Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
markymark2
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:10 am

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby markymark2 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:23 am

Here's a slightly relative anecdote: I was a very competetive hockey player when I was little kid. At the age of ten, I moved to a new state and had to choose between playing for two teams. One was traditionally better. They beat the other team in every game for years. The other team, however, had a coach I really liked and was closer to home. A family friend gave me the advice that if I liked the traditionally worse team, I should play for them and take it upon myself to make them better. That's what I did, and we ended up beating the "better" team for the first time in years.

I realize this is a bit silly, but I believe it's relevant. If I were you, I would visit each school, figure out which was the best fit for me (class size, professors, location, specialties, etc.), and then go there. If you're smart enough to be in this predicament, you're smart enough to do whatever you want at and after any of these schools. U.S. presidents have graduated from each of these schools. I tend to believe that people of such high caliber accomplish all they do more by virtue of who they are than by virtue of where they go to school.

Another aspect of your predicament: if Columbia is better for big law, and that's what you want to do, then you may be best served there. If you're not interested in big law, I assume Yale would be best, but then you're looking at some serious debt and a relatively much lower salary after school. It's sort of ironic, because someone interested in big law (and big money) needs the scholarship less than someone interested in public interest law (and much less money), but the big law school has offered you full tuition, whereas the school for academia/public interest has not.

Talk about luxury problems!

lavaina
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:48 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby lavaina » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:26 am

markymark2 wrote:I realize this is a bit silly, but I believe it's relevant. If I were you, I would visit each school, figure out which was the best fit for me (class size, professors, location, specialties, etc.), and then go there. If you're smart enough to be in this predicament, you're smart enough to do whatever you want at and after any of these schools. U.S. presidents have graduated from each of these schools. I tend to believe that people of such high caliber accomplish all they do more by virtue of who they are than by virtue of where they go to school.


+1

Some interesting facts:

Both Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt went to Columbia Law (Theodore withdrew). Nixon went to Duke Law. Lydon Johnson went to Georgetown Law. And William Taft went to the University of Cincinnati School of Law.

Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Un ... _education

I agree with the above poster. Go visit, and go where your heart tells you to go. If that's Yale, go to Yale. If it's Columbia, go to Columbia. Make your decision and don't look back.

atleastimhoping
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:36 am

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby atleastimhoping » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:24 am

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



This is credited, particularly depending on how serious the gf situation is. If you're wanting to do corporate litigation, Columbia places the most grads in such firms, and you would save yourself the ~150k in debt.

atreyu
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:20 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby atreyu » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:42 am

Harry Pothead wrote:
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?


Haha, only in the mornings

atreyu
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:20 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby atreyu » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:53 am

mallard wrote:
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?"


observational -- worked in dc, went to an ivy, heard from my friends who clerk that you get the clerkship based on which professors like you at your school and which judges they know.

User avatar
DerrickRose
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:08 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby DerrickRose » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:18 pm

If you want to be on the Supreme Court or Dean of a T14 someday go to Yale

If you want to work at a BigLaw firm in New York go to Columbia

I just get the sense that whichever school you choose, you are going to want and get the same first job anyway. Why pay $200,000 for the privilege?

User avatar
mallard
Posts: 1092
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:45 am

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby mallard » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:20 pm

atreyu wrote:observational -- worked in dc, went to an ivy, heard from my friends who clerk that you get the clerkship based on which professors like you at your school and which judges they know.


And you think lawprofs judge you based on vineyard visitations or whatever the hell you said? Not on, say, performance in class?

showNprove
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:52 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby showNprove » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:23 pm

.
Last edited by showNprove on Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Cartwright4
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Cartwright4 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:25 pm

Thanks guys! This is great advice.

Here is the LSD discussion I mentioned that someone wanted:

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prel ... 538.0.html

It's three years old but very good nonetheless.

And as for the gf, we've been together 3 years but she's def not gonna block opportunities for me.

User avatar
takingmytime
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:13 am

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby takingmytime » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:37 pm

I'd wait until you get financial aid back from HY and see how much more debt you will have vs going to Columbia. CLS produced SCOTUS, academics etc.. and you definitely won't be shooting yourself in the foot (for any career) by going there. However, HY do place better in SCOTUS and academia (whether it is because of better training, inherent traits of HY students or just the name) so figure out if that extra boost is worth the extra in loans.

Another thing to consider about HY is that given your information you will almost surely practice biglaw whether you go to CLS or HY before going into academia (if you end up choosing that route). So, you may say, "hey, I'll pay off my debt easily anyway" or, conversely, "I could bank before going into academia."

Overall, I'd go for feel and if you like NYC and CLS then go with the Hamilton. If not, you won't be disappointed with HLS or YLS.

Note: Does anyone know how many hamilton scholars are in each entering class - and, how many of them wind up at the top of their class?

User avatar
mallard
Posts: 1092
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:45 am

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby mallard » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:40 pm

You also want to see if the scholarship winners are systematically put in the same section. Some schools, even top schools, do this, and it can screw your grades over.

