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

jinxremoved
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:02 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby jinxremoved » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:00 pm

Having lived in both Palo Alto and Cambridge, I can assure you that Cambridge has a lot higher quality of life (aside from weather, but I'd still say Cambridge falls and summers are very nice).

That being said, Harvard is known as being more corporate with more pretentious assholes to contend with. It's also more competitive within the school itself (competitive as people see you as a competitor, not as in harder).

That being said, I really think people should take the opportunity to live in more than one area of the US and spending 3 years in Cambridge will be a great experience for you.

Either way, you really can't go wrong. Maybe you should fly out and visit this weekend?

The_Wall
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:52 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby The_Wall » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:08 pm

Yale doubling its class size is a mistake, whatever the motive. I think people underestimate how much it's helped by being half the size of Harvard, both in terms of the quality of education and the quality (and perceived selectivity) of its graduates.

Can it compete on the same playing field? Because if Harvard took half its entering class, its median, 25th% and 75th% would all be better than Yale's, which is why, to expand on YoungFogey's answer to Emmy, it's not straightforward. Georgetown may be diluted by its large class size (maybe not-how many upper 170s, 4.0 Rhodes Scholars would Georgetown get anyway?), but Harvard is still among the three most selective schools in the country despite taking over five hundred applicants. I would say its class is the best of all worlds-it's still ultra-selective and ultra-prestigious and it has an unrivaled alumni base. Yale gets a lot of fawning and giggling from all of us, but out in the world I'm not sure that it's really the better degree.

That said, I still recommend Stanford.

boston101
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:36 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby boston101 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:15 pm

The_Wall wrote:Yale doubling its class size is a mistake, whatever the motive. I think people underestimate how much it's helped by being half the size of Harvard, both in terms of the quality of education and the quality (and perceived selectivity) of its graduates.

Can it compete on the same playing field? Because if Harvard took half its entering class, its median, 25th% and 75th% would all be better than Yale's, which is why, to expand on YoungFogey's answer to Emmy, it's not straightforward. Georgetown may be diluted by its large class size (maybe not-how many upper 170s, 4.0 Rhodes Scholars would Georgetown get anyway?), but Harvard is still among the three most selective schools in the country despite taking over five hundred applicants. I would say its class is the best of all worlds-it's still ultra-selective and ultra-prestigious and it has an unrivaled alumni base. Yale gets a lot of fawning and giggling from all of us, but out in the world I'm not sure that it's really the better degree.

That said, I still recommend Stanford.


Hm. Yale College, not YLS is expanding. If YLS expanded to HLS size, I think it would lose its #1 spot, and thus the school would lose its crown jewel. The Corporation wouldnt let that happen.

User avatar
badfish
Posts: 1160
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:53 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby badfish » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:37 pm

Gotta drop the H-Bomb. I love California and Stanford but as far as I'm concerned there is only one school that would stop me from going to Harvard and that is Yale.

The_Wall
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:52 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby The_Wall » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:48 pm

Ah, I misread.

Thanks.

Gators08
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:11 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby Gators08 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:49 pm

Unless you refuse to leave the west coast, it has to be Harvard without a question. Harvard Law is the most famous school, of law or of anything else, in this country.

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby underdawg » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:01 pm

Most people picking Harvard have no reason besides "Uhhh....it's Harvard!" :roll:

User avatar
iagolives
Posts: 687
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:24 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby iagolives » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:08 pm

Wow, I don't really know what I'd do in your situation, but wow.

In at HS and money from Stanford? You are my new hero... :)

(Can I be so rude as to ask you your numbers?)

boston101
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:36 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby boston101 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:16 pm

underdawg wrote:Most people picking Harvard have no reason besides "Uhhh....it's Harvard!" :roll:



Alot of people like/prefer the location. I think youd be surprised at how many people are HARDCORE east coasters. Even some of the biggest prestige snobs I know (myself included) would take a lower ranked school on the east coast over high ranked west coast school. In this case, theyre comprably ranked, so its an even more obvious choice for east coasters.

User avatar
rabbit9198
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:29 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby rabbit9198 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:16 pm

Ecureuil wrote: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?)


NOT a safe assumption. On the most basic level, Stanford's "base loan" amount is lower than Harvard's - meaning that they don't ask you to take out as much in loans. For me, the difference came out to about $5,000 for the first year [that includes a small adjustment - in favor of Harvard - due to their more-generous EFC calculation], which I guess is small change in the long run but might be a factor for some people.

DEFINITELY check with Harvard before assuming that they'll match Stanford; for most people I've talked to, that has not been the case.

User avatar
Genki
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:04 am

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby Genki » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:29 pm

It depends how important being able to brag about where you went to law school is to you.
To the average person, Harvard sounds much more impressive.
If that doesn't matter to you, both schools are great so I would base my decision on where you would rather spend the next 3 years of your life.

(I voted Stanford BTW)

Gators08
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:11 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby Gators08 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:31 pm

underdawg wrote:Most people picking Harvard have no reason besides "Uhhh....it's Harvard!" :roll:


And unless the person choosing has a personally compelling reason to choose Stanford instead that is a perfect reason.

