Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

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Cartwright4
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Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Cartwright4 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:51 am

Hi guys,

I've been a long-time reader of these forums but have never actually posted here and figured now is as good a time as any to raise what seems like an annual lightning rod of a question. I received my acceptance to CLS today, along with a Hamilton (full-tuition scholarship and I hear some sort of faculty mentorship, though it said nothing about the latter in the letter). I got into Harvard around Thanksgiving and Yale before the New Year, and obviously today changes everything.

I realize that a large part of this decision depends on what I want to do. The problem is I'm not entirely sure. I have some experience at a BIGLAW firm and might want to do litigation for one of these firms after law school. On the other hand, both clerkships and academia sound interesting down the line.

Other considerations: I am from New York, my family lives in the suburbs there, and my long-time girlfriend will be living and working in the city. I have a lot of attachment to NYC, but also love Boston (not so much New Haven). Despite this, I know the doors Yale opens are pretty unrivaled. (I haven't gotten my financial aid amounts from Yale and Harvard yet, but I don't imagine they will be too generous considering the hits their endowments took and the fact that I have to report my parents' income, which falls squarely on the border of the full-tuition gray-zone).

I know there are plenty of threads out there on this (including an epic 55 page one on LSD). But I want to see what people out there think this year. Thank you in advance for your help!

PS:
1. I realize how lucky I am and how douchey this post might come off. This is a tough decision though, and the debate on here is always helpful.
2. Despite what it might seem, not a flame. I swear.
3. I know I'm an asshole for asking for help when I haven't helped other people on here by posting. I promise I will make my LSN public soon and I will also do my best to help others in future cycles.

THANKS AGAIN!

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mallard
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby mallard » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:54 am

If I wanted to go biglaw I'd take the Hamilton without question.

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Cartwright4
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Cartwright4 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:57 am

Anyone on here have any recent experience with the Hamilton and the faculty mentorship that supposedly comes with it?

sluggo
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby sluggo » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:12 am

you have to tell us how important the whole gf in nyc thing is... is this an almost fiancee/she wont move type thing, or what?

sluggo
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby sluggo » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:16 am

fwiw one time i went on lsn and i'm pretty sure that like out of the 20+ profiles I looked at for the class of 2011, all the hamilton recepients choose HYS

atreyu
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby atreyu » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:17 am

I would take the full-ride to Columbia without batting an eye (unless of course you get huge scholarships to Harvard or Yale). No matter what field you decide to work in after graduation, from academia to biglaw, you're going to be surrounded by people who graduated from these same schools. What I mean to say is that even if you choose Yale, you're going to end up in a position that a Columbia grad could nearly just as easily get -- except you're going to be getting it without having to worry about a dime's worth of debt (save maybe some living cost loans). You know what I mean?

This is generally true for all of the top schools. Say one gets a full ride to Gtown or something but then chooses HYS or something like that over it. I suspect one who gets a full-ride to Gtown is quite a phenomenal student and is likely to be in the top of the class. The top of the class at any of the top schools opens up all the same doors and you're going to be getting an extraordinary education at all of these schools. So the top of the class Gtown grad ends up at the same firm as the top of the class Harvard grad, except they're a whole year's salary richer.

On top of all this, you're talking Columbia -- which the divine rankings smile upon so brightly.

I'm sure people pass up the full-ride at other top schools for all kinds of good reasons, but it's important that they don't pass it up just for ego's sake (I'm not saying you would, but just something to gut check)

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mallard
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby mallard » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:21 am

atreyu wrote:So the top of the class Gtown grad ends up at the same firm as the top of the class Harvard grad


Astonishingly poor information.

atreyu
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby atreyu » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:23 am

mallard wrote:
atreyu wrote:So the top of the class Gtown grad ends up at the same firm as the top of the class Harvard grad


Astonishingly poor information.


What kind of firms are you looking at where there is not a single sub-HYS grad?

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mallard
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby mallard » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:24 am

atreyu wrote:What kind of firms are you looking at where there is not a single sub-HYS grad?


Even if there are no such firms it's no sort of support at all for your statement.

atreyu
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby atreyu » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:28 am

mallard wrote:
atreyu wrote:What kind of firms are you looking at where there is not a single sub-HYS grad?


Even if there are no such firms it's no sort of support at all for your statement.


So despite the fact that there may be no firm where every lawyer is HYS, top grads from other top schools don't end up in the same firm as top grads from HYS?

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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Olto » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:31 am

I'd take Yale over pretty much any other offer, but that's just me. A full ride at Columbia is hard to turn down, but keep in mind that plenty of people that are at HLS and YLS made the same tough decision.

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mallard
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby mallard » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:31 am

atreyu wrote:So despite the fact that there may be no firm where every lawyer is HYS, top grads from other top schools don't end up in the same firm as top grads from HYS?


