Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

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Na_Swatch
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Na_Swatch » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:47 pm

generals10 wrote:Bumping this after attending HLS and CLS admitted student programs (sorry for doing so on two threads, but this is a more appropriate forum than the other thread).

I basically left CLS thinking I was 90% going there, and was equally certain at one point during the Harvard ASW that I was going to Harvard. I'm not one of the "easy call" people, at least I don't think: my ideal career path is, I think, federal clerkship-->big firm litigation for 2-3 years-->federal government (DOJ or Department of Education) OR boutique lit. It seems like for the big firm part, CLS is almost on par, but Harvard does present an advantage for clerkships and government.

A line of thinking I can't get away from is this: If there were no money involved, I would go to Harvard without question. If I had gotten a Butler at Columbia, I probably would've paused for a second, but still would have gone to Harvard without stressing too much. So my decision is basically made tough by the extra $75K. This is a lot of money, don't get me wrong, and I am sure that if I go to HLS I will wonder more than once what it would be like to not be buried in debt. But I'm not worried about actually being able to pay off loans in ten years, and I am in better financial shape going into law school than many (no UG debt due to scholarship, grateful parents who will cover most living expenses).

I liked CLS, but at times I was borderline intoxicated by Harvard. Part of me is worried that however rational it may be to take the Hamilton--I fully realize that there's a very good chance the marginal advantages of Harvard will never actually affect me--I will always regret not going to Harvard. I think that I might rather deal with the pain of ten years of loans I didn't really have to take on than risk wondering if I missed out on some small but important advantage.

Anyone else with updated thoughts, or just a fresh take?


I guess you'll have to wait till Harvard's grant amounts come out before you can make a decision either way. The interesting thing is has anyone made an actual cost estimate b/w Harvard and Columbia?

With Columbia's COL estimates about $7000~$10000 more per year than Harvard, and estimating the Hamilton at $140,000, you're looking at about a $119,000 to $110,000 difference between the two, barring grants. However with the addition of say $10,000 a year grant from Harvard, the difference drops down to $90,000~$80,000.

For me, if the difference is closer to the actual $140,000 (say $125,000+) I would lean towards taking the Hamilton. However, if a true cost difference over the three years comes out closer to <$100,000 (say 80k or 90k) then I'd probably lean towards Harvard.

faith2202
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby faith2202 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:48 pm

For the OP: For what it's worth, I've spoken with a prominent professor at NYU Law about this. He's on the board of the organization I work for and has been nice enough to weigh in on the offers I had, which are not as good as yours. I have been accepted at a couple of T10 schools wish 10k or less a year scholarship, and two T20 schools with full scholarship.

His email to me said that he'd advise me to take the full scholarship at WUSTL as it is "not at all inferior to the other law schools you mentioned." He also said I will get a chance to transfer after my first year if I am unhappy with my choice. He went on to mention a few specific professors he knew at WUSTL that he thought were excellent.

If I were you, I would choose Columbia in a heartbeat.

generals10
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby generals10 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:09 pm

Na_Swatch wrote:
generals10 wrote:Bumping this after attending HLS and CLS admitted student programs (sorry for doing so on two threads, but this is a more appropriate forum than the other thread).

I basically left CLS thinking I was 90% going there, and was equally certain at one point during the Harvard ASW that I was going to Harvard. I'm not one of the "easy call" people, at least I don't think: my ideal career path is, I think, federal clerkship-->big firm litigation for 2-3 years-->federal government (DOJ or Department of Education) OR boutique lit. It seems like for the big firm part, CLS is almost on par, but Harvard does present an advantage for clerkships and government.

A line of thinking I can't get away from is this: If there were no money involved, I would go to Harvard without question. If I had gotten a Butler at Columbia, I probably would've paused for a second, but still would have gone to Harvard without stressing too much. So my decision is basically made tough by the extra $75K. This is a lot of money, don't get me wrong, and I am sure that if I go to HLS I will wonder more than once what it would be like to not be buried in debt. But I'm not worried about actually being able to pay off loans in ten years, and I am in better financial shape going into law school than many (no UG debt due to scholarship, grateful parents who will cover most living expenses).

