Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

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

New
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:50 pm

Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby Eggs » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:22 pm

This may seem ridiculous at first glance but I think it’s a fair point. Also, apologies if this has been discussed before. If it has, just save everyone’s time and link me to that thread.

Anyways, YHS do not give merit based aid correct? I can see why they don’t because of their prestige. If you go there you’ll get BigLaw and be able to pay it off or I understand their loan repayment programs are phenomenal if you don’t choose BigLaw. That’s all well and great. But, Columbia puts 80% of its grads into BigLaw according to LST. Even if you don’t want BigLaw I’d assume Columbia (or other upper level T-14s) won’t hurt you. So why not go to Columbia for free (or largely discounted) instead of graduating from YHS with 300K+ in debt for the same outcome?

cavalier1138

Platinum
Posts: 5891
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:28 pm

You should absolutely go to a T13 for free over HYS for biglaw. You should probably take that full ride for almost any career track.

But there are "unicorn" careers, like academia, human rights, etc. that are more attainable from HYS. That doesn't mean they're realistic goals to have, or that you should ever go to HYS at sticker over a lower T13 for free. If you get decent aid at HYS, or if you don't land a full ride elsewhere, HYS might make sense.

But for biglaw, or similarly mundane career goals: no. There is absolutely no benefit to taking on $300k in debt to have the name "Harvard" on your degree.

Npret

Gold
Posts: 1944
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby Npret » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:33 pm

Eggs wrote:This may seem ridiculous at first glance but I think it’s a fair point. Also, apologies if this has been discussed before. If it has, just save everyone’s time and link me to that thread.

Anyways, YHS do not give merit based aid correct? I can see why they don’t because of their prestige. If you go there you’ll get BigLaw and be able to pay it off or I understand their loan repayment programs are phenomenal if you don’t choose BigLaw. That’s all well and great. But, Columbia puts 80% of its grads into BigLaw according to LST. Even if you don’t want BigLaw I’d assume Columbia (or other upper level T-14s) won’t hurt you. So why not go to Columbia for free (or largely discounted) instead of graduating from YHS with 300K+ in debt for the same outcome?


Some people get need based aid. Some people are wealthy. Some people want to use the great LRAP type programs for repayment.

Some people want the Harvard name. Some people think Harvard will lead to a better outcome than a school like Columbia.

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 2116
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby QContinuum » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:33 am

Npret wrote:Some people want the Harvard name. Some people think Harvard will lead to a better outcome than a school like Columbia.

To be clear to other readers of this thread, some people do think the above, but those people are wrong.

cavalier is right that YSH have the edge over the rest of the T13 for certain "unicorn" careers. But the advantage is really largely confined to YS, not YSH, and the main advantage is really just in clerkship placement, where Yale absolutely dominates every other school. Even the other "unicorn" careers, like academia and PI, are eminently achievable from a T6 - NYU is second only to Yale in PI placement strength, and Yale's yuge success in placing grads into law professorships is largely a function of self-selection (no hiring committee member is going to look askance at a Chicago or Columbia J.D. for not being prestigious enough - even a "lower" T13 degree wouldn't be a serious handicap, IMO).

So it's a limited set of situations where it makes sense to choose YSH over a "lower" T13. YSH award generous need-based aid, so an applicant might find their COA for Yale to be relatively similar to, say, their COA for Columbia on a Butler (half-ride), especially with New Haven's relatively low cost of living, in which case it'd certainly make more sense to choose Yale. An applicant might be absolutely committed to a PI career, and plan on using PSLF, so that the COA difference might not matter as much as it might appear on paper. Or there are 0Ls with family money who can afford the tuition, and are gunning for a feeder CoA clerkship with a view to clerking on SCOTUS.

miskellyjohnson

New
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2018 2:10 pm

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby miskellyjohnson » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:15 am

"S" should probably be considered separately, given its geography and its tie ins with Silicon Valley. If California, or silicon valley, is what you are interested in, then S certainly offers advantages over Duke or Michigan or even CCN.

As far as YH, with the way the aid is given, they consider cost of living. Even if you get "full tuition" at Columbia, you are still talking about paying 3 years in NYC (unless you get a fellowship with a nice stipend). Depending on circumstance, it could be that final debt is 100K from Columbia vs. 180K from Harvard, and not $0 vs. $300k.