What sets the schools apart? The fact that Harvard is Harvard and Stanford isn't.

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby underdawg » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:35 pm

Gators08 wrote:
underdawg wrote:Most people picking Harvard have no reason besides "Uhhh....it's Harvard!" :roll:


And unless the person choosing has a personally compelling reason to choose Stanford instead that is a perfect reason.

What sets the schools apart? The fact that Harvard is Harvard and Stanford isn't.

Riiiiight...

I'm pretty sure the average person at Stanford will be cooler than the average person at Harvard because the prestige whores all chose Harvard.

Location is a valid reason.

boston101
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:36 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby boston101 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:49 pm

underdawg wrote:
Gators08 wrote:
underdawg wrote:Most people picking Harvard have no reason besides "Uhhh....it's Harvard!" :roll:


And unless the person choosing has a personally compelling reason to choose Stanford instead that is a perfect reason.

What sets the schools apart? The fact that Harvard is Harvard and Stanford isn't.

Riiiiight...

I'm pretty sure the average person at Stanford will be cooler than the average person at Harvard because the prestige whores all chose Harvard.

Location is a valid reason.


UD, you seemed to be obsessed with this idea of certain schools (HLS, CLS) being havens for prestige whores. I disagree. But, if they are, they are. Just because someone is proud of their school's rank, doesnt say all that much about their personality.

Do you know people at both schools? Have you spent alot of time at each? Each school gets its fair share of self-absorbed, conceited, competitive people. Actually, one of the more obnoxious people (and her two sorority sisters) I knew ended up at SLS. I got the same feeling from both schools when I visited. I dont think theres THAT much of a difference between any of the T14. Only outside of the T14 (I didnt visit UVA) but before the 50s, did I sense a noticeably more chill evironment.

To the OP, either choice is a good one. I think it should come down to your location preference and how important name recognition (and all that it brings) is to you.

User avatar
Arbit
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 12:58 am

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby Arbit » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:54 pm

A vast majority of people will have some preference when choosing between schools with notably different class sizes on opposite coasts with somewhat different specialties. People who ignore these preferences and choose a school based solely on name brand and impressing/intimidating those around them are usually not the funnest people to be around for three years. Trust me, I know about 6 people from my graduating class headed to HLS next year who made their decision based on prestige alone, and they are among the people I will be most happy to separate myself from by 3,000 miles.

There are certainly a great deal of good reasons why one may choose Harvard over Stanford, but I don't think that the slight difference in lay prestige or "fact that Harvard is Harvard and Stanford isn't" is the "perfect" reason. In fact, I think an equally compelling reason to choose Stanford would be to be around people who ignored the fact that "it's Harvard" (rainbow effects added for emphasis) and chose the school they felt was a better fit. There will be some prestige whores at both, but generally if one decides to walk that path, Harvard will give another few pumps to their ego than any other school, which is why there is considered to be a larger proportion of such types at HLS.

bigben
Posts: 703
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby bigben » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:57 pm

..
Last edited by bigben on Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

boston101
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:36 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby boston101 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:59 pm

bigben wrote:I can't comment on the personal factors such as the money and the family but I would choose Harvard without a doubt.

I'm not into all that hippie stuff like no grades, etc. What's the point?

As it has been mentioned, the class size issue can be argued either way, I personally like the large class argument better. Remember, the size of your section isn't going to be much different. The rankings are also skewed against schools with large class sizes, so Harvard could be seen as the stronger school in a way. Schools with smaller class sizes have an easier time keeping their rankings high. Obviously, Yale would not be as selective as it is if they were taking 500 people. People are claiming that Harvard people would be snobbier, but to me the small class size communicates a certain snobby elitism. Obviously, Stanford has an outstanding reputation, but could it support the number of graduates that Harvard does at the same level as it currently supports its 170?

While we're on the subject of reputation, Harvard and Stanford probably offer similar entry-level opportunities in the legal market, but Harvard outweighs Stanford when it comes to opening doors in any other line of work, in case anything else strikes your fancy down the road. There are a lot of things you can do in this world. This factor would be fairly significant to me personally.

OP: Stanford will win this poll easily, but don't put much stock in that. It has a perception of being younger and more hip, which will get this audience every time.

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.



I don't see how the large class size is about money. Assuming that it is would be akin to assuming that Y/S choose to have a small class size because they are obsessively paranoid about their prestige/ranking, or that they are excessively elitist. More students equals more professors to pay. With as much money as the school has (I think the ugrad endowment is like 30 billion) do you think they would go to such lengths for a few extra tuition dollars? Look at it this way, Harvard is giving 3 times as many people the wonderful opportunity to go to an elite of the elite law school. How does that make the school worse? As an institution, I like this better than Stanford sniveling in the corner YP'ing people.