I liked CLS, but at times I was borderline intoxicated by Harvard. Part of me is worried that however rational it may be to take the Hamilton--I fully realize that there's a very good chance the marginal advantages of Harvard will never actually affect me--I will always regret not going to Harvard. I think that I might rather deal with the pain of ten years of loans I didn't really have to take on than risk wondering if I missed out on some small but important advantage.

Anyone else with updated thoughts, or just a fresh take?


I guess you'll have to wait till Harvard's grant amounts come out before you can make a decision either way. The interesting thing is has anyone made an actual cost estimate b/w Harvard and Columbia?

With Columbia's COL estimates about $7000~$10000 more per year than Harvard, and estimating the Hamilton at $140,000, you're looking at about a $119,000 to $110,000 difference between the two, barring grants. However with the addition of say $10,000 a year grant from Harvard, the difference drops down to $90,000~$80,000.

For me, if the difference is closer to the actual $140,000 (say $125,000+) I would lean towards taking the Hamilton. However, if a true cost difference over the three years comes out closer to <$100,000 (say 80k or 90k) then I'd probably lean towards Harvard.



I don't think the COL is anywhere near that disparate. I think about $2000 is more accurate--Cambridge rent is extremely expensive. Using the total cost estimates for this year from the HLS and CLS websites, and multiplying that by three (which obviously doesn't take inflation into account) would yield $203,700 for three years of Harvard and $59,400 for Columbia. Of course, that's not taking grants, savings and such into account.

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Na_Swatch
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Na_Swatch » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:17 pm

generals10 wrote:
Na_Swatch wrote:
generals10 wrote:Bumping this after attending HLS and CLS admitted student programs (sorry for doing so on two threads, but this is a more appropriate forum than the other thread).

I basically left CLS thinking I was 90% going there, and was equally certain at one point during the Harvard ASW that I was going to Harvard. I'm not one of the "easy call" people, at least I don't think: my ideal career path is, I think, federal clerkship-->big firm litigation for 2-3 years-->federal government (DOJ or Department of Education) OR boutique lit. It seems like for the big firm part, CLS is almost on par, but Harvard does present an advantage for clerkships and government.

A line of thinking I can't get away from is this: If there were no money involved, I would go to Harvard without question. If I had gotten a Butler at Columbia, I probably would've paused for a second, but still would have gone to Harvard without stressing too much. So my decision is basically made tough by the extra $75K. This is a lot of money, don't get me wrong, and I am sure that if I go to HLS I will wonder more than once what it would be like to not be buried in debt. But I'm not worried about actually being able to pay off loans in ten years, and I am in better financial shape going into law school than many (no UG debt due to scholarship, grateful parents who will cover most living expenses).

I liked CLS, but at times I was borderline intoxicated by Harvard. Part of me is worried that however rational it may be to take the Hamilton--I fully realize that there's a very good chance the marginal advantages of Harvard will never actually affect me--I will always regret not going to Harvard. I think that I might rather deal with the pain of ten years of loans I didn't really have to take on than risk wondering if I missed out on some small but important advantage.

Anyone else with updated thoughts, or just a fresh take?


I guess you'll have to wait till Harvard's grant amounts come out before you can make a decision either way. The interesting thing is has anyone made an actual cost estimate b/w Harvard and Columbia?

With Columbia's COL estimates about $7000~$10000 more per year than Harvard, and estimating the Hamilton at $140,000, you're looking at about a $119,000 to $110,000 difference between the two, barring grants. However with the addition of say $10,000 a year grant from Harvard, the difference drops down to $90,000~$80,000.

For me, if the difference is closer to the actual $140,000 (say $125,000+) I would lean towards taking the Hamilton. However, if a true cost difference over the three years comes out closer to <$100,000 (say 80k or 90k) then I'd probably lean towards Harvard.



