Why choose YHS over the rest of T-14?

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nealric

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

Postby nealric » Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:27 pm

I was never lucky enough to be in the situation of between choosing YLS at sticker vs. CLS Hamilton, but I will be a bit of a voice of dissent from conventional wisdom around here. With my loans in the rearview mirror, $200k seems like a lot smaller deal than it did when I was a newer graduate. I've also seen subtle ways that the most elite credentials can be an enormous benefit to your career. I've said it before, but if I could pay $100k to upgrade my T14 degree to a HLS degree today, I'd do it without hesitation, even knowing I'd be in the exact same job today.

The issue with these decisions (and similar ones down the prestige ladder) is that its a game of odds, and such games are intensely personal with respect to risk and reward. It's absolutely true that in all probability your career is going to look very similar having gone to CLS vs Harvard, but there are also circumstances where the prestige and network will prove invaluable. However, I agree with those above that the "unicorn job" factor is quite a bit stronger at YS, and the value proposition of Yale over CLS is much stronger than Harvard over CLS.

The good news is that any of these options are fantastic, so it's not worth loosing too much sleep over.

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

Postby BrainsyK » Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:42 pm

nealric wrote:I was never lucky enough to be in the situation of between choosing YLS at sticker vs. CLS Hamilton, but I will be a bit of a voice of dissent from conventional wisdom around here. With my loans in the rearview mirror, $200k seems like a lot smaller deal than it did when I was a newer graduate. I've also seen subtle ways that the most elite credentials can be an enormous benefit to your career. I've said it before, but if I could pay $100k to upgrade my T14 degree to a HLS degree today, I'd do it without hesitation, even knowing I'd be in the exact same job today.

The issue with these decisions (and similar ones down the prestige ladder) is that its a game of odds, and such games are intensely personal with respect to risk and reward. It's absolutely true that in all probability your career is going to look very similar having gone to CLS vs Harvard, but there are also circumstances where the prestige and network will prove invaluable. However, I agree with those above that the "unicorn job" factor is quite a bit stronger at YS, and the value proposition of Yale over CLS is much stronger than Harvard over CLS.

The good news is that any of these options are fantastic, so it's not worth loosing too much sleep over.


What are you considering "the most elite credentials?" Is it just YSH, or would still give increasingly larger amount of money to move up the ladder in the T14 (e.g. paying 50k for a Penn degree)?

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

Postby jsnow212 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:01 pm

nealric wrote:I was never lucky enough to be in the situation of between choosing YLS at sticker vs. CLS Hamilton, but I will be a bit of a voice of dissent from conventional wisdom around here. With my loans in the rearview mirror, $200k seems like a lot smaller deal than it did when I was a newer graduate. I've also seen subtle ways that the most elite credentials can be an enormous benefit to your career. I've said it before, but if I could pay $100k to upgrade my T14 degree to a HLS degree today, I'd do it without hesitation, even knowing I'd be in the exact same job today.

The issue with these decisions (and similar ones down the prestige ladder) is that its a game of odds, and such games are intensely personal with respect to risk and reward. It's absolutely true that in all probability your career is going to look very similar having gone to CLS vs Harvard, but there are also circumstances where the prestige and network will prove invaluable. However, I agree with those above that the "unicorn job" factor is quite a bit stronger at YS, and the value proposition of Yale over CLS is much stronger than Harvard over CLS.

The good news is that any of these options are fantastic, so it's not worth loosing too much sleep over.


As someone who has worked in another field similar to biglaw (investment banking at a top firm), I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. I went to a well-known (but not Wharton, Harvard, etc.) level undergrad and ended up in the same job, making the same money, with the same exit opportunities as people who went to those undergrads (I worked alongside nearly all Harvard and Wharton grads that graduated in the top of their class).

Despite our similar situation post-grad, I would notice consistent, meaningful benefits that having that "brand name" conferred on my peers that is hard to describe but very much palpable when I was working alongside them. Although this anecdote doesn't necessarily mean that HLS is worth the extra money, it is something that I experienced first-hand that makes me understand nealric's assessment. You carry the brand name long after the debt is repaid.

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

Postby QContinuum » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:09 pm

IMO, you have to get pretty far apart in the ladder before you'd start seeing a noticeable difference. I can see a noticeable difference between a HLS degree and a Cornell degree, even though both will get you BigLaw; but there we are talking about almost opposite ends of the T13 ranks. I certainly don't think it's worth paying an extra six figures for a Harvard degree over a Chicago degree out of a concern that the HLS J.D. holder would be treated differently than her Chicago J.D. colleague next door.

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nealric

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

Postby nealric » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:37 am

BrainsyK wrote:
nealric wrote:I was never lucky enough to be in the situation of between choosing YLS at sticker vs. CLS Hamilton, but I will be a bit of a voice of dissent from conventional wisdom around here. With my loans in the rearview mirror, $200k seems like a lot smaller deal than it did when I was a newer graduate. I've also seen subtle ways that the most elite credentials can be an enormous benefit to your career. I've said it before, but if I could pay $100k to upgrade my T14 degree to a HLS degree today, I'd do it without hesitation, even knowing I'd be in the exact same job today.

The issue with these decisions (and similar ones down the prestige ladder) is that its a game of odds, and such games are intensely personal with respect to risk and reward. It's absolutely true that in all probability your career is going to look very similar having gone to CLS vs Harvard, but there are also circumstances where the prestige and network will prove invaluable. However, I agree with those above that the "unicorn job" factor is quite a bit stronger at YS, and the value proposition of Yale over CLS is much stronger than Harvard over CLS.

The good news is that any of these options are fantastic, so it's not worth loosing too much sleep over.


What are you considering "the most elite credentials?" Is it just YSH, or would still give increasingly larger amount of money to move up the ladder in the T14 (e.g. paying 50k for a Penn degree)?


No, I don't think I'd pay for anything but YSH. The only people who care about rankings are 0Ls. But people do care about branding, if only on a subconscious level. The branding difference between Cornell and Penn just isn't that significant for law schools.

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

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:28 pm

nealric wrote:I was never lucky enough to be in the situation of between choosing YLS at sticker vs. CLS Hamilton, but I will be a bit of a voice of dissent from conventional wisdom around here. With my loans in the rearview mirror, $200k seems like a lot smaller deal than it did when I was a newer graduate. I've also seen subtle ways that the most elite credentials can be an enormous benefit to your career. I've said it before, but if I could pay $100k to upgrade my T14 degree to a HLS degree today, I'd do it without hesitation, even knowing I'd be in the exact same job today.

The issue with these decisions (and similar ones down the prestige ladder) is that its a game of odds, and such games are intensely personal with respect to risk and reward. It's absolutely true that in all probability your career is going to look very similar having gone to CLS vs Harvard, but there are also circumstances where the prestige and network will prove invaluable. However, I agree with those above that the "unicorn job" factor is quite a bit stronger at YS, and the value proposition of Yale over CLS is much stronger than Harvard over CLS.

The good news is that any of these options are fantastic, so it's not worth loosing too much sleep over.


YMMV. This has not been my experience. The further out I am from school, the less the school matters and the more the debt weighs as my spouse and I try to consider next steps (a kid, buying a home, both impossible while servicing loans). My federal clerkships do matter—those, if anything, become reference points for pedigree in the profession. +1 or -1 USNWR ranking would have negligible impact on my life or career.

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nealric

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

Postby nealric » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:35 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
nealric wrote:I was never lucky enough to be in the situation of between choosing YLS at sticker vs. CLS Hamilton, but I will be a bit of a voice of dissent from conventional wisdom around here. With my loans in the rearview mirror, $200k seems like a lot smaller deal than it did when I was a newer graduate. I've also seen subtle ways that the most elite credentials can be an enormous benefit to your career. I've said it before, but if I could pay $100k to upgrade my T14 degree to a HLS degree today, I'd do it without hesitation, even knowing I'd be in the exact same job today.

The issue with these decisions (and similar ones down the prestige ladder) is that its a game of odds, and such games are intensely personal with respect to risk and reward. It's absolutely true that in all probability your career is going to look very similar having gone to CLS vs Harvard, but there are also circumstances where the prestige and network will prove invaluable. However, I agree with those above that the "unicorn job" factor is quite a bit stronger at YS, and the value proposition of Yale over CLS is much stronger than Harvard over CLS.

The good news is that any of these options are fantastic, so it's not worth loosing too much sleep over.


YMMV. This has not been my experience. The further out I am from school, the less the school matters and the more the debt weighs as my spouse and I try to consider next steps (a kid, buying a home, both impossible while servicing loans). My federal clerkships do matter—those, if anything, become reference points for pedigree in the profession. +1 or -1 USNWR ranking would have negligible impact on my life or career.


Again, I think USNWR is meaningless. I wouldn't pay a dime to go up 1 or even 5 spots in the USNWR ranking. I'm only talking about HYS. Also, my perspective might have been different back when I had student loans, didn't own a house, didn't have kids, etc. It may also matter that I'm not a litigator, and my career advancement won't necessarily be determined by the opinions of other lawyers.

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

Postby LBJ's Hair » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:53 pm

My 2 cents - "HYS" is not a useful category. Yale is a class of its own. (IDK about Stanford.)

The median Harvard student will have the exact same options as the median CCN student--V10-20 BigLaw, not be competitive for SDNY/COA clerkships. The top 5-10% CCN student will have the same options as the top 5-10% Harvard student--feeders, the "unicorn" firm jobs, potentially SCOTUS (maybe at CCN you'd need to be top 5%, whereas Harvard top 10% is ok, but we're really splitting hairs here and it's recommenders, Law Review, other softs, not grades, that will make the difference anyway). I guess for the more marginal clerkship candidates--the top 20%--who are on the edge for 2/9/DC, the Harvard name could swing it, but again, it's not really clear to me that this is true in practice? Harvard's clerkship placement rate isn't better than Chicago's, and while it's better than CLS/NYU, my sense is that this has more to do with geographic/cultural differences of those schools (ie, being in NY).

None of the above is true for Yale. Friend from YLS literally never got an HP, didn't show up to school 3L year, no journal, no professors willing to do more than write a shitty form rec, blah blah blah. Bottom of the class (to the extent that YLS even has grades). Cruised to a V10, applied to clerkships once at the firm...picked up SDNY/EDNY with no fuss. No connections to the judge or anything, just the power of the YLS pedigree.

This would *never* happen at any other law school, including Harvard.



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