Exactly. This is a point most people who have to make decisions like the OP has to make will understand. If there's 550 people in a GULC graduating class and the valedictorian can get Wachtell and maybe 1 every three years gets a SCOTUS clerkship, and there's 175 people in a Yale graduating class and 50 of them can get Wachtell and maybe 6 or 8 every year get a SCOTUS clerkship... well, suffice it to say that you haven't been thinking through your posts.

atreyu
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby atreyu » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:39 am

mallard wrote:
atreyu wrote:So despite the fact that there may be no firm where every lawyer is HYS, top grads from other top schools don't end up in the same firm as top grads from HYS?


Exactly. This is a point most people who have to make decisions like the OP has to make will understand. If there's 550 people in a GULC graduating class and the valedictorian can get Wachtell and maybe 1 every three years gets a SCOTUS clerkship, and there's 175 people in a Yale graduating class and 50 of them can get Wachtell and maybe 6 or 8 every year get a SCOTUS clerkship... well, suffice it to say that you haven't been thinking through your posts.



I just looked through the first four names on Wachtell and they graduated from Columbia, GULC, McGill, and UTexas -- didn't bother to look any further but feel free if you're actually quoting real statistics. I have no clue how many get SCOTUS clerkship -- are you pulling from the same Wachtell stats?

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mallard
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby mallard » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:42 am

Leiter has such stats, among others. It's just well-known that top 5% at one school doesn't get what top 5% at another school does. As for SCOTUS clerkship lists, they're everywhere.

Jay Obee
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Jay Obee » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:45 am

It seems to me that your choice is between Yale and Columbia. H and S are incredible, but not full-tuition with named scholarship from Columbia incredible. Yale is just in a league of its own. From what I understand, people do turn down Yale for the $$$, but they also turn it down as a poster above noted. I wouldn't put too much stock in the idea that a lot of people turn down the hamilton for Yale, though, as a lot of people simply come from rich families that would pay for tuition anyway. Maybe you can turn down 120k for that reason, which is totally valid.

I don't think its crazy to choose one over the other. I do think that you regret lost opportunity more than lost money. Yale would be the ultimate opportunity, so I couldn't justify turning down Yale and wondering "what if?" For columbia, the "what if" is 120k, you'll always know what that is. But, you'll never know just how far you could have gone with that Yale degree.

As an aside: Have you thought about using the hamilton to leverage $ from H or S?

atreyu
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby atreyu » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:48 am

mallard wrote:Leiter has such stats, among others. It's just well-known that top 5% at one school doesn't get what top 5% at another school does. As for SCOTUS clerkship lists, they're everywhere.


Following this logic, the top 5% at Yale get something that no other top 5% get (albeit, they get a Yale law degree which is amazing, but that's the whole class) -- so where do those top 5% work?

I googled "SCOTUS clerkship list, everywhere" but not much came up -- although I did see a post saying a GW grad had one...

Jay Obee
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Jay Obee » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:52 am

atreyu wrote:
mallard wrote:Leiter has such stats, among others. It's just well-known that top 5% at one school doesn't get what top 5% at another school does. As for SCOTUS clerkship lists, they're everywhere.


Following this logic, the top 5% at Yale get something that no other top 5% get (albeit, they get a Yale law degree which is amazing, but that's the whole class) -- so where do those top 5% work?

I googled "SCOTUS clerkship list, everywhere" but not much came up -- although I did see a post saying a GW grad had one...


--LinkRemoved--

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_la ... ted_States

ETA: http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2000 ... erks.shtml
Last edited by Jay Obee on Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mallard
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby mallard » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:55 am

atreyu wrote:Following this logic, the top 5% at Yale get something that no other top 5% get (albeit, they get a Yale law degree which is amazing, but that's the whole class) -- so where do those top 5% work?


Top boutiques, Wachtell, Irell, W&C. You're not even incorrect. They are also far better able to get top clerkships and academic positions.

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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby atreyu » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:04 am

mallard wrote:
atreyu wrote:Following this logic, the top 5% at Yale get something that no other top 5% get (albeit, they get a Yale law degree which is amazing, but that's the whole class) -- so where do those top 5% work?


Top boutiques, Wachtell, Irell, W&C. You're not even incorrect. They are also far better able to get top clerkships and academic positions.



Of course I agree their prospects are great, I just don't think the top of the class at other great schools are hurting for these opportunities either. The clerkship list certainly has some variety to it including clerks from schools like Creighton, GW, Rutgers, GMU, Georgia, Vanderbilt. (thanks for posting those links by the way)

And here we're talking about Columbia! Do you really think the top 5% at Columbia are somehow lacking something? Especially when you consider that the real world (like personal connections, eating clubs, vineyard getaways, all the political stuff etc.) play a large role in securing the small number of these elite jobs?

Jay Obee
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Jay Obee » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:06 am

mallard wrote:
atreyu wrote:Following this logic, the top 5% at Yale get something that no other top 5% get (albeit, they get a Yale law degree which is amazing, but that's the whole class) -- so where do those top 5% work?