Well, actually, I do think that is part of the case, at least for YLS.

bigben
Posts: 703
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby bigben » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:16 pm

..
Last edited by bigben on Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby underdawg » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:18 pm

boston101 wrote:UD, you seemed to be obsessed with this idea of certain schools (HLS, CLS) being havens for prestige whores. I disagree. But, if they are, they are. Just because someone is proud of their school's rank, doesnt say all that much about their personality.

I just would like people to choose a school for more substantial reasons than wanting to be able to name-drop their law school in conversations. I'm not saying someone should turn down Harvard for a lesser school. I'm not even talking about school rank, just school name. Heck, I'm appalled when people turn down Yale for Harvard simply because of Harvard's name (there, of course, are many actually valid reasons to turn down Yale).

And my oversweeping generalization makes sense to me. If there is someone choosing between Harvard and Stanford and (s)he is one of those people that find a way to name-drop their schools in completely unrelated conversations, which school is (s)he going to choose? Hahvard. And yes, I think I can make a few accurate guesses about the rest of that person's personality from that one snippet...

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby underdawg » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:20 pm

bigben wrote:I don't see how the large class size is about money. Assuming that it is would be akin to assuming that Y/S choose to have a small class size because they are obsessively paranoid about their prestige/ranking, or that they are excessively elitist. More students equals more professors to pay. With as much money as the school has (I think the ugrad endowment is like 30 billion) do you think they would go to such lengths for a few extra tuition dollars? Look at it this way, Harvard is giving 3 times as many people the wonderful opportunity to go to an elite of the elite law school. How does that make the school worse? As an institution, I like this better than Stanford sniveling in the corner YP'ing people.

Or maybe it's because Harvard has $10 billion more than either school.

bigben
Posts: 703
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby bigben » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:36 pm

..
Last edited by bigben on Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ecureuil
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:41 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby Ecureuil » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:45 pm

iagolives wrote:Wow, I don't really know what I'd do in your situation, but wow.

In at HS and money from Stanford? You are my new hero... :)

(Can I be so rude as to ask you your numbers?)


I was 172/3.9. I got into both Harvard/Stanford off the waitlist, so I'm hardly one of the flashiest guys around.

More info: --LinkRemoved--

And a big thank you to everyone for all your insight. I haven't had a chance to slowly digest everything you're all throwing at me, but please, keep chucking opinions at me. This has been really useful, at the very least to hash out every angle of my non-problem.

I know this a great situation to be in, so I hope I haven't come off as arrogant/flippant at all about my choice between the two schools.

180Splitter
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 8:29 am

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby 180Splitter » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:30 pm

Laid back, no grades, small intimate class Stanford, with money vs. high powered Harvard, which will impress laymen more. Can't go wrong.

User avatar
rabbit9198
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:29 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby rabbit9198 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:00 pm

Other factors to consider:

* SLS is moving to the quarter system; it has pros and cons. It will mean that clinics will be done "all-in" (your only class, basically) for a quarter, if you decide to do one. That could be good or bad, depending on your perception of it all. Also, Most of HLS's clinics are farther out into the city/somewhat harder to get to, compared to SLS. Personally, it seemed to me that SLS's clinics are emphasized and have much more support from the higher-up administration, compared to HLS. That said, the clinic leaders at both schools are hugely committed to their students & clients, and they're all well-funded.

* The curriculum differences. HLS has the global/international requirement now plus all the other "new curriculum" things, and I believe SLS is going to launch some new curricular things (though I can't remember what they are, off the top of my head).

* Both offer on-campus housing of sorts, but Stanford's seemed much nicer to me, in general (especially since you're essentially guaranteed a spot, which is not the case at Harvard - at least, if you want to be somewhere that is not a (yes, FLW-designed, but still...) cinder block dorm room). Also, SLS is building a big new law housing complex, which looks sweet/is really close to the school/will be done for fall 2009.

* As someone mentioned earlier, but I think it should be repeated, dual degrees seem almost infinitely easier at SLS. They've just launched a few more (including an MPP program), and most can be completed in 3 years, which is awesome...and the selection is unparalleled.

Regardless of my (obvious?) bias, I think you have a fantastic choice to make - best of luck!

User avatar
iagolives
Posts: 687
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:24 pm

Re: Harvard Law v. Stanford Law

Postby iagolives » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:21 pm

Ecureuil wrote:
iagolives wrote:Wow, I don't really know what I'd do in your situation, but wow.

In at HS and money from Stanford? You are my new hero... :)

(Can I be so rude as to ask you your numbers?)


I was 172/3.9. I got into both Harvard/Stanford off the waitlist, so I'm hardly one of the flashiest guys around.

More info: --LinkRemoved--

And a big thank you to everyone for all your insight. I haven't had a chance to slowly digest everything you're all throwing at me, but please, keep chucking opinions at me. This has been really useful, at the very least to hash out every angle of my non-problem.

I know this a great situation to be in, so I hope I haven't come off as arrogant/flippant at all about my choice between the two schools.


I don't care if they got in by tripping, anyone who gets into there I respect in an "I kind of hate you" sort of way... ;)




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests