are you willing to work harder than 80% of the HLS class? And are you willing to bet the Hamilton money on that? You're really the only person who can answer this question - I don't know you. (FWIW I think most TLS people would answer "yes" to 1. Aaaand we'd end up at the end of 1L and they would be pretty close to median, because that's how a normal distribution works lol. Dunno about 2 though.)

You decided not to go to Harvard when you have plenty of money, but you want OP to throw away hundreds of thousands of dollars to go there?
How does that make any sense?
OPs numbers seemed wrong to me from the beginning, but OP never bothered to follow up.

I’m guessing he’s going to Harvard. But that’s ok, someone who appreciates money and the prestige of a named scholarship will gladly take the Hamilton to the bank.


how did you read that post and conclude that i was telling him to go to Harvard lmao. i said 80% of people at Harvard will do the same thing they'd be doing at Columbia, so he'd be turning down a full ride for no real reason

*i* didn't transfer because im top 3-5% at CLS and that's competitive for like, SCOTUS, so what's the point. but you don't....enter 1L *expecting to be at the top of your class at cls*, right, and top 20% at H may have different clerkship outcomes than top 20% at CLS

so if you have a lot of money and really want to maximize clerkship opps, maybe that's an argument for H over the Hamilton.

“Were I in your shoes I would choose Harvard.”


reread the part of that sentence where I caveated with "I have a lot of money and don't care about paying for school and am a clerkship nut"


You sound extremely pretentious.


eh, wasn't intended that way. just laying out in what scenario you'd choose Harvard over CLS and $150K. most people shouldn't do it, but there are situations in which it makes sense - when you're chasing a top 20% outcome

(fwiw, get why this whole discussion annoys some people - they're both amazing options. but OP should do what's best for him/her. maybe it seems pretentious, but doesn't mean it's the wrong move)

ConfusedNYer

New
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:45 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby ConfusedNYer » Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:29 pm

I'm going to throw in my two cents, mostly because I've been using TLS for years and now I'm finally able to offer something slightly productive.

In my experience, the difference between getting a clerkship from Harvard vs. Columbia was more stark than I expected going into law school based off what I had read from TLS. I made a similar decision before going to H (with less money on the table), and ended up going to H mostly for personal reasons. I graduated around median, but was still able to snag a clerkship without any remarkable factors (like an influential prof. pushing for me.) Its not something fancy (medium sized city, district court), but frankly I don't think a similar outcome would have been possible if I turned down H for money somewhere else (i.e. being a median student and still getting a clerkship without other factors in play.)

So if a clerkship is that important to you Harvard is going to help, more so than just looking at the numbers would have you believe (in my opinion). I'm not going to get into whether it makes sense to pay that much for the increased chance (I understand the borderline irrational desire to clerk) but the difference in outcomes is real (although that is a ton of money to leave on the table...)

Cantabridgian

New
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:48 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby Cantabridgian » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:21 pm

Pick Harvard. Always pick Harvard. Here's my story.

I am a geezer. I am reviewing these posts because my 20 year old daughter, with a UGPA of 3.9 from a Public Ivy, and a 176 on the LSAT, is about to apply to most of the T10. If she gets in to HYS she will go to whichever school accepts her, or if all of them accept her then in that order (and, lucky her, she has a 529 Plan). But I wanted to read about the other schools in the Top 10 in the event she's offered a Dillard at UVA or a Hamilton at Columbia or a Root-Tilden-Kern at NYU.

I went to law school in the late 1960s-early 1970s, during the Viet Nam War era. (Yes; I am more than 50 years older than my daughter.) Back then we weren't sure what the Top 10 were, but we knew that Harvard and Yale were at the pinnacle. I had gone to a west coast Public Ivy and was about to graduate with honors. I took the LSAT at the time (then graded 200-800) and got about a 700 (which would be about a 170 now). So I applied to Harvard, Yale, Boalt Hall (now Berkeley Law) and UCLA. UCLA and Boalt Hall accepted me. Harvard put me on the waiting list. Yale Law School told me not to bother.

I went to UCLA since I was from L.A., hoping I'd get into Harvard at the last minute. I didn't. So I studied diligently. Come midterm time I got Cs on my first 2 exams. I buckled down, got book awards in all my classes and finished at the top of my class. I then reapplied and transferred to Harvard.

I never regretted transferring. I finished in the top third of my class at Harvard rather than no. 1 at UCLA. It was during the Viet Nam War and I pulled a high draft number. I worked for a couple of small firms and then started my own firm in 1974. For the past 48 years I've been a trial lawyer, representing ordinary people, and enjoying the hell out of it.

So why Harvard? It's not often discussed, but you learn as much from your fellow students as you do from your professors. And you develop relationships. At Harvard you have double the classmates of most other schools (except GULC), and more of them become impactful and are out there in larger numbers than anywhere else. The relationships you build in law school are invaluable.

Over the years when I needed a lawyer for a client anywhere in the country I reached for my little red Harvard Law School alumni directory for my class and was able to call a classmate almost anywhere in the world. That worked for about 15 years. Over time most of my classmates becamse senior partners in big firms, or judges, or politicians, or Government employees, or they just got rich and retired. But my lord what a resource for the first two decades of the practice of law.

If you want to practicve law, go to Harvard. If you want to go into Government service, go to Harvard. If you want to become a judge, go to Harvard. If you want to teach, consider Yale.

(I'm still practicing law and enjoying the hell out of it.)

So, yeah, Harvard. There's nothing like it. As a law school and as a resource neither Yale nor Stanford can touch it. (Only UVA comes close from what I've read.)

Npret

Silver
Posts: 1358
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby Npret » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:00 am

Cantabridgian wrote:Pick Harvard. Always pick Harvard. Here's my story.

I am a geezer. I am reviewing these posts because my 20 year old daughter, with a UGPA of 3.9 from a Public Ivy, and a 176 on the LSAT, is about to apply to most of the T10. If she gets in to HYS she will go to whichever school accepts her, or if all of them accept her then in that order (and, lucky her, she has a 529 Plan). But I wanted to read about the other schools in the Top 10 in the event she's offered a Dillard at UVA or a Hamilton at Columbia or a Root-Tilden-Kern at NYU.

I went to law school in the late 1960s-early 1970s, during the Viet Nam War era. (Yes; I am more than 50 years older than my daughter.) Back then we weren't sure what the Top 10 were, but we knew that Harvard and Yale were at the pinnacle. I had gone to a west coast Public Ivy and was about to graduate with honors. I took the LSAT at the time (then graded 200-800) and got about a 700 (which would be about a 170 now). So I applied to Harvard, Yale, Boalt Hall (now Berkeley Law) and UCLA. UCLA and Boalt Hall accepted me. Harvard put me on the waiting list. Yale Law School told me not to bother.

I went to UCLA since I was from L.A., hoping I'd get into Harvard at the last minute. I didn't. So I studied diligently. Come midterm time I got Cs on my first 2 exams. I buckled down, got book awards in all my classes and finished at the top of my class. I then reapplied and transferred to Harvard.

I never regretted transferring. I finished in the top third of my class at Harvard rather than no. 1 at UCLA. It was during the Viet Nam War and I pulled a high draft number. I worked for a couple of small firms and then started my own firm in 1974. For the past 48 years I've been a trial lawyer, representing ordinary people, and enjoying the hell out of it.

So why Harvard? It's not often discussed, but you learn as much from your fellow students as you do from your professors. And you develop relationships. At Harvard you have double the classmates of most other schools (except GULC), and more of them become impactful and are out there in larger numbers than anywhere else. The relationships you build in law school are invaluable.