As far as careers, if you are talking about Big law in New York in a good economy, there is probably no reason to chose HYS over some other schools. But if you want a secondary market, or want international placement, or you want to eventually go in house, or for if/when the economy tanks, then the added prestige of a YH (compared to other T13 schools, not necessarily CCN) may become more important.

jsnow212

New
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:36 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby jsnow212 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:42 am

Gotta take a survey of 900 of the highest stat/impressive softs applicants that decide to do that exact thing every single year.

Point is: It depends on the person and it isn't as clear as "take the $$$ and run" the boards make it seem out of be.

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 2116
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby QContinuum » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:52 pm

jsnow212 wrote:Point is: It depends on the person and it isn't as clear as "take the $$$ and run" the boards make it seem out of be.

Economically, if it's between sticker at YSH and a full-ride at CCN, the choice is absolutely as clear as TLS makes it out to be.

But of course, as pointed out earlier ITT, there are folks who are wealthy and don't care that much about the tuition. There are folks who are committed to using PSLF and don't care that much about the tuition (I'm not sure that reasoning is warranted - PSLF severely limits one's options, both professionally and personally - but the reasoning is at least defensible). Worst of all, and completely indefensibly, every year there are 0Ls who go starry-eyed over the idea of being a Hahvahd student and decide the lay prestige of attending the big H over a T6 is worth taking out a six-figure loan.

Bmzl

New
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:07 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby Bmzl » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:51 pm

QContinuum wrote:
jsnow212 wrote:Point is: It depends on the person and it isn't as clear as "take the $$$ and run" the boards make it seem out of be.

Economically, if it's between sticker at YSH and a full-ride at CCN, the choice is absolutely as clear as TLS makes it out to be.

But of course, as pointed out earlier ITT, there are folks who are wealthy and don't care that much about the tuition. There are folks who are committed to using PSLF and don't care that much about the tuition (I'm not sure that reasoning is warranted - PSLF severely limits one's options, both professionally and personally - but the reasoning is at least defensible). Worst of all, and completely indefensibly, every year there are 0Ls who go starry-eyed over the idea of being a Hahvahd student and decide the lay prestige of attending the big H over a T6 is worth taking out a six-figure loan.



If you get in, you’ll have the chance to ask the top law students in the country why so many choose to do so, rather than online commentators who likely didn’t have that choice

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 2116
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby QContinuum » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:12 pm

Bmzl wrote:
QContinuum wrote:Economically, if it's between sticker at YSH and a full-ride at CCN, the choice is absolutely as clear as TLS makes it out to be.

But of course, as pointed out earlier ITT, there are folks who are wealthy and don't care that much about the tuition. There are folks who are committed to using PSLF and don't care that much about the tuition (I'm not sure that reasoning is warranted - PSLF severely limits one's options, both professionally and personally - but the reasoning is at least defensible). Worst of all, and completely indefensibly, every year there are 0Ls who go starry-eyed over the idea of being a Hahvahd student and decide the lay prestige of attending the big H over a T6 is worth taking out a six-figure loan.



If you get in, you’ll have the chance to ask the top law students in the country why so many choose to do so, rather than online commentators who likely didn’t have that choice

  • Inaccuracy #1: "If you get in, you'll have the chance to ask the top law students in the country..." implying I'm a 0L. Fact: My 0L days are long behind me.
  • Inaccuracy #2: TLS posters are "online commentators who likely didn't" get into YSH and/or get a full-ride at another T13. Fact: There are plenty of TLSers who got in to one or more of YSH and received a full-ride at another T13. Many of the YSH vs. full-ride at [insert T13] threads feature advice from TLSers who were once in the exact same boat.

cavalier1138

Platinum
Posts: 5891
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:46 am

Bmzl wrote:If you get in, you’ll have the chance to ask the top law students in the country why so many choose to do so, rather than online commentators who likely didn’t have that choice


I love the Harvard students who inevitably flock to these threads decrying all the dumb CCN students who took a full ride over sticker at their very, very preftigious inftitution. I wonder how it feels when you end up getting the exact same job as all those dullards...

QContinuum wrote:there are folks who are wealthy and don't care that much about the tuition.


This is the real reason you have a lot of folks choosing YSH at sticker over full rides elsewhere. And then you have the 22-year-old paralegal who just knows that having the name "Harvard" on their wall is going to be so much more valuable than having a common name like "Chicago" up there.

nixy

Silver
Posts: 1158
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby nixy » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:09 am

Bmzl wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
jsnow212 wrote:Point is: It depends on the person and it isn't as clear as "take the $$$ and run" the boards make it seem out of be.

Economically, if it's between sticker at YSH and a full-ride at CCN, the choice is absolutely as clear as TLS makes it out to be.

But of course, as pointed out earlier ITT, there are folks who are wealthy and don't care that much about the tuition. There are folks who are committed to using PSLF and don't care that much about the tuition (I'm not sure that reasoning is warranted - PSLF severely limits one's options, both professionally and personally - but the reasoning is at least defensible). Worst of all, and completely indefensibly, every year there are 0Ls who go starry-eyed over the idea of being a Hahvahd student and decide the lay prestige of attending the big H over a T6 is worth taking out a six-figure loan.



If you get in, you’ll have the chance to ask the top law students in the country why so many choose to do so, rather than online commentators who likely didn’t have that choice

And you will get to see confirmation bias in action.

User avatar
Dcc617

Gold
Posts: 2379
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:01 pm

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby Dcc617 » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:39 am

I have friends at Harvard who turned down big scholarships at other schools like Chicago and Columbia. What they had done really only sank in once they started seeing the student loans pile up in their accounts. You don’t know how that feels until you’re in that situation. I’m only here because of military welfare benefits.

Npret

Gold
Posts: 1944
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby Npret » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:42 pm

Dcc617 wrote:I have friends at Harvard who turned down big scholarships at other schools like Chicago and Columbia. What they had done really only sank in once they started seeing the student loans pile up in their accounts. You don’t know how that feels until you’re in that situation. I’m only here because of military welfare benefits.

This is why we keep preaching against debt. It’s so easy to borrow and for some reason it’s hard for 0Ls to grasp what repaying that debt will mean.

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 2116
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:44 pm

Npret wrote:
Dcc617 wrote:I have friends at Harvard who turned down big scholarships at other schools like Chicago and Columbia. What they had done really only sank in once they started seeing the student loans pile up in their accounts. You don’t know how that feels until you’re in that situation. I’m only here because of military welfare benefits.

This is why we keep preaching against debt. It’s so easy to borrow and for some reason it’s hard for 0Ls to grasp what repaying that debt will mean.

I think it's a mix of two things. First, many 0Ls have never had to pay off any student loans (either because their parents paid for college or because they're K-JDs who haven't yet had the "pleasure" of paying off their college loans), so they don't truly grasp how daunting a six-figure debt load is. They just figure that if the loans are being offered to students, clearly it's possible to pay them off. Second, many are tempted to rationalize that, no matter how much debt they end up with, they will be fine because they will be a Harvard Law School graduate. It's Harvard, how could they not be fine?! But of course that's not the right way of looking at it. The right way is to compare the marginal cost of attending Harvard over CCN with the marginal benefit of attending Harvard over CCN. For most students facing a Harvard-at-sticker vs. CCN full-ride choice, the marginal cost is well north of $200k in loans and interest and the marginal benefit is slim to nonexistent.

Also, not to bash Harvard - which is a terrific law school in every sense - but it's funny how, every time this perennial debate comes around, the "YSH at sticker" side is always repped by (would-be) Harvardians. It always seems to be about how the Harvard brand is worth the extra $. I don't recall ever seeing the argument made about the Stanford brand, even though Stanford is an even stronger law school. It's sad how a lot of this boils down to lay prestige - Harvard College's lay prestige at that.

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3530
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby UVA2B » Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:52 pm

I think there is also a fundamental misunderstanding of outcomes sometimes, where there are many firms/outcomes that are only attainable from HYS, and so it falls into a "gamble on yourself" sort of confirmation bias. It's pretty widely understood that certain outcomes may be easier/more attainable at HYS over other schools, such as finding your way to a SCOTUS/feeder clerkship, ACLU, DOJ (more competitive departments), etc. The problem with this mindset is really that you're still focusing on the best outcomes from those schools, which is unrealistic for any 0L to give anything more than a tiny weight in making this decision. The median outcome from HYS is not so demonstrably different than the median outcome at these other schools to make the difference in cost worth the extra investment. If you're considering Columbia or NYU for ~$100k debt (COLish) vs. ~$150k (max grant territory) debt, it's at least entering the realm of reasonable minds disagreeing over whether the extra debt is worth that marginal increase in opportunities. If you're at ~$100k vs. $300k debt, it's an absolute non-starter unless of that family wealth (or maybe LIPP/COAP possibly, but again, schools like CLS and NYU also have pretty strong LRAPss, so you must still consider the weight of additional debt weighing over your decision for a decade).

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 2116
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:03 pm

UVA2B wrote:I think there is also a fundamental misunderstanding of outcomes sometimes, where there are many firms/outcomes that are only attainable from HYS, and so it falls into a "gamble on yourself" sort of confirmation bias. It's pretty widely understood that certain outcomes may be easier/more attainable at HYS over other schools, such as finding your way to a SCOTUS/feeder clerkship, ACLU, DOJ (more competitive departments), etc. The problem with this mindset is really that you're still focusing on the best outcomes from those schools, which is unrealistic for any 0L to give anything more than a tiny weight in making this decision.

At least from my POV, if a 0L is well-informed of post-graduation career paths and has strongly-held goals for which YSH provide a real advantage, I have no problem advising them to attend YSH. Sure, they may not ultimately succeed, but if someone's raison d'etre for attending law school is to do a feeder clerkship and become a law professor, I think it's TCR to attend Yale over CCN even with a $200k+ cost differential.

The problem is that many 0Ls facing this decision don't have any strongly-held goals beyond wanting prestige and lots of $$$, and they think obviously Harvard will get them there. Which it will, but so would CCN, at a much lower cost (again talking about the YSH at sticker vs. CCN full-ride scenario, which I recognize isn't the case for all YSH admittees).

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3530
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby UVA2B » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:19 pm

QContinuum wrote:
UVA2B wrote:I think there is also a fundamental misunderstanding of outcomes sometimes, where there are many firms/outcomes that are only attainable from HYS, and so it falls into a "gamble on yourself" sort of confirmation bias. It's pretty widely understood that certain outcomes may be easier/more attainable at HYS over other schools, such as finding your way to a SCOTUS/feeder clerkship, ACLU, DOJ (more competitive departments), etc. The problem with this mindset is really that you're still focusing on the best outcomes from those schools, which is unrealistic for any 0L to give anything more than a tiny weight in making this decision.

At least from my POV, if a 0L is well-informed of post-graduation career paths and has strongly-held goals for which YSH provide a real advantage, I have no problem advising them to attend YSH. Sure, they may not ultimately succeed, but if someone's raison d'etre for attending law school is to do a feeder clerkship and become a law professor, I think it's TCR to attend Yale over CCN even with a $200k+ cost differential.

The problem is that many 0Ls facing this decision don't have any strongly-held goals beyond wanting prestige and lots of $$$, and they think obviously Harvard will get them there. Which it will, but so would CCN, at a much lower cost (again talking about the YSH at sticker vs. CCN full-ride scenario, which I recognize isn't the case for all YSH admittees).


Yup, if the person seems well-informed, they can feel free to make that gamble on their own. It's then only important to make clear that the risk exists that they may end up in a median outcome at HYS, which is unlikely to differ from what they would have gotten from CCN (or really the T13). The "good" provided here is making abundantly clear that their particular goals and reasoning may be at tension with rational economic behavior, so as long as they're willing to accept that risk, they are becoming a well-informed investor in their future in this career path.

Npret

Gold
Posts: 1944
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby Npret » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:46 pm

Does anyone see a differentiation here with Yale because the loan repayment program there beasically covers everything - including unemployment?
Plus I feel, without evidence necessarily, that Yale grads go into other careers and don’t just funnel into biglaw like many Harvard grads.
Thoughts?

QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 2116
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:55 pm

Npret wrote:Does anyone see a differentiation here with Yale because the loan repayment program there beasically covers everything - including unemployment?
Plus I feel, without evidence necessarily, that Yale grads go into other careers and don’t just funnel into biglaw like many Harvard grads.
Thoughts?

I think that's on the money. Yale is unique enough - and the gap between Yale and CCN etc. big enough - that it's reasonable - for certain goals - to take Yale at sticker over a full ride at CCN. I think it's a tough decision, and that there are strong arguments on each side. It's not a cut-and-dry decision.

I think that the Yale reasoning also applies to Stanford, though Stanford vs. full ride at CCN seems to come up a lot less often on these fora for some reason.

I think the Harvard at sticker vs. full ride at CCN question is different. Harvard's still stronger than CCN, but not to an extent where I think the difference is reasonably worth $200k+ in loans and interest.

HamlinMcgill

New
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue May 17, 2016 7:04 pm

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby HamlinMcgill » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:11 pm

Not everyone who gets into YHS necessarily gets big merit scholarships from CCN. I got a little bit of money from NYU but nothing from Columbia or Chicago. Also some people do get need-based aid from YHS -- it especially helps if you're an older applicant because they don't expect your parents to contribute.

I do agree though with the people pointing out that, for most students, the ultimate outcomes are probably not that different. Most people at YHS don't get feeder judge clerkships. I'm sure it's a higher percentage than at lower ranked schools, but it's definitely a big gamble if that's why you're choosing to take on hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. And even if you manage to get a feeder clerkship, is your life really going to be that different? How many 0Ls really know that having a shot at working in the appellate group of a biglaw firm is going to be worth $300,000 to them?

So my point is just that there are plenty of individual circumstances where I think it totally makes sense to choose YHS. But turning down a full-ride to Columbia for full-price at Harvard, for example, is probably not going to be worth it in the long run for most people.

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3530
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby UVA2B » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:20 pm

HamlinMcgill wrote:Not everyone who gets into YHS necessarily gets big merit scholarships from CCN. I got a little bit of money from NYU but nothing from Columbia or Chicago. Also some people do get need-based aid from YHS -- it especially helps if you're an older applicant because they don't expect your parents to contribute.

I do agree though with the people pointing out that, for most students, the ultimate outcomes are probably not that different. Most people at YHS don't get feeder judge clerkships. I'm sure it's a higher percentage than at lower ranked schools, but it's definitely a big gamble if that's why you're choosing to take on hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. And even if you manage to get a feeder clerkship, is your life really going to be that different? How many 0Ls really know that having a shot at working in the appellate group of a biglaw firm is going to be worth $300,000 to them?

So my point is just that there are plenty of individual circumstances where I think it totally makes sense to choose YHS. But turning down a full-ride to Columbia for full-price at Harvard, for example, is probably not going to be worth it in the long run for most people.


This is fair, and frankly the "YHS vs. CCN (or T13) for free" debate is mostly vacuous and a placeholder for how much a 0L should value prestige, which is probably the oldest debate on this forum that has ~1,000,000,000,000,000 words committed to it. Each circumstance is different, and each applicant is making a different calculation of the relative cost/benefit in a law school decision (which I broadly covered earlier in the $50k difference vs. $200k difference). It's not necessarily possible to acutely determine whether someone should pick one school over another without ample information that is rarely available, so posters mostly paint with broad strokes to skew toward debt/risk aversion here, whether that's the right approach or not.

nixy

Silver
Posts: 1158
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby nixy » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:42 pm

QContinuum wrote:I think that the Yale reasoning also applies to Stanford, though Stanford vs. full ride at CCN seems to come up a lot less often on these fora for some reason.

I suspect it’s regional differences to some extent - for people who are from California/want to stay in California, Yale/Harvard/CCN don’t offer quite the same alternative as they do for someone already east coast-based. (Obviously you could get to California from any of those east coast schools [+Chicago] and you could get to the east coast/Chicago from Stanford, but I think there’s still a regional divide.)

User avatar
WinterComing

Silver
Posts: 727
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:10 am

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby WinterComing » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:04 pm

UVA2B wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
UVA2B wrote:I think there is also a fundamental misunderstanding of outcomes sometimes, where there are many firms/outcomes that are only attainable from HYS, and so it falls into a "gamble on yourself" sort of confirmation bias. It's pretty widely understood that certain outcomes may be easier/more attainable at HYS over other schools, such as finding your way to a SCOTUS/feeder clerkship, ACLU, DOJ (more competitive departments), etc. The problem with this mindset is really that you're still focusing on the best outcomes from those schools, which is unrealistic for any 0L to give anything more than a tiny weight in making this decision.

At least from my POV, if a 0L is well-informed of post-graduation career paths and has strongly-held goals for which YSH provide a real advantage, I have no problem advising them to attend YSH. Sure, they may not ultimately succeed, but if someone's raison d'etre for attending law school is to do a feeder clerkship and become a law professor, I think it's TCR to attend Yale over CCN even with a $200k+ cost differential.

The problem is that many 0Ls facing this decision don't have any strongly-held goals beyond wanting prestige and lots of $$$, and they think obviously Harvard will get them there. Which it will, but so would CCN, at a much lower cost (again talking about the YSH at sticker vs. CCN full-ride scenario, which I recognize isn't the case for all YSH admittees).