I don't think the COL is anywhere near that disparate. I think about $2000 is more accurate--Cambridge rent is extremely expensive. Using the total cost estimates for this year from the HLS and CLS websites, and multiplying that by three (which obviously doesn't take inflation into account) would yield $203,700 for three years of Harvard and $59,400 for Columbia. Of course, that's not taking grants, savings and such into account.


Based on the first year estimates they have Harvard at 67,900 and Columbia at $71000, so a difference of $3,100. However this is assuming you get Columbia's student housing which isn't guaranteed and costs $1259/month for rent & utilities. You're unlikely to find stuff that cheap around Columbia (even if just rent and not including utilities) if you miss out on student housing, which will then likely result in much higher costs. There are similarly expensive locations around Cambridge, but on the whole I'd say the difference in rents alone is substantial.

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englawyer
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby englawyer » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:19 pm

Na_Swatch wrote:Based on the first year estimates they have Harvard at 67,900 and Columbia at $71000, so a difference of $3,100. However this is assuming you get Columbia's student housing which isn't guaranteed and costs $1259/month for rent & utilities. You're unlikely to find stuff that cheap around Columbia (even if just rent and not including utilities) if you miss out on student housing, which will then likely result in much higher costs. There are similarly expensive locations around Cambridge, but on the whole I'd say the difference in rents alone is substantial.


+1. if you want to go cheap for H, you can live in somerville and still have a reasonable commute. if you want to do something that cheap in a relatively safe area for columbia, you are looking at new jersey which is a major pain commute-wise

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rowlf
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby rowlf » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:40 pm

Bump.

imchuckbass58
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:52 pm

englawyer wrote:
Na_Swatch wrote:Based on the first year estimates they have Harvard at 67,900 and Columbia at $71000, so a difference of $3,100. However this is assuming you get Columbia's student housing which isn't guaranteed and costs $1259/month for rent & utilities. You're unlikely to find stuff that cheap around Columbia (even if just rent and not including utilities) if you miss out on student housing, which will then likely result in much higher costs. There are similarly expensive locations around Cambridge, but on the whole I'd say the difference in rents alone is substantial.


+1. if you want to go cheap for H, you can live in somerville and still have a reasonable commute. if you want to do something that cheap in a relatively safe area for columbia, you are looking at new jersey which is a major pain commute-wise


A few points about misconceptions about CLS housing:

1: I don't know a single person except for waitlisters who wanted CLS housing and didn't get it.

2: $1259 should be regarded as pretty much the max (unless you ask to live in a studio in Lenfest in which case you might as well burn money) - I know people paying as little as $750/month (rent only) within walking distance of the law school for CLS grad student housing. This is an extreme case, but many people I know are paying in the $1000 area for just rent.

3: In this market, there are very attractive off-campus options. I live off campus about 20 blocks from CLS (in the good direction - the UWS, not West Harlem) and am paying about $1259 including utilities for a much, much nicer apartment than CLS housing (doorman, 21st floor, river views, private terrace, stainless appliances, lots of room). If you're willing to live in small apartment in a walkup you can get much cheaper.

If you put in a minimum of effort you can find much cheaper housing than the CLS COL estimate. It's just that most people do not.

MellonCollie
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby MellonCollie » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:17 pm

generals10 wrote:Bumping this after attending HLS and CLS admitted student programs (sorry for doing so on two threads, but this is a more appropriate forum than the other thread).

I basically left CLS thinking I was 90% going there, and was equally certain at one point during the Harvard ASW that I was going to Harvard. I'm not one of the "easy call" people, at least I don't think: my ideal career path is, I think, federal clerkship-->big firm litigation for 2-3 years-->federal government (DOJ or Department of Education) OR boutique lit. It seems like for the big firm part, CLS is almost on par, but Harvard does present an advantage for clerkships and government.