Top boutiques, Wachtell, Irell, W&C. You're not even incorrect. They are also far better able to get top clerkships and academic positions.


From the SCOTUS numbers, it would seem that top 5% at Harvard and almost 10% at Yale get SCOTUS (following a feeder appellate clerkship, apparently). Then you get maybe the top couple percentiles at Chicago and Stanford (who seems to do very well in recent years), then the occasional Columbia grad on down, maybe the top student? It really does seem like Y and H, then Chi and S, the rest.

Jay Obee
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Jay Obee » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:11 am

atreyu wrote:
mallard wrote:
atreyu wrote:Following this logic, the top 5% at Yale get something that no other top 5% get (albeit, they get a Yale law degree which is amazing, but that's the whole class) -- so where do those top 5% work?


Top boutiques, Wachtell, Irell, W&C. You're not even incorrect. They are also far better able to get top clerkships and academic positions.



Of course I agree their prospects are great, I just don't think the top of the class at other great schools are hurting for these opportunities either. The clerkship list certainly has some variety to it including clerks from schools like Creighton, GW, Rutgers, GMU, Georgia, Vanderbilt. (thanks for posting those links by the way)

And here we're talking about Columbia! Do you really think the top 5% at Columbia are somehow lacking something? Especially when you consider that the real world (like personal connections, eating clubs, vineyard getaways, all the political stuff etc.) play a large role in securing the small number of these elite jobs?


I really think the question isn't how the very top student fares, it is how far down the line the Supreme Court and the feeder clerkships hire into the class. It just makes sense that they have to go deeper into YHChiS in order to have that many clerks from each school. I mean, they have taken double the number of clerks from Chicago over the last 8 years as they have from Columbia, and Columbia is much larger. That means they may go four times deeper into Chicago's class. Yale and Harvard have such insane placement, I think SCOTUS must go into like the top quartile of the class.

As far as elite firms go, with like 60% of Yale's class clerking, I bet they think hard about choosing a top Columbia grad over a typical Yale grad.

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mallard
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby mallard » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:12 am

atreyu wrote:Of course I agree their prospects are great, I just don't think the top of the class at other great schools are hurting for these opportunities either. The clerkship list certainly has some variety to it including clerks from schools like Creighton, GW, Rutgers, GMU, Georgia, Vanderbilt. (thanks for posting those links by the way)

And here we're talking about Columbia! Do you really think the top 5% at Columbia are somehow lacking something? Especially when you consider that the real world (like personal connections, eating clubs, vineyard getaways, all the political stuff etc.) play a large role in securing the small number of these elite jobs?


What evidence do you have to suggest that "the real world" "plays a large role?" Every time you've suggested something, I've asked you to perform a simple Google search and you've found new information. For how much longer do you plan to attempt to intuit the easily observable?

You don't judge a school by when it gets lucky, you judge a school by what it can secure you.

Harry Pothead

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Harry Pothead » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:35 am

I just looked through the first four names on Wachtell and they graduated from Columbia, GULC, McGill, and UTexas -- didn't bother to look any further but feel free if you're actually quoting real statistics. I have no clue how many get SCOTUS clerkship -- are you pulling from the same Wachtell stats?


I swore I'd stop asking random people this question, but here I go again.

Are you functionally retarded?

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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby KP429 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:49 am

OP, can you link me to the epic 55-pg discussion on LSD? I'd appreciate it a lot considering the horrendous search function on LSD.

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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Kronk » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:57 am

I think atreyu's point is that if you're in the top five or ten students at a T-20 school that isn't YSH, you have as good a chance as if you're, say, the in the 75% percentile at YHS of securing an equivalent biglaw job or clerkship.

On one hand, he's correct, in the sense that it would probably be just as easy to be the 5th ranked student in your graduating class at GWU as it would be to finish 50th at Yale. On the other hand, his point is entirely irrelevant, because the fact of the matter is that enough people from YSH ABOVE the 75% (or whatever number could be considered "equivalent" to a GULC or GWU valedictorian-10th ranked student) apply to these jobs and clerkships to nearly fill them. So what essentially happens is 70% of clerkships get taken by YSHCCN, about 20% of the rest hinges on collegiate ties (as many judges hire based on their alma mater), another 5%+ go to the rest of the top ten such as Penn, UCB, and Michigan, and then schools like Duke, Cornell, GULC, GWU, UCLA, UT-Austin, etc. are left to pick up the last few jobs / clerkships.


To answer the OP's question: if you're good enough to get into Yale and get the Hamilton, you're good enough to qualify for that "elite" top percentage of the class at Yale. It seems like an obvious choice for me. You're probably looking at the top of your class at either Columbia or Yale, and obviously Yale will afford you better opportunities. If you're not at the top of your class, you're going to be happy you have a Yale JD to cover up your subpar scholarly record.




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