Over the years when I needed a lawyer for a client anywhere in the country I reached for my little red Harvard Law School alumni directory for my class and was able to call a classmate almost anywhere in the world. That worked for about 15 years. Over time most of my classmates becamse senior partners in big firms, or judges, or politicians, or Government employees, or they just got rich and retired. But my lord what a resource for the first two decades of the practice of law.

If you want to practicve law, go to Harvard. If you want to go into Government service, go to Harvard. If you want to become a judge, go to Harvard. If you want to teach, consider Yale.

(I'm still practicing law and enjoying the hell out of it.)

So, yeah, Harvard. There's nothing like it. As a law school and as a resource neither Yale nor Stanford can touch it. (Only UVA comes close from what I've read.)

In this thread an alum says going to Harvard 50 years ago was the best idea.

Dude, you have no idea about debt repayment in the modern era. Always choose Harvard is irresponsible advice. The debt burden of hundreds of thousands of dollars for a piece of paper can not be dismissed so glibly.
Debt pushes some people into jobs they hate just so they can pay it back. Even if they love the job, that money could be going towards their and their families future instead of paying back the government.

There is no legitimate, rational justification for throwing money away on Harvard over Columbia. There isnt a single financial advisor in the US who would recommend that course of action.

Columbia is a fantastic law school. You don’t need a Harvard degree to be successful.

The world has changed significantly since the 60s. Boomers ruined just about everything they touched, don’t continue it with terrible advice based on your limited experience.

Glad it worked out for you, but no way is the answer always Harvard.

nixy

Bronze
Posts: 451
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby nixy » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:44 am

I’m pretty sure a lawyer who graduated from Columbia at the same time you graduated from Harvard could say virtually the same thing. Also not sure how you can say that Yale and Stanford don’t offer similar experiences when you didn’t attend either of them? No one is saying that Harvard is a bad experience - just that if you have the option to go to Columbia for much less money, you are not giving up enough to make Harvard worth the extra cost.

(How much did you actually pay for Harvard? How much of your take-home income were your student loan payments? And if you plan to pay full price for your daughter so she won’t have debt, that’s great, but 1) isn’t there anything else you/she would like to do with that money? and 2) that takes her outside the heartland of applicants.)

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 551
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby QContinuum » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:33 pm

There's little that can be added to Npret and nixy's great points, except the observation that, as much as it wouldn't make sense for the lion's share of candidates to choose Harvard at sticker over Columbia with a Butler or Hamilton, it'd make even less sense for almost anyone to choose Harvard over Yale.

Yale places significantly more strongly than Harvard not just into academia, but also into clerkships, boutiques, government, PI, and the most prestigious large law firms. At least in the Harvard vs. Columbia with $ debate, there are legitimate strengths on the H side of the equation (better clerkship placement, for instance). With exceedingly few exceptions, there's nothing H offers that Y doesn't do better.

And since neither Harvard nor Yale award merit aid, COA is likely to be similar (if not lower at Yale given the lower COL in New Haven vs. Cambridge). Basically the only reason I can think of for choosing Harvard over Yale is if an applicant has a spouse who'd be unable to find work in New Haven. For a 20-year-old applicant like the Harvard alum's daughter, choosing H over Y would be an awful move.

Cantabridgian

New
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:48 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby Cantabridgian » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:06 pm

Interesting comments to my post. If true, then there was no need for this discussion at all. I guess all you 0Ls are just smarter than me. I bow to your experience and judgment.

But my point was, and remains, that Harvard's networking and collegial opportunities outweigh the other considerations. Harvard, more than any other law school, is national and international in scope and has a depth and breadth in its student body that is unmatched anywhere else. Columbia, not so much. If you want to practice Big Law in the Big Apple, then maybe Columbia is close. (Back then the top 5 were Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Chicago and Penn.) But you can't beat Harvard.

If memory serves me, my tuition was around $8800 a year at Harvard (and had been about $1800 a year at UCLA). In today's dollars the Harvard equivalent would be about $55,600. https://www.officialdata.org/1970-dolla ... mount=8800 According to Harvard's website current tuition is $63,800. And, yes, in 1970-1971 I took out student loans.

