Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

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nixy

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby nixy » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:42 pm

Eh, define “general legal community.”

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby QContinuum » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:09 pm

miskellyjohnson wrote:And yes, you can criticize USNWR (who does the survey in question) as being unreliable, but then you cant also rely on the same USNWR (which uses the same unreliable data) to prove that Y and S are ahead of H. And yes, it might be a limited pool, but it is certainly not as limited as "Top-law-schools.com commenters."

I'm not criticizing USNWR, I'm criticizing Kivvit. There's good reason to distrust Kivvit's analysis (e.g., its trumpeting of Hawaii's "mis-ranking" by USNWR and its invention of a never-before-heard-of "T30" category).

miskellyjohnson wrote:In any case, the whole points is that this idea that H is not a peer to Y/S is not one shared among any general legal community.

You went to Harvard, didn't ya, champ?

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby Splurgles23 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:55 pm

QContinuum wrote:
miskellyjohnson wrote:In any case, the whole points is that this idea that H is not a peer to Y/S is not one shared among any general legal community.


You went to Harvard, didn't ya, champ?


Meh, projecting where people went to school based on which side of these kinds of debates they fall on will always end up in a wash. Anyone who defends HLS will be derided as someone who's defending HLS only because they attended HLS and feel the need to validate their choice/their school; anyone who criticizes HLS will be dismissed as someone who's shortchanging it because they didn't get in, and so are (some combination of) resentful/insecure/have a chip on their shoulder. There's fair points, and probably some truth, to both sides. At the risk of being called out for "both-siderism" (which is a pretty stupid form of entrenchment, but that's a whole other story...), I think it's better to just focus on the merits of the claims on both sides.

I do think some people on TLS make a weird, concentrated effort to downplay HLS, but then again, out in the real world it's got a rep that's probably overstated. (But to track that to Suits or Legally Blonde is to get the causation reversed. I don't know what that poster was thinking...?). It's indisputably one of the 3 best law schools in the U.S..., and it's bigger than the other 2. Not much more to it.
Last edited by Splurgles23 on Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby albanach » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:05 pm

LawSchoolLA23 wrote:Also I think the prestige that Harvard Law holds at firms is a little overstated. Sure if you are on Harvard Law review you will be a coveted recruit and will have countless opportunities. However, if you are near the bottom the name won’t carry you too far. Especially with our generation, I think we are less likely to simply fawn over a student because they simply went to Harvard.


Firstly, your generation aren't hiring partners. Secondly, once they are, a great many will fawn over the Harvard name, even if it's for no other reason than (to borrow from big blue) no-one ever got fired for hiring a Harvard graduate.

I'm really not sure you get how important prestige is in the world of law. A T-14 degree will, by itself and regardless of grades, open doors that would otherwise have been closed. A Harvard degree doubly so.

When you're exiting biglaw, that Harvard degree will generate interviews. And the Harvard alumni network will create opportunities. You can argue about whether this is right or wrong, just or unjust. But it's the reality.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby QContinuum » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:11 pm

albanach wrote:Firstly, your generation aren't hiring partners. Secondly, once they are, a great many will fawn over the Harvard name, even if it's for no other reason than (to borrow from big blue) no-one ever got fired for hiring a Harvard graduate.

I'm really not sure you get how important prestige is in the world of law. A T-14 degree will, by itself and regardless of grades, open doors that would otherwise have been closed. A Harvard degree doubly so.

When you're exiting biglaw, that Harvard degree will generate interviews. And the Harvard alumni network will create opportunities. You can argue about whether this is right or wrong, just or unjust. But it's the reality.

I don't think there's any serious dispute that HLS opens more doors than, say, NW or Cornell. (Whether a particular 0L ought to attend HLS at sticker over a large scholly at [insert T13] is a different question, but there's little doubt that there is a real advantage to attending HLS vs. a lower-ranked T13.)

The dispute right now ITT is different: it's the time-old question of whether HLS is on par with (or even better than) YLS/SLS. To this day, in the relevant legal community I've only seen (some) HLS students/alums advance the HLS >= YLS/SLS view. (Of course, the man on the street in, say, Nebraska would likely give the edge to HLS due to Harvard College's lay prestige, but that guy ain't gonna be hiring any T13 grads anyway.)

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby Veil of Ignorance » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:12 am

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/l ... story.html

This professor at Yale Law believes in HYS, referring to it as the "triumvirate" and the "top three (Yale, Stanford, Harvard)". So if you care what YLS professors think, at least this one believes in the Big Three.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby nixy » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:23 pm

Those are references to the fact that USNWR treats them as the top three, not a specific endorsement that Harvard and Yale are the same.

Also a main point of that op-ed is to challenge the reputation ranking that misskellyjohnson was hanging her hat on earlier in the thread. Really, its overall point is to challenge the rankings, period. It’s not addressing anything to do with the fine distinctions between Harvard and Yale that people are arguing about in this thread.

(But, you know, good effort actually going out to try to find support for Harvard’s dominance. It’s an important question.)

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby Wild Card » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:32 pm

They mistake Harvard Law School for Harvard College. The latter is supremely selective, because the admissions process is unfair, whereas the former is not at all selective (in a way), because one can grind one's way in.

Most of them attended nameless universities or second-rate private universities, despite being fairly smart and driven, because of the corruption of undergraduate admissions, and are hoping to redeem themselves and justify their perceptions of themselves.

They are the same people eager to let you now that they are the holders of "juris doctorates."

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby hatelawandgoinghome » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:28 pm

You went to Harvard, didn't ya, champ?[/quote]

In almost every thread comparing H to Y/S, or to some extent comparing H to CCN, QContinuum is going to be on them putting down those who values H's prestige differently than he does. What else is new? Regardless of what you think or how you feel, H is going to open more doors in the real world compared CCN, not just to some lower T13s (somehow you feel H is not on the same par as Y/S, but somehow feel N is on a higher tier than, say Penn?). You can ask a random person in the street of NYC, SF, etc. and not just Nebraska, s/he will more likely to give the edge to H than CCN.

No one should put H on a pedestal, but Q's constant colored comments on H get old pretty fast.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:31 pm

QContinuum wrote:The dispute right now ITT is different: it's the time-old question of whether HLS is on par with (or even better than) YLS/SLS. To this day, in the relevant legal community I've only seen (some) HLS students/alums advance the HLS >= YLS/SLS view. (Of course, the man on the street in, say, Nebraska would likely give the edge to HLS due to Harvard College's lay prestige, but that guy ain't gonna be hiring any T13 grads anyway.)


Extremely not a HLS grad here and I think it's obviously on par with Stanford. (You can make a reasonable argument that Yale is in a world of its own, whatever.)


Here are some objective facts:

- The cross-admits split for HLS and SLS varies somewhat over time but never goes past 40-60 in either direction, and there no merit aid to cloud that picture. HLS has much higher yield despite a much larger class size - Stanford is only more selective insofar as it is 1/3rd the size.

- HLS has a much higher LSAT median.

- HY, not YS, dominate SCOTUS clerkships (and the court itself). Adjusting on a per-capita basis only pulls SLS to parity. Heck, being the Dean of HLS was a sufficient launchpad for Elena Kagan to join SCOTUS without having to ride some lower bench first (I guess they brought her down to be Solicitor General for a year first).

- Harvard's faculty has always been stronger, again cementing a distinct HY zone that Chicago and NYU sorta hang out with, although you could reasonably argue that prospective students shouldn't care about this factor at all.

- HLS and SLS have roughly equivalent LRAPs - along with Columbia they form a clear second tier behind Yale.

And subjectively:

- Median grads from HLS and SLS can expect almost exactly the same outcomes. Ditto for magna at either, or for bottom-third at either - Stanford's better per-capita numbers only really accrue to the marginal slice of people ranked around the 40% percentile who have a somewhat better shot at clerkships, if they want them.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby nixy » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:43 pm

hatelawandgoinghome wrote:
You went to Harvard, didn't ya, champ?


In almost every thread comparing H to Y/S, or to some extent comparing H to CCN, QContinuum is going to be on them putting down those who values H's prestige differently than he does. What else is new? Regardless of what you think or how you feel, H is going to open more doors in the real world compared CCN, not just to some lower T13s (somehow you feel H is not on the same par as Y/S, but somehow feel N is on a higher tier than, say Penn?). You can ask a random person in the street of NYC, SF, etc. and not just Nebraska, s/he will more likely to give the edge to H than CCN.

No one should put H on a pedestal, but Q's constant colored comments on H get old pretty fast.

Random people on the street aren’t generally hiring lawyers. Of course Harvard has a lock on public lay prestige; but people shouldn’t assume that means anything in particular about its law school.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:52 pm

hatelawandgoinghome wrote:No one should put H on a pedestal


And yet...

hatelawandgoinghome wrote: You can ask a random person in the street of NYC, SF, etc. and not just Nebraska, s/he will more likely to give the edge to H than CCN.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby hatelawandgoinghome » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:49 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
hatelawandgoinghome wrote:No one should put H on a pedestal


And yet...

hatelawandgoinghome wrote: You can ask a random person in the street of NYC, SF, etc. and not just Nebraska, s/he will more likely to give the edge to H than CCN.


What I said aren't in contradiction - I simply said no one should do so, but doesn't mean the general public doesn't do so in reality. It's true that random people on the street doesn't hire lawyers, but I find it interesting that Q used Nebraska instead of any major markets, which I took it implies that somehow non major markets have a less accurate understanding of reputation of H/Y/S.

As many have pointed out, it could be that the general public tend to conflate HLS and Harvard College when it comes down to reputation, but H is seen at least in the same tier to Y/S in other industries, especially in finance/general business world, which is why so many 0Ls are so hooked on H's name. Like I said, it gets pretty old and annoying when all Q does is bash on H on the basis of a small percent of TLSer's view and immediately shuts down anyone who says otherwise. Posts like those are not constructive nor helpful to the prospective students who are actually choosing between schools.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby derekne » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:38 pm

hatelawandgoinghome wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
hatelawandgoinghome wrote:No one should put H on a pedestal


And yet...

hatelawandgoinghome wrote: You can ask a random person in the street of NYC, SF, etc. and not just Nebraska, s/he will more likely to give the edge to H than CCN.


What I said aren't in contradiction - I simply said no one should do so, but doesn't mean the general public doesn't do so in reality. It's true that random people on the street doesn't hire lawyers, but I find it interesting that Q used Nebraska instead of any major markets, which I took it implies that somehow non major markets have a less accurate understanding of reputation of H/Y/S.

As many have pointed out, it could be that the general public tend to conflate HLS and Harvard College when it comes down to reputation, but H is seen at least in the same tier to Y/S in other industries, especially in finance/general business world, which is why so many 0Ls are so hooked on H's name. Like I said, it gets pretty old and annoying when all Q does is bash on H on the basis of a small percent of TLSer's view and immediately shuts down anyone who says otherwise. Posts like those are not constructive nor helpful to the prospective students who are actually choosing between schools.


I fall somewhere in the middle here, having taken a Butler at CLS over HLS,(didn't get into Y/S). Sure Harvard is objectively better than CCN all things equal, but I do agree with QC that it is more similar to CCN than it is to Y or even S. The size of the advantage HLS can provide depends heavily on one's goals from the outset. If you want to practice in DC and are dead set on doing a clerkship, go to HLS. DC is the only big market where HYS kids have a real leg up over CCN, and the clerkship culture at CLS is heavily centered on the 2nd Circuit/SDNY/EDNY, which are all extremely competitive. This also holds true if you're dead set on practicing in a smaller city, as HLS' reach nationally is much stronger than any of CCN.

However, if that same person is instead dead set on doing corporate law at a top firm in NYC, I'd tell them to take CLS and never look back. When it comes to V10 placement,(yes even at WLRK), HLS only offers a marginal advantage over CLS, which lives up to its reputation as a big law placement machine. Adjusted for class size, WLRK, CSM, S&C etc. all make roughly the same amount of offers at both schools, and the outlook for the median student is basically the same: a
V20 firm and probably no clerkship. Also, who cares what people in finance and other industries think about the prestige differential? We're studying to be lawyers after all. And in NYC, CLS is plenty prestigious and well respected among my banker (soon to be PE) friends from college.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby Person1111 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:10 am

LawSchoolLA23 wrote:
nixy wrote:Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely get that Harvard opens a lot of doors. People are very lucky (and/or good) to go there. I’m just not convinced that there’s a “huge” difference between it and its closest competitors, and think that people parse this kind of ranking WAY more finely than is really worth it. Again, a difference? Sure. A “huge” difference? I don’t buy that, but maybe we have different definitions of “huge.”


OP here. This is exactly the point I'm trying to make. Harvard is an impressive school and if you have the opportunity to go, I understand why it is hard to turn down. My only point is that I think on this forum we put Harvard on a pedestal / worship it to a degree that is not warranted. Especially in the LA / West Coast market, I don't see attorneys viewing Harvard students differently than those from any other top law school. Your performance at your chosen law school matters much more than the name.


FWIW, I work in LA and my firm treats HLS much differently than CCN (and the rest of the T14). We put it in the same tier as SLS and I think that’s the prevailing view around here.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:41 am

First, I have never "bashed" HLS nor will I ever do so. HLS is an amazing school. Pointing out the fact that HLS is not equivalent to (or, as some posters assert, superior to!) Yale isn't "bashing" HLS. Pointing out the fact that some 0Ls conflate Harvard College's lay prestige with HLS' placement power isn't "bashing" HLS.

Second, I have always believed and stated that HLS is a cut above Columbia and NYU. At equal cost of attendance, HLS is the clear winner over Columbia and NYU. I have never argued that HLS is indistinguishable from Columbia and NYU.

Third, I do think HLS is closer to Chicago than it is to Yale. That said, I still believe HLS to be a hair above Chicago, and at equal cost of attendance, I would still recommend a random 0L deciding between HLS and Chicago to choose Harvard.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby hatelawandgoinghome » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:09 pm

QContinuum wrote:First, I have never "bashed" HLS nor will I ever do so. HLS is an amazing school. Pointing out the fact that HLS is not equivalent to (or, as some posters assert, superior to!) Yale isn't "bashing" HLS. Pointing out the fact that some 0Ls conflate Harvard College's lay prestige with HLS' placement power isn't "bashing" HLS.

Second, I have always believed and stated that HLS is a cut above Columbia and NYU. At equal cost of attendance, HLS is the clear winner over Columbia and NYU. I have never argued that HLS is indistinguishable from Columbia and NYU.

Third, I do think HLS is closer to Chicago than it is to Yale. That said, I still believe HLS to be a hair above Chicago, and at equal cost of attendance, I would still recommend a random 0L deciding between HLS and Chicago to choose Harvard.


All these are fair points. To clarify, I personally do not believe that H is anyway superior than Y/S, and to some extent CC. All of them have their own things - whether it's the lay prestige, program focus, or geographic location advantages. Just like I would recommend someone to pick S over H if they want to work in west coast, I would recommend someone who wants to work in Asia to pick H over S simply because H has a stronger global brand name.

At the end of the day, we can all agree that law school is an extremely expensive investment and we all want prospective students to make a sound decision.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby albanach » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:27 am

QContinuum wrote:The dispute right now ITT is different: it's the time-old question of whether HLS is on par with (or even better than) YLS/SLS. To this day, in the relevant legal community I've only seen (some) HLS students/alums advance the HLS >= YLS/SLS view. (Of course, the man on the street in, say, Nebraska would likely give the edge to HLS due to Harvard College's lay prestige, but that guy ain't gonna be hiring any T13 grads anyway.)


At the elite level, there might be a difference, but in the general, Fortune 500 GC level, that lay prestige has a lot of value. And Harvard Law maintains an advantage from its size that the other two cannot match - the alumni network.

This is five years old:

Image

(Source: https://www.lawdepartmentmanagementblog ... l-counsel/ )
When it comes to other desirable legal positions, Harvard might not perform as well as #1 and #2 on a per capita basis, but I don't think it leaves anyone otherwise qualified uncompetitive because of their alma mater.

The next charts are a couple of years old. (Source: https://empiricalscotus.com/2017/09/10/law-schools/)
State Attorneys/Solicitor Generals
Image

This next image is pretty demonstrative. It is the number of United States Attorneys, sitting federal judges, and state attorney generals per enrolled student.

Image

So, if you're looking for a state attorney/federal judge type of position, Yale has an edge. But it's demonstrably harder to get in, and the additional boost over the lower T14 isn't huge. And, frankly, geographic and political connections are probably at least as important as your school for many of these positions.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby nixy » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:18 am

I don’t think anyone’s claiming Harvard leaves anyone unqualified for anything - just questioning whether the lay prestige that tends to adhere to Harvard College means that 0Ls should be fixated on Harvard Law School to the exclusion of other top schools. Of course Harvard is an excellent outcome; that doesn’t mean it’s worth more money than all the other top schools. I think everyone would agree that it’s a great choice if costs are otherwise equal or even if it’s a little more expensive. It’s a pretty narrow question being argued and isn’t an attack on Harvard’s overall value as much as it is an appeal to 0Ls to do some more research about costs and outcomes at other top schools.

(As for the charts above, they’re impressive, but a lot is due to class sizes. That would explain, for instance, why Georgetown follows Harvard for SA/SGs. As for the US Attorney etc chart, the schools that immediately follow Harvard are Penn State and U of Arkansas, so I’m not certain what value this is for picking a law school. Of course, you can definitely decide that class size is itself a bonus because it extends the alumni network so far, and that’s absolutely fair. It’s just not entirely about quality or prestige - for instance, people don’t usually argue that 0Ls should pick Georgetown based on the size of its alumni.)

My only dog in this fight is that 0Ls who have to settle for the lowly CCN schools not feel like they’re somehow missing out or doomed because they didn’t get in to Harvard.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:33 am

nixy wrote:I don’t think anyone’s claiming Harvard leaves anyone unqualified for anything - just questioning whether the lay prestige that tends to adhere to Harvard College means that 0Ls should be fixated on Harvard Law School to the exclusion of other top schools. ...

(As for the charts above, they’re impressive, but a lot is due to class sizes. That would explain, for instance, why Georgetown follows Harvard for SA/SGs. As for the US Attorney etc chart, the schools that immediately follow Harvard are Penn State and U of Arkansas, so I’m not certain what value this is for picking a law school. Of course, you can definitely decide that class size is itself a bonus because it extends the alumni network so far, and that’s absolutely fair. It’s just not entirely about quality or prestige - for instance, people don’t usually argue that 0Ls should pick Georgetown based on the size of its alumni.)

nix is completely on the ball here, IMO. I'd add that the Fortune 500 GC chart would seem to (wrongly) suggest that Case Western and BU are superior to YLS, and that Georgetown and UT are superior to Chicago, NW, NYU, and Columbia. IU also clocks in above Duke, Boston College clocks in above Stanford and Berkeley, and certainly Creighton outclasses USC and UCLA.

tl;dr Arguing Harvard's superiority based on these charts is misleading and does a tremendous disservice to impressionable 0Ls who are already wont to conflate Harvard College's lay prestige with HLS' placement power.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby Res Ipsa Loquitter » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:00 am

albanach wrote:
QContinuum wrote:The dispute right now ITT is different: it's the time-old question of whether HLS is on par with (or even better than) YLS/SLS. To this day, in the relevant legal community I've only seen (some) HLS students/alums advance the HLS >= YLS/SLS view. (Of course, the man on the street in, say, Nebraska would likely give the edge to HLS due to Harvard College's lay prestige, but that guy ain't gonna be hiring any T13 grads anyway.)


At the elite level, there might be a difference, but in the general, Fortune 500 GC level, that lay prestige has a lot of value. And Harvard Law maintains an advantage from its size that the other two cannot match - the alumni network.

This is five years old:

(Source: https://www.lawdepartmentmanagementblog ... l-counsel/ )
When it comes to other desirable legal positions, Harvard might not perform as well as #1 and #2 on a per capita basis, but I don't think it leaves anyone otherwise qualified uncompetitive because of their alma mater.

The next charts are a couple of years old. (Source: https://empiricalscotus.com/2017/09/10/law-schools/)
State Attorneys/Solicitor Generals

This next image is pretty demonstrative. It is the number of United States Attorneys, sitting federal judges, and state attorney generals per enrolled student.

So, if you're looking for a state attorney/federal judge type of position, Yale has an edge. But it's demonstrably harder to get in, and the additional boost over the lower T14 isn't huge. And, frankly, geographic and political connections are probably at least as important as your school for many of these positions.


You've got the last chart flipped. It's not "US attorneys, state AGs, and sitting judges per enrolled student" -- it's the number of enrolled students divided by alums with those positions. It even says "Enrollment / All Count" under the chart. But who cares? There are 50 state AGs, 93 USAOs, and 870 article III judges. If the stars align and someone gets one of these positions, that's great for them, but nobody should go to law school expecting to end up with one of these jobs. You're right, it's "Pretty Demonstrative" -- of how much of a crapshoot these jobs are.

Regarding F500 GCs, again this is a crapshoot type of job to get. But scaled up for class size, Chicago and UVA seem to do about as well as HLS does in this category.

The SA/SG chart seems unhelpful to me. Again it's a crapshoot/unicorn job. Since YLS and uChi are roughly 1/3 the size of HLS, scale it up to 18 for YLS, 12 for Chicago, and 10 for HLS. Not that these numbers should even matter to a 0L choosing a law school.

If your goal was to show that Harvard's "lay prestige" and "alumni network" makes it equal to YLS and superior to the rest of the T13, then I think these charts fail miserably. Which is weird, because I actually agree that HLS has great lay prestige and a strong alumni network. Not enough prestige/network for me to condone kids taking HLS with $200K debt over a Hamilton or Ruby, but 0Ls gonna 0L.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby QContinuum » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:52 am

Res Ipsa Loquitter wrote:If your goal was to show that Harvard's "lay prestige" and "alumni network" makes it equal to YLS and superior to the rest of the T13, then I think these charts fail miserably. Which is weird, because I actually agree that HLS has great lay prestige and a strong alumni network. Not enough prestige/network for me to condone kids taking HLS with $200K debt over a Hamilton or Ruby, but 0Ls gonna 0L.

An excellent post and a terrific summation.

I do think there are a few situations where taking H with the debt may make sense. For example, someone wanting to work in a foreign country (and I don't mean as a U.S.-qualified associate in a London/Hong Kong BigLaw cap markets group). If (admittedly a big if!) it makes sense for this hypothetical 0L to attend law school in the U.S. (as opposed to, say, doing an MBA/MPP or attending law school abroad), then the power of Harvard's global lay prestige may actually justify a much higher price tag over Chicago. Or, say, a 0L laser-focused on academia, with a particular interest in a niche area where only Harvard (due to its tremendous faculty size) has professors interested in that area. Again, debatable whether a 0L ought to be so laser-focused on a particular niche area, but in that rare case then it could make sense to attend Harvard over Chicago.

But again, these are pretty rare exceptions. For the vast, vast majority of 0Ls, choosing HLS with $200k debt over a Ruby at Chicago would be foolish in the extreme. The typical HLS grad is going to have outcomes functionally identical to the typical CCN grad.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby albanach » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:09 pm

Res Ipsa Loquitter wrote:You've got the last chart flipped.

No, the chart is correct. My description was accidentally flipped. Thanks for pointing it out, (though I think it's patently obvious that Harvard doesn't have 40 Fortune 500 GCs per enrolled law student, given there can only be 500 GCs in that category).

Res Ipsa Loquitter wrote:But who cares?


Given one of the typical exist routes from biglaw is to go in-house at a large corporation, I'd imagine it's at least a little relevant. Alumni networks are important. I think sharing an alma mater with the GC likely gives a hiring boost. This isn't about becoming a GC - it's about getting a job you want.

Res Ipsa Loquitter wrote:There are 50 state AGs, 93 USAOs, and 870 article III judges. If the stars align and someone gets one of these positions, that's great for them, but nobody should go to law school expecting to end up with one of these jobs. You're right, it's "Pretty Demonstrative" -- of how much of a crapshoot these jobs are.


See above.

Res Ipsa Loquitter wrote:Regarding F500 GCs, again this is a crapshoot type of job to get. But scaled up for class size, Chicago and UVA seem to do about as well as HLS does in this category.


Indeed. Notice I'm not an H grad. I'm only arguing the school has a heck of a lot of professional and lay prestige that does translate into good outcomes for its graduates that are at least on a par with its peers. Given the larger class size and slightly easier admissions, combined with those factors, I don't think it's unreasonable for someone in the application stages to be fixated on the school.

Res Ipsa Loquitter wrote:If your goal was to show that Harvard's "lay prestige" and "alumni network" makes it equal to YLS and superior to the rest of the T13, then I think these charts fail miserably.


No, you completely misunderstand the point. I put the post together quickly and clearly more discussion was required.

The goal was to show that the top positions in business and the most prestigious positions in law are stacked with H graduates. Not that you'll become one by attending, but that carrying that degree will mean a great many of the top lawyers you interact with will have attended the same school. And, like it or not, I think that's still important.

If you're arguing that alumni networks and old-boys clubs aren't important in the legal world, I'd like to hear the reasoning behind that argument.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:50 pm

QContinuum wrote:For the vast, vast majority of 0Ls, choosing HLS with $200k debt over a Ruby at Chicago would be foolish in the extreme. The typical HLS grad is going to have outcomes functionally identical to the typical CCN grad.


Surely you'd say the same about Stanford though, right?

I'm still waiting for someone to explain why there's so much daylight between HLS and SLS (it's always seemed to me that the former is better at things where a large class size is helpful and the latter is better at things where a small class size is helpful, and unless you have a strong SF/Boston preference it's hard to regret choosing one over the other) that the classic HYS/CCN formulation is misleading and needs to be replaced with YS/HCCN. Instead the goalposts keep moving to "Harvard isn't worth $200k more than Chicago" or "Yale is better than Harvard". Some of these posts feel like red-herring LR answer choices.

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Re: Prospective Students - Why are you fixated on Harvard Law School?

Postby nixy » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:11 pm

I don’t think the goalposts have really moved. The question was why people fixate on Harvard over other top schools. A lot of 0Ls who fixate on H don’t actually seem to fixate on Y or S. It’s way more common to see people post here about whether they should take H or CCN with money, than whether they should take H over Y or S. I don’t think anyone’s really argued there’s significant daylight between H and S, I think it’s more than S is more like Y in being an admissions black box (and of course small).

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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