Yup, if the person seems well-informed, they can feel free to make that gamble on their own. It's then only important to make clear that the risk exists that they may end up in a median outcome at HYS, which is unlikely to differ from what they would have gotten from CCN (or really the T13). The "good" provided here is making abundantly clear that their particular goals and reasoning may be at tension with rational economic behavior, so as long as they're willing to accept that risk, they are becoming a well-informed investor in their future in this career path.


Wanted to jump in here briefly to say that I think UVA2B's point is partially based on a false premise, at least as it relates to Yale (don't know about Stanford and maybe you're right as to Harvard). That is, for at least certain fancy jobs, you don't really have to be at the top of the class at Yale, insofar as the top of the class is even a thing.

It's true that going to Yale because you want a feeder clerkship is taking a big "gamble on yourself" because most people at Yale don't get feeder clerkships. You have to have good grades and some luck making relationships with professors to pull it off. And then of course that "gamble on yourself" principle will also apply to the certain subset of jobs for which you need the fanciest clerkships as a credential, like certain appellate work. (If you just need any clerkship as a credential, I get the sense that you can clerk from pretty much anywhere in the class here, especially because the grades are pretty mushy so it's hard to differentiate the middle from the bottom.)

But for a lot of other "unicorn jobs" (in the parlance of this website) you don't really have to be at the top of the class at YLS. My experience here is of course anecdotal, so feel free to discount it, but employers in a really wide range of industries—tech to consulting to politics to banking to nonprofit public interest orgs to international human rights orgs—seem to view YLS as a super-impressive door-opening credential. I'm not really sure why to be honest. I've heard people compare it to the Rhodes in terms of its ability to get you jobs for which you are entirely unqualified. Of course it's possible to go to CCN and become the NBA commissioner or whatever, but my sense is that these sorts of outcomes are more likely from Yale. I don't have much hard evidence for this, but the fact that at least slightly less of our class goes to Big Law I think is one indication that there is a wider range of options, including non-law options, available to people here. And people claim that this effect continues for exit options from firms, but I have no idea whether that's really true. I think this effect might be especially strong for people who didn't go to Ivy League undergrads, for a variety of reasons related to the fake meritocracy espoused by the American oligarchy.

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3530
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby UVA2B » Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:00 pm

I'll obviously defer to WinterComing about the recruiting process at Yale for those unicorn jobs, but I also think we both have to accept some level of mushiness in how that term is defined, and I think the way I define it may differ at least partially from yours. When I look at "unicorn" outcomes, I'm talking about unicorn legal outcomes strictly, so things like ACLU, DOJ civil rights (etc.), academia, and elite boutiques and appellate boutiques. Including non-legal careers such as consulting or i-banking or politics is probably fair to include for Yale as an exception for other schools, because Yale is the only school that statistically doesn't act like other schools in getting outcomes. Stanford may also be a slightly less extreme example, but Yale is the best example of a school that doesn't just funnel its students strictly into traditional legal outcomes. So making Yale an exception in this might be fair, in that Yale is just treated different generally (at least in the ethereal sense in which we view the relative strengths and weaknesses of law schools in the world of law school prestige).

Definitely for Harvard, and to a lesser extent Stanford, more or less the median graduates are going into similar outcomes as median students at CCN. It's even possible Harvard and Stanford (and Yale fits in these discussions as well since it can rightfully be included in this advantage) may perform marginally better in difficult, insular markets that have smaller SA classes and not nearly the robust hiring that a place like NYC where CCN feeds a ton of graduates.

The point I hoped to suggest, and one in which I feel confident standing for, is that a 0L who isn't passionately pursuing anything more explicit/well-defined than generically prestigious careers (this is usually indicated by some mixture of goals like "practicing in a federal clerkship, followed by a few years in big law before I move to be an AUSA at SDNY" or something to that effect) should seriously consider whether it makes any sense to take on additional debt for a school in the tier of HYS (maybe excepting if they have max need-based aid that brings the numbers in debt closer) when CCN would likely take them into a similar career. Paying $100k more to end up at Cravath (just using this as an example of higher end biglaw) vs. Weil (ditto) is pretty silly, and it's not much better to pay $100k more for an additional ~5-10% chance at a one year federal clerkship. It's not that those advantages aren't worth anything, but it's just not often enough for a 0L to flippantly assume that debt without realizing the marginal difference there.

User avatar
jbagelboy

Diamond
Posts: 10306
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:23 pm

WinterComing wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
UVA2B wrote:I think there is also a fundamental misunderstanding of outcomes sometimes, where there are many firms/outcomes that are only attainable from HYS, and so it falls into a "gamble on yourself" sort of confirmation bias. It's pretty widely understood that certain outcomes may be easier/more attainable at HYS over other schools, such as finding your way to a SCOTUS/feeder clerkship, ACLU, DOJ (more competitive departments), etc. The problem with this mindset is really that you're still focusing on the best outcomes from those schools, which is unrealistic for any 0L to give anything more than a tiny weight in making this decision.

At least from my POV, if a 0L is well-informed of post-graduation career paths and has strongly-held goals for which YSH provide a real advantage, I have no problem advising them to attend YSH. Sure, they may not ultimately succeed, but if someone's raison d'etre for attending law school is to do a feeder clerkship and become a law professor, I think it's TCR to attend Yale over CCN even with a $200k+ cost differential.

The problem is that many 0Ls facing this decision don't have any strongly-held goals beyond wanting prestige and lots of $$$, and they think obviously Harvard will get them there. Which it will, but so would CCN, at a much lower cost (again talking about the YSH at sticker vs. CCN full-ride scenario, which I recognize isn't the case for all YSH admittees).


Yup, if the person seems well-informed, they can feel free to make that gamble on their own. It's then only important to make clear that the risk exists that they may end up in a median outcome at HYS, which is unlikely to differ from what they would have gotten from CCN (or really the T13). The "good" provided here is making abundantly clear that their particular goals and reasoning may be at tension with rational economic behavior, so as long as they're willing to accept that risk, they are becoming a well-informed investor in their future in this career path.


Wanted to jump in here briefly to say that I think UVA2B's point is partially based on a false premise, at least as it relates to Yale (don't know about Stanford and maybe you're right as to Harvard). That is, for at least certain fancy jobs, you don't really have to be at the top of the class at Yale, insofar as the top of the class is even a thing.

It's true that going to Yale because you want a feeder clerkship is taking a big "gamble on yourself" because most people at Yale don't get feeder clerkships. You have to have good grades and some luck making relationships with professors to pull it off. And then of course that "gamble on yourself" principle will also apply to the certain subset of jobs for which you need the fanciest clerkships as a credential, like certain appellate work. (If you just need any clerkship as a credential, I get the sense that you can clerk from pretty much anywhere in the class here, especially because the grades are pretty mushy so it's hard to differentiate the middle from the bottom.)

But for a lot of other "unicorn jobs" (in the parlance of this website) you don't really have to be at the top of the class at YLS. My experience here is of course anecdotal, so feel free to discount it, but employers in a really wide range of industries—tech to consulting to politics to banking to nonprofit public interest orgs to international human rights orgs—seem to view YLS as a super-impressive door-opening credential. I'm not really sure why to be honest. I've heard people compare it to the Rhodes in terms of its ability to get you jobs for which you are entirely unqualified. Of course it's possible to go to CCN and become the NBA commissioner or whatever, but my sense is that these sorts of outcomes are more likely from Yale. I don't have much hard evidence for this, but the fact that at least slightly less of our class goes to Big Law I think is one indication that there is a wider range of options, including non-law options, available to people here. And people claim that this effect continues for exit options from firms, but I have no idea whether that's really true. I think this effect might be especially strong for people who didn't go to Ivy League undergrads, for a variety of reasons related to the fake meritocracy espoused by the American oligarchy.


These are fair observations, but none of what you describe here is unique to YLS. (Perhaps it’s more acute at YLS than elsewhere, but that’s just a question of margins). It is generally true among law schools that certain jobs are intensely grade selective (such as feeder clerkships) and other opportunities are more connections and entrepreneurship-driven (such as becoming involved in a start-up, or becoming the legal adviser to a foreign embassy). The same is true at somewhere like Chicago and Harvard and Columbia; the only truly grade selective positions are certain clerkships and a few law firms that mirror their hiring standards on appellate clerkship eligibility. I graduated a while ago but from my class many of the most interesting and unique gigs (“unicorn”) people took were not grade selective and certainly were not obtained by virtue of grades.



Return to “Choosing a Law School?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 4 guests