RoyBatty wrote:Amazed by the number of prospective law students who would turn down full or substantial scholarships for the affirmation of YH. 17 year old athletes with limited resources don't turn down full scholarships at Florida or Ohio State for the honor of playing at Alabama (based on current rank) or Notre Dame (based on historical reputation), because that would be stupid. And that's in a sphere where the entire enterprise is fanatically focused on who's "#1".
At this level, the putative extra "prestige" and exit options are not a rational basis to pass up the scholarship.
I had the choice between Hamilton and HLS, and wound up choosing HLS (though in the interest of disclosure, my family is likely to be able to throw in some money, making the debt burden somewhat more manageable).
But I'll say here what I've said this in every other thread on this subject: it's a completely rational decision either way, that hinges entirely on subjective judgments about one's career goals and willingness to accept risk. A lot of the people who are in the position of having acceptances at H/Y and also a Hamilton/Rubenstein offer just objectively do have a legitimate shot--by no means a certain shot or anything like that, but a real chance with hard work and a bit of luck--at some completely crazy career paths (feeder clerkships, legal academia, various hard-to-land DOJ/agency/Hill jobs) that basically everyone I've talked to *including* current and former Hamilton fellows and other Columbia boosters say are *substantially* easier to get out of HY. Even if you just really want to clerk, HY give you a 2-3x advantage on a per capita basis compared to CC. If you want to work outside of the major legal markets, Harvard in particular might be a reasonable investment, since a Harvard degree will give you a good shot at the top local firms in almost any market, while CC have relatively (again-- relatively) little penetration outside of NY/DC/Cali/Chicago. In the city I grew up in and might want to return to, which is the fourth or fifth largest in a big state, there are quite a few HLS grads at the top firms, but many of them just straight up don't have any CC grads.
None of this makes it objectively the right decision to choose one way or another, but these are all legitimate reasons that might sway a risk-accepting person to choose HY over a scholly elsewhere. When you're 50, you won't have any LS debt, and you'll still have your degree. It's all a matter of whether you think you'd rather have more money and freedom in the 10 year span you'll be paying loans, or whether you'd prefer the higher career ceiling that comes with HY.