So I made the 1970-equivalent decision and put my money then where my mouth is now. And will never regret it. And all of you who are pounding me, keep it up. I'm sure the hiring partners in the firms you will apply to will be just as impressed with you as you are.

nixy

Bronze
Posts: 451
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby nixy » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:27 pm

:lol:

Okay.

(Graduated and employed already, but thanks for the advice.)

Cantabridgian

New
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:48 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby Cantabridgian » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:54 pm

QContinuum wrote:There's little that can be added to Npret and nixy's great points, except the observation that, as much as it wouldn't make sense for the lion's share of candidates to choose Harvard at sticker over Columbia with a Butler or Hamilton, it'd make even less sense for almost anyone to choose Harvard over Yale.

Yale places significantly more strongly than Harvard not just into academia, but also into clerkships, boutiques, government, PI, and the most prestigious large law firms. At least in the Harvard vs. Columbia with $ debate, there are legitimate strengths on the H side of the equation (better clerkship placement, for instance). With exceedingly few exceptions, there's nothing H offers that Y doesn't do better.

And since neither Harvard nor Yale award merit aid, COA is likely to be similar (if not lower at Yale given the lower COL in New Haven vs. Cambridge). Basically the only reason I can think of for choosing Harvard over Yale is if an applicant has a spouse who'd be unable to find work in New Haven. For a 20-year-old applicant like the Harvard alum's daughter, choosing H over Y would be an awful move.

I doubt my daughter will want to teach law school. If she did, then it would be a toss up from my perspective. But the decision is hers. If she is going to practice law, to try cases, then Harvard is the clear choice.

While I am a geezer, because I still practice I get to see all the recent admits and I occasionally find myself opposite them. Recent Harvard grads are better prepared to practice law and represent clients than their Yalie counterparts. Most judges have little interest in discussing the intricacies of Robert Cover's Nomos and Narrative. But they appreciate a lawyer who can make a proper objection or a proffer, or authenticate and introduce exhibits and conduct direct examination. (While anecdotal, I'm also thinking about how Kansas SoS Kris Kobach ineptly represented himself earlier this year in the trial of a voter fraud case. He had a Harvard BA, but a Yale Law Degree that seemed to have provided him with no lawerly skills.)

Paul Campos

Silver
Posts: 680
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:44 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby Paul Campos » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:04 pm

"I went to law school in the late 1960s-early 1970s.

"If memory serves me, my tuition was around $8800 a year at Harvard."

Tuition at HLS in 1968-69 was $1,750, which translates to $12,387 in 2018 dollars. UCLA did not charge tuition to state residents in 1968, but it did charge $300 in fees.

Cantabridgian

New
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:48 pm

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby Cantabridgian » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:13 pm

Paul Campos wrote:"I went to law school in the late 1960s-early 1970s.

"If memory serves me, my tuition was around $8800 a year at Harvard."

Tuition at HLS in 1968-69 was $1,750, which translates to $12,387 in 2018 dollars. UCLA did not charge tuition to state residents in 1968, but it did charge $300 in fees.

Nope: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/201 ... ily-income

nixy

Bronze
Posts: 451
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Columbia (Hamilton) vs. Harvard

Postby nixy » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:36 pm

Cantabridgian wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:"I went to law school in the late 1960s-early 1970s.

"If memory serves me, my tuition was around $8800 a year at Harvard."

Tuition at HLS in 1968-69 was $1,750, which translates to $12,387 in 2018 dollars. UCLA did not charge tuition to state residents in 1968, but it did charge $300 in fees.

Nope: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/201 ... ily-income

You realize that you’re responding to the author of that blog, right? And that the numbers in the post you cite are consistent with what he just said? (The post states that Harvard tuition in 1973 was the equivalent of $13,703 in 2014 dollars.) So I’m not clear what you’re disagreeing with.



Return to “Choosing a Law School?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 8 guests