EngineeringLawyer
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:56 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby EngineeringLawyer » Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:23 pm

These arguments are kind of BSy, all 3 of these schools have self-selecting students. Yes, you probably have some that "fall back," but you have people from all of them going into everything. For me, I wanted to stay in NY (for law school and beyond), do biglaw, probably in intellectual property (which brings me down to Stanford or Columbia), but I'm throwing around the idea of academia so Columbia works for me and I would chose it over anything else (I also only applied here and for ED). Columbia just has a tendency of getting students into biglaw. I've spoken to a few CLS students who have said they came in wanting PI and ended up in biglaw because their interests fell that way when they were at Columbia.

And please, stop comparing these schools to Rutgers or anything below the top 25 (I'd even say top 14 or less), that's just not comparable. Yes, the top student may have special prospects or family connections, but that doesn't put them in the same field of opportunity as anyone (except perhaps the bottom 15-20%) at Columbia, Yale, Harvard or Stanford.

mallard wrote:You also want to see if the scholarship winners are systematically put in the same section. Some schools, even top schools, do this, and it can screw your grades over.


I'm sure you realize how arrogant that is without my reminding you, but scholarship winners are not automatically the top of their classes and CLS gives out so few that it would be unreasonable to think that you'd have a section full of them. Even if all of your assumptions on scholarship winners and their placement were correct, if 10 or even 20 were scholarship winners in a class of 100, they can all get top grades without pushing each other out. Nevermind the fact that by your reasoning there will be smarter people for you to compete against in Harvard or Yale so they'll probbably "screw your grades over" anyway. But seriously, if you're not interested in the intellectual challenge of being in law school or would prefer not having competition, go somewhere lower, not higher.

atreyu
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:20 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby atreyu » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:15 pm

I feel like a lot of the points I was trying to make have been skewed, so I'll just leave them be.

In any case, Mallard, looks like you're wrestling with a money at Columbia deal and Harvard acceptance as well -- congrats on both of those!

User avatar
Skadden Stairs
Posts: 328
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:47 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Skadden Stairs » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:35 pm

Are your parents helping pay for your tuition or otherwise helping to support your lifestyle?

Anyway, the answer is Yale. People are acting like the reason CLS places so well in biglaw isn't mostly due to self-selection. Think about this: if you get SCOTUS, which is more likely at Yale, you'll make back the missed Hamilton in your biglaw signing bonus with enough left over to buy *a* Range.

Plus there's always a chance everyone at CLS will resent you, as they probably got shut out at HYS. :wink:

Edited for stupidity.
Last edited by Skadden Stairs on Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
OperaAttorney
Posts: 517
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:48 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby OperaAttorney » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:14 pm

atreyu wrote: 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.


Thou doth suspect wrongly. :wink:

User avatar
Cartwright4
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Cartwright4 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:18 pm

Thank you to everyone for the great advice.

In answer to a question asked, you cannot really use the Hamilton to up your fin aid at Y/H since they give only need-based aid (I've also heard that Yale is notoriously impervious to any competing offers). In terms of my parents, they will not be funding my law school education, so if I go to Y or H it will be loans for me.

The more I think about the decision, the trickier it is. Every good point has a counterpoint. I think visiting all the schools will obviously be helpful - hoping for an epiphany of some sort.

BTW, in reference to Lex's comment, what is the usual bonus you would get at a law firm after having had a prestigious clerkship? The question is mostly out of curiousity.

User avatar
OperaAttorney
Posts: 517
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:48 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby OperaAttorney » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:19 pm

Unless Harvard or Yale cough up big money, I'd go with Columbia. Also, think about this: At Columbia, you'd probably compete with less students for clerkships.

TLS posters like talk about academia as though it's an easy field to enter. It's difficult--even for those with Yale JDs.

User avatar
joshikousei
Posts: 190
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:38 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby joshikousei » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:18 pm

.
Last edited by joshikousei on Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Cartwright4
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Cartwright4 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:33 pm

Bolt Bus is incredible, but Fung Wah definitely takes the cake for shady local bus companies.

It looks like the decision will come down to Columbia with the Hamilton vs. Yale at something close to full tuition.

Has anyone here had experience with the Hamilton or know people who have taken it? I'm wondering about what benefits the fellowship might have besides just the money.

Also, I know Yale has a great reputation for having a laid-back environment due to the lack of grades. I imagine Columbia is a little more competitive, but I was wondering if anyone can comment on just how much more cut-throat the student environment might be considering there are letter grades.

jrs12
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:47 am

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby jrs12 » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:27 am

EngineeringLawyer wrote:I'm sure you realize how arrogant that is without my reminding you, but scholarship winners are not automatically the top of their classes and CLS gives out so few that it would be unreasonable to think that you'd have a section full of them. Even if all of your assumptions on scholarship winners and their placement were correct, if 10 or even 20 were scholarship winners in a class of 100, they can all get top grades without pushing each other out. Nevermind the fact that by your reasoning there will be smarter people for you to compete against in Harvard or Yale so they'll probbably "screw your grades over" anyway. But seriously, if you're not interested in the intellectual challenge of being in law school or would prefer not having competition, go somewhere lower, not higher.


