Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

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

Where should I go?

Harvard Law School
195
46%
Stanford Law School
230
54%
 
Total votes: 425

Ecureuil
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Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby Ecureuil » Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:49 pm

I already know that it's going to basically be a coin toss, but since I'm already polling all of my friends, I might as well throw it out to the TLS masses.

So I currently have a deposit down at Harvard, but I got accepted off the waitlist at Stanford yesterday morning.

Stanford is currently offering me a nice chunk of change for my first year, but since it is aid based, I'm assuming Harvard will eventually offer me a similar amount (is this a safe assumption?)

I currently have no idea where I want to practice. My friends and family are all in the SF Bay Area, but I've always thought it'd be nice to experience the East Coast. I'm sure both schools place equally nicely at the national level both for clerkships and BigLaw.

So uh...help me do a slo-mo coin toss and vote! Letting me know any factors you think are particularly relevant would be really useful too.

tsukasa
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby tsukasa » Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:53 pm

you can't possibly go wrong here!!

avram
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby avram » Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:59 pm

Lucky you! :p

Have you called Harvard to find out if they're able to offer you a grant similar to the one Stanford's giving you? Why assume when you can know for sure?

I would guess that if you want to practice in CA, you're probably a tiny bit better off going to Stanford? Recruiters/managing partners who went to the same school might give you a tiny bit of an edge, and you'd be able to meet more people in the area during school if you were there for the three years.

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nipplehead
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby nipplehead » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:06 pm

stanford, for no particular reason other than the west coast is the best coast

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cfishy305
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby cfishy305 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:07 pm

dude harvard.

c'mon stanford is sick... but we ARE talking about the H-BOMB... i would take H over Y too... H is the holy grail. to me at least.

Skeptical2L
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby Skeptical2L » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:07 pm

First, congratulations. What a great problem to have.

Have you visited both schools? If you haven't, you should, ASAP. Very different vibes. Stanford appeals to me more b/c of its grading system, small classes, weather, and Lawrence Lessig. But you can't go wrong.

sibarg2
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby sibarg2 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:09 pm

The East Coast is the Beast Coast

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balmina
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby balmina » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:11 pm

very personal decision. if you know for sure you wanna work on the west coast, it might be fun to try something different for a few years, no? it's not like you would have any trouble coming back. or you could find out you love it there.

on the other hand, stanford has no grades now, and overall seems like a much more laid-back place, not to mention great weather. also, at berkeley's asd they told us that east coast schools have an edge in working with big business and in international law as it relates to europe, while berkeley has an edge with sand hill and international stuff with asia. i would imagine the same pertains to stanford. obviously both schools are good enough that you could do whatever you wanted out of either school, but each definitely does have a different focus if you are interested in any of those fields.

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EmmyD
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby EmmyD » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:11 pm

Stanford: Smaller class, no grades, great weather.

boston101
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby boston101 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:13 pm

HLS: location and the worldwide Harvard network

YoungFogey
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby YoungFogey » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:19 pm

Stanford: Nontraditional grade policy = more academic freedom; smaller class size; great cross-disciplinary emphasis; less competitive; fewer grads being churned out each year.

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EmmyD
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby EmmyD » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:22 pm

It's really odd how one can spin class size. Some people argue that the benefit of larger classes like Harvard, GULC, UMich, NYU, etc. is that this leads to a larger alumni base, which means greater preference in the hiring process.

But the other camp will state something like, "We have a smaller class size, therefore we're far more valuable because there are fewer of us." Stanford proponents will say something like that with respect to their employment situation on the east coast.

I'm not ridiculing either attempt. I'm just wondering which one has more truth to it.

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ricky1001
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby ricky1001 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:36 pm

Palo Alto is my favorite city in the entire world. I'd go to Stanford... but then again I'm from the Bay Area.

YoungFogey
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby YoungFogey » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:43 pm

It's really odd how one can spin class size. Some people argue that the benefit of larger classes like Harvard, GULC, UMich, NYU, etc. is that this leads to a larger alumni base, which means greater preference in the hiring process.

But the other camp will state something like, "We have a smaller class size, therefore we're far more valuable because there are fewer of us." Stanford proponents will say something like that with respect to their employment situation on the east coast.

I'm not ridiculing either attempt. I'm just wondering which one has more truth to it.


I think it is a matrix and you can't separate rank from the discussion. Personally, I think Harvard and GULC dilute their brand with the number of grads they churn out. Harvard gets away with it more than GULC does. I do think it is important for a school to have a solid alumni network, so I think UMich does things right on that front -- they have solid class numbers and rabidly loyal alumni. Stanford has the benefit of being known as one of the best law schools in the country. That it has a small class, I think, makes its grads highly sought after, as firms like to tout that they land graduates from all the best schools in the country. Stanford alumni don't need to just stand on the shoulders of their fellow alumni to get jobs, the name of their school carries them pretty far. Now, I don't think the super small class sizes would benefit schools out of the T14 -- if your school doesn't have a super strong national ranking, having a larger alumni base is much more useful.

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Arbit
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby Arbit » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:51 pm

Stanford: Because you won't have to deal with tons of people who chose Harvard "because...well...you know...it's Harvard." Also, Ivy League sports are depressing.

boston101
Posts: 89
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby boston101 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:51 pm

YoungFogey wrote:
It's really odd how one can spin class size. Some people argue that the benefit of larger classes like Harvard, GULC, UMich, NYU, etc. is that this leads to a larger alumni base, which means greater preference in the hiring process.

But the other camp will state something like, "We have a smaller class size, therefore we're far more valuable because there are fewer of us." Stanford proponents will say something like that with respect to their employment situation on the east coast.

I'm not ridiculing either attempt. I'm just wondering which one has more truth to it.


I think it is a matrix and you can't separate rank from the discussion. Personally, I think Harvard and GULC dilute their brand with the number of grads they churn out. Harvard gets away with it more than GULC does. I do think it is important for a school to have a solid alumni network, so I think UMich does things right on that front -- they have solid class numbers and rabidly loyal alumni. Stanford has the benefit of being known as one of the best law schools in the country. That it has a small class, I think, makes its grads highly sought after, as firms like to tout that they land graduates from all the best schools in the country. Stanford alumni don't need to just stand on the shoulders of their fellow alumni to get jobs, the name of their school carries them pretty far. Now, I don't think the super small class sizes would benefit schools out of the T14 -- if your school doesn't have a super strong national ranking, having a larger alumni base is much more useful.


I think Harvard has a huge class because it can. Unlike GULC, the Harvard name is hard to dilute. Maybe its because Harvard grads spread out so far (so theyre not all staying in Cambridge and NYC competing for those jobs). So, why not make as much money as possible by taking a big class?

Arbit wrote:Stanford: Because you won't have to deal with tons of people who chose Harvard "because...well...you know...it's Harvard." Also, Ivy League sports are depressing.


The Harvard-Yale game is alot of fun! LOL.

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underdawg
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby underdawg » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:02 pm

Stanford: It's like Harvard but with less pompous assholes! :)

seancs14
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby seancs14 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:10 pm

I chose Stanford (in the poll), mostly cause of the perpetually perfect weather. That will do wonders to your spirits when it is the middle of January. I live in Boston now and winter is hell if you don't like the cold. If you're not from a cold and humid place, don't underestimate how much that can get you down if you don't like that type of weather.

Not that I have much room to talk on this since I'm going to Minnesota. :|

Congratulations though, either is amazing and Boston is my favorite city in the US.
Last edited by seancs14 on Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ghenderson
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Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:14 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby ghenderson » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:10 pm

Stanford....Although both great, Johnny Dawkins > Tommy Amaker

YoungFogey
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:32 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby YoungFogey » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:10 pm

boston101 wrote:I think Harvard has a huge class because it can. Unlike GULC, the Harvard name is hard to dilute. Maybe its because Harvard grads spread out so far (so theyre not all staying in Cambridge and NYC competing for those jobs). So, why not make as much money as possible by taking a big class?


It's a pet peeve of mine with both schools, precisely because I think it is about money. I think both schools could shave down their class sizes and maintain their educational opportunities. I think larger classes can offer more breadth. However, I do think there is the point of being greedy, and I think both schools cross into it. I think, especially for Harvard, they do it because they can, not because it makes them better.

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ari20dal7
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby ari20dal7 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:41 pm

YF, isn't the real question whether Harvard is made worse? Because if not, there's no reason not to include more people. Everybody at Harvard is awfully qualified......

All of the points discussed here are good, but none of them are determinative. It still comes down to the OP's tastes......I think I'd go to Stanford.

YoungFogey
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby YoungFogey » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:45 pm

ari20dal7 wrote:YF, isn't the real question whether Harvard is made worse? Because if not, there's no reason not to include more people. Everybody at Harvard is awfully qualified......


IMHO, yes. YMMV. That's why they are my pet peeves, not a universal indictment. :)

ari20dal7 wrote:All of the points discussed here are good, but none of them are determinative. It still comes down to the OP's tastes......I think I'd go to Stanford.


I agree here. There is no bad answer here. I think they are very different schools that will give graduates very similar options. It's definitely a "go with what fits" scenario. I do think discussions like this help teasing out issues that could be salient as one makes a decision, though.

boston101
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby boston101 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:49 pm

YoungFogey wrote:
boston101 wrote:I think Harvard has a huge class because it can. Unlike GULC, the Harvard name is hard to dilute. Maybe its because Harvard grads spread out so far (so theyre not all staying in Cambridge and NYC competing for those jobs). So, why not make as much money as possible by taking a big class?


It's a pet peeve of mine with both schools, precisely because I think it is about money. I think both schools could shave down their class sizes and maintain their educational opportunities. I think larger classes can offer more breadth. However, I do think there is the point of being greedy, and I think both schools cross into it. I think, especially for Harvard, they do it because they can, not because it makes them better.


Yeah, its about the money. But, I dont really see the problem with that.
I know that Yale UG is expanding, going to increase the class size by 200-300. Something like a 15% increase. They say they want to give more people the opportunity to attend. I think its bs. They want the money from the tuition when the kids are attending and then the alumni giving money once the kids graduate.

I agree with Ari. Why make it smaller? They just need to hire more profs, which they have the money to do, and then each class/section would be smaller. So, they can make their money AND educate even more people. I think its a win-win for us all.

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ari20dal7
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby ari20dal7 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:55 pm

Yeah, I actually kind of agree on the class size issue. I wish UCLA were a bit smaller. There are benefits and drawbacks both ways, but I think the smaller class size at Y and S offers a more academic focus. Totally a personal choice though.

I also agree that the discussion has been very helpful. Most of the choice questions on here can be answered either without knowing anything about the OP or with just a bit of information about preferences. Here, it's a really hard call, and I'm sure the discussion has to help the OP choose.

libertarian
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Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby libertarian » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:58 pm

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Last edited by libertarian on Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.




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