A line of thinking I can't get away from is this: If there were no money involved, I would go to Harvard without question. If I had gotten a Butler at Columbia, I probably would've paused for a second, but still would have gone to Harvard without stressing too much. So my decision is basically made tough by the extra $75K. This is a lot of money, don't get me wrong, and I am sure that if I go to HLS I will wonder more than once what it would be like to not be buried in debt. But I'm not worried about actually being able to pay off loans in ten years, and I am in better financial shape going into law school than many (no UG debt due to scholarship, grateful parents who will cover most living expenses).

I liked CLS, but at times I was borderline intoxicated by Harvard. Part of me is worried that however rational it may be to take the Hamilton--I fully realize that there's a very good chance the marginal advantages of Harvard will never actually affect me--I will always regret not going to Harvard. I think that I might rather deal with the pain of ten years of loans I didn't really have to take on than risk wondering if I missed out on some small but important advantage.

Anyone else with updated thoughts, or just a fresh take?


I visited HLS, but didn't love it. I'll be visiting CLS this week, so we'll see how I feel then.

I think I might be the opposite - I don't think that I'll ever blame my lack of opportunity on a school choice: since people from CLS have access to every single possible opportunity, I would just think that I didn't perform well enough if I don't get what I want. On the other hand, I think that there will be a very strong psychological desire to go biglaw if I go to HLS (to get rid of loans as quickly as possible), and I will most definitely regret giving up years of my life.

smashedpumpkins
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby smashedpumpkins » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:41 pm

Bump.

The second round of ASWs should be concluding. Any new thoughts?

DeepSeaLaw
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby DeepSeaLaw » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:37 am

I visited HLS, but didn't love it. I'll be visiting CLS this week, so we'll see how I feel then.

I think I might be the opposite - I don't think that I'll ever blame my lack of opportunity on a school choice: since people from CLS have access to every single possible opportunity, I would just think that I didn't perform well enough if I don't get what I want. On the other hand, I think that there will be a very strong psychological desire to go biglaw if I go to HLS (to get rid of loans as quickly as possible), and I will most definitely regret giving up years of my life.[/quote]

This is very true, but for some people having a significantly greater chance at some of these numinous "opportunities" (which I think usually mean clerkships, V10 firms and academia) will be worth extra debt. If someone is dying to do a COA clerkship and feels they would need top 10% at CLS versus top 20-25% at HLS, or is dying to work at certain litigation firms that cut a little deeper into Harvard's class...that might be worth the extra dough, for that person. Also, the difference in debt is rarely the full price of tuition, thanks to fairly generous need-based aid and NYC COL.

A few months ago, I would have said the Hamilton was an easy call over Harvard or Stanford and a tough choice when compared against Yale. Now, as someone who gets to make the decision, I feel like Yale is probably the right pick for most (largely because of an insane LRAP), and am actually leaning away from CLS even though I didn't get into Yale. I This may very well be a bad choice relatively speaking, but few would argue that attending HLS or SLS with median-ish debt is a bad choice on the whole. As annoying as it is, especially if there are mitigating factors on the debt, there really isn't a bad choice. Almost everyone who picks HYS over the Hamilton will get a good legal job and pay off the debt without tremendous hardship, either through a big salary or LRAP/IBR. Almost everyone who picks the Hamilton will get a good legal job and have an enviable head start on the road to financial security.

It's a function of debt aversion, risk aversion, ambition/career plans and personal circumstances, and the output will be a little different for everyone.

barca
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby barca » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:31 pm

After going to both ASWs, talking to different people, and much thinking, decided in favor of Harvard.

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rowlf
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby rowlf » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:24 pm

I want: federal clerkship-->litigation for 2-3 years (private boutique preferably, but biglaw or public interest possible) --> academia (ideally) OR federal government

It's a tough path regardless. Harvard would help, though Columbia wouldn't hinder. The choice comes down to which part of that is more important to me, the slight Harvard edge, or Columbia's adequacy and free-ness...

mtrl
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby mtrl » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:49 pm

In case anyone else is also facing this conundrum... bump.

mildlyironic
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby mildlyironic » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:56 am

I am. Is anyone else? I can't go to each school's ASWs because I'm working abroad, but right now, I think I'm leaning towards Harvard because I'm interested in a federal clerkship, public interest law, and government, all three of which Harvard I believe has a stronger edge on. (Not to mention, the lack of grades sounds awesome, hah.)

That said, if anyone's visited the schools, what were they like?

The Real Jack McCoy
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby The Real Jack McCoy » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:37 pm

Also in this situation. Didn't expect to be so I gave little thought to it before today. A full scholarship really would make life a lot easier and less stressful.

Anybody know much about the mentorship?

imchuckbass58
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:58 pm

So, I never faced this situation, but the way the debate always seems to devolve is:

-If you want biglaw and/or to work in New York, go to Columbia and graduate debt-free.

-If you want prestigious PI/top clerkships/selective government work/academia, go to H/Y

Harvard and Yale do not markedly stand out over Columbia in biglaw placed (they're better, but probably not enough to warrant giving up a full ride) but they are better in some of the other areas, particularly academia and government. Keep in mind also, if you really are government/PI focused, you probably won't pay anyways because of whatever LRAP-equivalent H and Y have in place.

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catsparka
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby catsparka » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:02 pm

,
Last edited by catsparka on Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mildlyironic
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby mildlyironic » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:26 am

I was doing some research but there's oddly little about the Hamilton online. The only thing I got was a law school discussions forum two years ago or so mentioning that the mentorship is kind of like an adviser, so I guess it could go great, but depending on the adviser's specialty or general interest in advising....it could go not so helpfully. I feel like, for example, the RTK Scholarship at NYU would give better personal attention than the Hamilton, but the lack of info about the Hamilton is kind of weird....

A&O
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby A&O » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:54 am

If you want to work at a big firm at the end, Columbia is the unequivocal choice. That should be the end of the thread.

I actually know someone who wanted a big firm job and took HLS over Columbia, with the latter offering a full scholarship. In my opinion, that wasn't a wise move at all. Granted, I counseled him into going to HLS because prestige mattered more to me then. But now? The economic crisis has taught me to be debt-averse. It should be teaching you all the same thing.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:57 am

Columbia. Frame your Harvard & Yale acceptance letters & take them to your interviews.

P.S. I haven't read the entire thread; in fact, I only read the original post & the comment above mine. The only response that we all know for certain is incorrect is "retake".

marlstone
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby marlstone » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:54 pm

Ok guys. Just got Hamilton. Also Yale and Harvard several months ago.
Leaning towards Harvard, as I am considering JD/MBA program. I know I will not go academia, and am interested in IP.
What do you think?

Oracl3
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Oracl3 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:28 am

marlstone wrote:Ok guys. Just got Hamilton. Also Yale and Harvard several months ago.
Leaning towards Harvard, as I am considering JD/MBA program. I know I will not go academia, and am interested in IP.
What do you think?


retake

jeremysen
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby jeremysen » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:43 am

marlstone wrote:Ok guys. Just got Hamilton. Also Yale and Harvard several months ago.
Leaning towards Harvard, as I am considering JD/MBA program. I know I will not go academia, and am interested in IP.
What do you think?


If work experience + clear direction on the use of an MBA degree, the JD/MBA is possible. I know of two 1Ls who got it after 1st year, and one 1L who got rejected.

rose711
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby rose711 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:05 am

I think that anyone who turns down a fullride at Columbia to pay to go to Harvard or Yale is making a mistake. If you think that you are guaranteed biglaw and lots of money to pay back loans from Harvard or Yale, you might be kidding yourself - no one has a guarantee.

I think this scholarship/debt question is virtually the same comparison as all the other threads - you will be making a better choice to take the scholarship and not go into debt.

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dpase22
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby dpase22 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:56 pm

how can you put a price on the H-bomb? apparently you can...




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