I'd like to second this. Everyone one these boards is quick to point out that LSAT scores do not perfectly predict future success in law school or in the practice of law. Since scholarships are at least largely based on LSAT scores, why would they be a bettor predictor? Clearly, all things being equal, you'd expect Hamilton recipients to tend toward the top of the class, but it's ridiculous to act as though such performance is guaranteed. Especially if you're coming from an undergrad institution where you're used to being a star, I'd be very cautious about assuming that I could be such a standout in a T6 class.

Like it or not, it all hinges on what you want to do in three years, and you have to come to a pretty good decision now. It's the price you pay for having such great options.

First of all, I wouldn't consider clerkships when making this decision. You're not going to be a clerk for life. Clerking is useful to get you good experience for another job: teaching, the bench, public law. It makes more sense to think about whether you want to go into any of those fields, and to consider clerking as merely a step along the way.

Choose Yale if:

You KNOW you want to go into academia or public law. (These jobs are competitive, even for Yale grads, so you need a every advantage you can get.)

You plan to live outside of NY eventually, and you don't expect that you'll really need the money. (Living in NY, even a big law salary isn't so big if you have debts. Having little/no debt would change everything. On the other hand, one of the reasons I'm not too concerned about scholarships is that I don't plan to live in NY. The places I like are cheap, so I'm not too worried about being strapped for cash in 15 years. I'm confident that if I were to take a scholarship to another school, that in 15 years, I'd wish I'd gone to HLS. You can always make more money, but you only get one law degree.)

Choose Columbia if:

You only "sorta" think you "might" be interested in academia. (First of all, these jobs are not for people who sorta want them. They're for people who are really focused on them. It can be tough for overachievers to close doors, especially doors that are perceived as elite and prestigious--not to suggest that it's only our ego that drives us; mostly it's challenge. Nevertheless, we can prevent ourselves from fully committing to a certain path by always thinking too much about other options.)

If you want to work at a big firm for at least a few years. (This basically means that you're going to stay in private law. Most new professors come from an academic "track." They do clerkships and research and public law. It's easy to move from the academic track into the private law track, but quite difficult to move the other way. Yes, I know that it happens, but it's not something to plan on doing.)

The third option:

Go to Columbia, and transfer if you realize you really want to get on the academic track. People do it all the time. You'd save some serious money too.

User avatar
mallard
Posts: 1092
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:45 am

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby mallard » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:33 am

OperaAttorney wrote:Unless Harvard or Yale cough up big money, I'd go with Columbia. Also, think about this: At Columbia, you'd probably compete with less students for clerkships.

TLS posters like talk about academia as though it's an easy field to enter. It's difficult--even for those with Yale JDs.


Harvard and Yale don't "cough up" merit scholarships. And EngineeringLawyer, glad to see I couldn't state the clearly true without being arrogant.

User avatar
Skadden Stairs
Posts: 328
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:47 pm

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Skadden Stairs » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:38 am

Cartwright4 wrote:Thank you to everyone for the great advice.

In answer to a question asked, you cannot really use the Hamilton to up your fin aid at Y/H since they give only need-based aid (I've also heard that Yale is notoriously impervious to any competing offers). In terms of my parents, they will not be funding my law school education, so if I go to Y or H it will be loans for me.

The more I think about the decision, the trickier it is. Every good point has a counterpoint. I think visiting all the schools will obviously be helpful - hoping for an epiphany of some sort.

BTW, in reference to Lex's comment, what is the usual bonus you would get at a law firm after having had a prestigious clerkship? The question is mostly out of curiousity.

http://www.slate.com/id/2161454/

Just some anecdotal stuff, though.

Harry Pothead

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Harry Pothead » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:49 am

http://www.slate.com/id/2161454/

Just some anecdotal stuff, though.


Actually, a lot of firms post clerk bonus info on their websites.

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

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby underdawg » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:52 pm

lex talionis wrote:Are your parents helping pay for your tuition or otherwise helping to support your lifestyle?

Anyway, the answer is Yale. People are acting like the reason CLS places so well in biglaw isn't mostly due to self-selection. Think about this: if you get SCOTUS, which is more likely at Yale, you'll make back the missed Hamilton in your biglaw signing bonus with enough left over to buy *a* Range.

Plus there's always a chance everyone at CLS will resent you, as they probably got shut out at HYS. :wink:

Edited for stupidity.

counting on yourself to be the top 20 or whatever at yale = awesome

bragging about your hammy while at CLS = awesome

what neat-o points!

User avatar
takingmytime
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:13 am

Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby takingmytime » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:58 pm

jrs12 wrote:If you want to work at a big firm for at least a few years. (This basically means that you're going to stay in private law. Most new professors come from an academic "track." They do clerkships and research and public law. It's easy to move from the academic track into the private law track, but quite difficult to move the other way. Yes, I know that it happens, but it's not something to plan on doing.)


Plenty of profs do a couple of years of firm work. They have to pay off debt like the rest of us. They just make sure to do a clerkship and keep writing while working crazy hours.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests