Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

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pathos2025
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby pathos2025 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:35 pm

How do you know? (Not doubting, just curious)

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Cartwright4
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Cartwright4 » Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:03 am

pathos2025 wrote:Quick question: does anyone know if the Hamilton is only awarded during the first round of admission decisions or if they still hand out a few once the very last few applications come in? I just applied to Columbia very late, as I got into Harvard early and felt satisfied with that. However, Columbia offered a fee waiver and I figured I would toss in an application and see what happened. But, I don't know if I would even be in the running for a Hamilton at this late stage in the game: are they all gone or is it possible a few remain?

Thanks!


While I'm not really sure about the answer to your question, lawschoolnumbers makes it seem like all the Hamiltons last year were given in January. If you look at the two cycles before that, at least a handful of people clearly got Hamiltons in March, so don't despair.

BTW, how's your thought process coming along, KP? I feel like the more I think about it, the harder it gets to turn down CLS.

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englawyer
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby englawyer » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:32 am

bump. based on the OP's last post about Columbia's dorms, I imagine he/she chose the Hamilton 8)

DanInALionsDen
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby DanInALionsDen » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:47 am

I would have to go with the "Yale is Yale" response. I feel like, if you can attend Yale Law, you do, by whatever means possible. New Haven is not so incredibly far from the suburbs of NYC (its not like you'd be going to Stanford), and its only three years. After that you'll be able to say you went to Yale Law for the rest of your life...

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tomhobbes
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby tomhobbes » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:10 pm

DanInALionsDen wrote:I would have to go with the "Yale is Yale" response.


But a Hamilton is a Hamilton. Maybe this is the kind of issue that actually has to be analyzed.
Last edited by tomhobbes on Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Kronk
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Kronk » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:12 pm

Unless I wanted a Supreme Court clerkship or knew I wanted academia, I would take the Hamilton.

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badwillhunting
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby badwillhunting » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:22 pm

VoidSix wrote:Unless I wanted a Supreme Court clerkship or knew I wanted academia, I would take the Hamilton.



this is why this decision is impossible. the hamilton and the financial opportunities it offers are amazing, but i know i want to go into academia. i'm not going to cut off a finger or anything if i don't get scotus, but that's definitely a goal of mine.

and yes, i know i should've applied to yale, but i cannot stand new haven. so hls vs hamilton is going to be keeping me up nights for a while...

wise tls'ers - thoughts?

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Kronk
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Kronk » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:37 pm

badwillhunting wrote:
VoidSix wrote:Unless I wanted a Supreme Court clerkship or knew I wanted academia, I would take the Hamilton.



this is why this decision is impossible. the hamilton and the financial opportunities it offers are amazing, but i know i want to go into academia. i'm not going to cut off a finger or anything if i don't get scotus, but that's definitely a goal of mine.

and yes, i know i should've applied to yale, but i cannot stand new haven. so hls vs hamilton is going to be keeping me up nights for a while...

wise tls'ers - thoughts?



Bolded part. Easy pick for HLS. If Chicago had full scholarships I would say go there, but since they don't, HLS is the easy pick.

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rx3r
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby rx3r » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:52 pm

pathos2025 wrote:How do you know? (Not doubting, just curious)


Well there are about 125 reporting being admitted on LSN as of now, and last year there were 145 or so reporting admission for the whole cycle. (Of course, there could be a higher % on LSN this year.) Also, the first 1 or 2 rounds of admits (one would assume the easiest ones) are now finished. It seems unlikely that any more Hamiltons will go out at this point.

democrattotheend
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby democrattotheend » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:27 pm

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...


Is there such a thing as top 5% at Yale? I thought they didn't rank.

shuchong
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby shuchong » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:14 pm

VoidSix wrote:this is why this decision is impossible. the hamilton and the financial opportunities it offers are amazing, but i know i want to go into academia. i'm not going to cut off a finger or anything if i don't get scotus, but that's definitely a goal of mine.

and yes, i know i should've applied to yale, but i cannot stand new haven. so hls vs hamilton is going to be keeping me up nights for a while...

wise tls'ers - thoughts?


I don't have any wise thoughts, but I did go through this last year (choosing between Yale, Harvard, and the Hamilton). I ended up at Yale, but I'm pretty sure I would have been happy at Harvard or Columbia. Honestly, I think your first-term profs and your classmates end up having more effect on your life as a 1L (and probably on what opportunities you fall into later) than which of the three schools you attend. Since you have no way of knowing ahead of time who your profs or classmates will be, you're left nitpicking statistics and trying to divine where you'll be happiest/most successful etc. It's a frustrating experience if you get too caught up in it.

I'd contact both Harvard and Columbia, tell the admissions folks that you're thinking about academia and facing the Harvard/Hamilton dilemma, and ask to speak with people who have similar goals and/or faced the same situation in the past. The students I talked to were pretty good at giving their honest thoughts about how they'd made their decisions, whether they were happy, what they would change, etc.

Also, when you feel like tearing your hair out, just remember that you got into Harvard AND Columbia. (Even though I don't go there, I sometimes still can't believe that I got into Harvard Law... and Columbia for free is an insane opportunity.) You're in a great position whatever you choose.

fortissimo
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby fortissimo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:38 am

-
Last edited by fortissimo on Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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totalidiot
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby totalidiot » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:40 am

Columbia, but if you know you want to go into academia, it's not too late to apply to Yale. Seriously, not liking (even hating) New Haven isn't a good enough reason

Renzo
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Renzo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:57 am

I'm glad to see this thread back on topic, because there was a lot of BS getting thrown around for the first two pages. Personally, I'd take the Hamilton. New Haven blows, and for biglaw you're no worse off (maybe better off?) staying in NYC to network than going to Cambridge for an marginally more prestigious degree. Plus, they're giving you $130k in free tuition, which is worth a lot of freedom from loans after you graduate.

insidethetwenty
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby insidethetwenty » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:29 pm

vs. Harvard, I'd say take the Hammy.

vs. Yale, I'd say take the Yale.

Flanker1067
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Flanker1067 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:34 pm

Where is Managamy, I believe s/he is making the same decision right now.

MellonCollie
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby MellonCollie » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:40 pm

One other aspect of this that I'm wrestling with is what happens if I want to leave law in a few years? In that scenario, I suspect the "Harvard is Harvard" and "Yale is Yale" arguments hold more water - although Columbia is for sure prestigious in its own right, HLS is often thought of as the most prestigious and powerful professional degree available, and that's something worth thinking about too.

solidsnake
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby solidsnake » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:01 pm

1. YLS
2. CLS w/ Hamilton



3. HLS

If law is definitely for you, go to Yale. If you're not sure, take the full ride at Columbia. You can always strive to do well your first year at CLS and transfer up (longshot, but your 0L acceptance probably helps you here, too.)

drsomebody
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby drsomebody » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:42 pm

MellonCollie wrote:One other aspect of this that I'm wrestling with is what happens if I want to leave law in a few years? In that scenario, I suspect the "Harvard is Harvard" and "Yale is Yale" arguments hold more water - although Columbia is for sure prestigious in its own right, HLS is often thought of as the most prestigious and powerful professional degree available, and that's something worth thinking about too.


If you want to leave law in a few years, not having hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt will be far more liberating than the marginal benefits provided by a slightly more prestigious degree. More doors will remain open.

drsomebody
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby drsomebody » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:49 pm

rx3r wrote:
pathos2025 wrote:How do you know? (Not doubting, just curious)


Well there are about 125 reporting being admitted on LSN as of now, and last year there were 145 or so reporting admission for the whole cycle. (Of course, there could be a higher % on LSN this year.) Also, the first 1 or 2 rounds of admits (one would assume the easiest ones) are now finished. It seems unlikely that any more Hamiltons will go out at this point.


If this is true than it seems to be bad strategy on the part of Columbia.

The point of the Hamilton is to woo students who would otherwise attend Harvard or Yale. No? Yale, at least, does not penalize late applicants. So if they're really trying to poach students from YLS, they should probably make offers to students throughout the cycle whose applications show them to be highly competitive for YLS admissions.

But then again, rolling admission has never really made much sense to me except from a workload point of view.

Renzo
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby Renzo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:43 pm

drsomebody wrote:
rx3r wrote:
pathos2025 wrote:How do you know? (Not doubting, just curious)


Well there are about 125 reporting being admitted on LSN as of now, and last year there were 145 or so reporting admission for the whole cycle. (Of course, there could be a higher % on LSN this year.) Also, the first 1 or 2 rounds of admits (one would assume the easiest ones) are now finished. It seems unlikely that any more Hamiltons will go out at this point.


If this is true than it seems to be bad strategy on the part of Columbia.

The point of the Hamilton is to woo students who would otherwise attend Harvard or Yale. No? Yale, at least, does not penalize late applicants. So if they're really trying to poach students from YLS, they should probably make offers to students throughout the cycle whose applications show them to be highly competitive for YLS admissions.

But then again, rolling admission has never really made much sense to me except from a workload point of view.

Or maybe they are making a character assessment about people who apply late, and deciding on that basis that late applicants are less deserving.

BenJ
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby BenJ » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:32 pm

drsomebody wrote:
rx3r wrote:
pathos2025 wrote:How do you know? (Not doubting, just curious)


Well there are about 125 reporting being admitted on LSN as of now, and last year there were 145 or so reporting admission for the whole cycle. (Of course, there could be a higher % on LSN this year.) Also, the first 1 or 2 rounds of admits (one would assume the easiest ones) are now finished. It seems unlikely that any more Hamiltons will go out at this point.


If this is true than it seems to be bad strategy on the part of Columbia.

The point of the Hamilton is to woo students who would otherwise attend Harvard or Yale. No? Yale, at least, does not penalize late applicants. So if they're really trying to poach students from YLS, they should probably make offers to students throughout the cycle whose applications show them to be highly competitive for YLS admissions.

But then again, rolling admission has never really made much sense to me except from a workload point of view.


FWIW, a couple of Hamiltons were reported in February last year. So they may not all be gone, but almost all are. Agreed on it being a bad strategy, but, then again, I lost out based on it, so of course I would think it's a bad strategy.

shuchong
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby shuchong » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:55 pm

MellonCollie wrote:One other aspect of this that I'm wrestling with is what happens if I want to leave law in a few years? In that scenario, I suspect the "Harvard is Harvard" and "Yale is Yale" arguments hold more water - although Columbia is for sure prestigious in its own right, HLS is often thought of as the most prestigious and powerful professional degree available, and that's something worth thinking about too.


A few more things to think about (since I'm sure you need more to agonize over at this point :D ).

1. Harvard is Harvard. Yale is Yale only to people who know a fair bit about law schools/academic rankings. If name recognition in a non-legal field is something you want to factor in, Harvard wins hands down. Going to Yale tends to completely floor a select few rather than generally impress.

2. Read the schools' loan forgiveness terms carefully. I'm fairly sure that Yale will forgive your loans even if you decide that circus performance is your calling in life, while Harvard requires you to be working in a law-related field. And, of course, a Columbia JD with little or no debt gives you more flexibility than any loan forgiveness plan would ever give you, no matter what Harvard and Yale say in their glossy brochures.

3. Have you gotten your financial aid package yet? It's rare that your choice is going to be full price at one institution vs. debt-free at the other. NYC living expenses are not exactly cheap, and Harvard and Yale are both generous with aid. It's likely going to come down to a question of how much debt you're going to have to take on, and the difference might not be as stark as it seems right now.

4. I think you're going to find more people at Yale who don't want to be practicing lawyers than you're going to find at either Harvard or Columbia. In fact, I would not be at all surprised if some of my classmates end up in circus performance (or some equally interesting non-legal field) after graduation. Whether or not you want that kind of atmosphere during law school is completely up to you. There are both pluses and minuses. I love Yale with a deep, abiding, and ridiculous love. My classmates are awesome, and in general make me want to be a better person/half as cool as they are. However, this place definitely has its flaws, and it's not for everyone. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.

kalessebo
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby kalessebo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:33 pm

I had the same decision last year and chose Yale. I'm positive it was the right decision for me, but +1 to everyone who said that you'll be fine/happy either way.

I think there are a couple of factors that aren't really being mentioned here (or have only been mentioned in passing). The first is that Yale's loan repayment really does make the debt thing almost moot. I understand that if you're definitely going to do biglaw, you really are paying $120,000 more for Yale. But short of that, the actual tab is going to be much lower. Yale's program (COAP) pays 100% of your loans if you make less than $60,000 a year, and you only contribute 25% of your income above that level, so at $100k salary, you're paying $10k a year in loans. Not nothing, but also not a reason not to go where you want to go just because of the money. But (way) more importantly, as Shuchong mentioned, Yale's COAP covers *any* job. Yes, that includes circus performing. As long as you're employed, you're covered. So the fear about leaving the law and having too much debt shouldn't hold you back. For more on loan repayment programs (focusing heavily on H vs. Y), search my screenname on TLS and you'll find a much longer post on the subject (in the Yale c/o 2012 thread).

More important than the money for me, though, is quality of life. I obviously don't know what it's like day-to-day at Columbia or Harvard, but I would bet my tuition Yale is just objectively better on this count. You really can't appreciate this fact (and God knows I didn't) until you come here, but there's just an energy about this place - you see it in the lively conversation in the dining hall, the smiles on people's faces (even - no, especially - 1Ls) - that I'm sure isn't rivaled at other top schools. Part of this is the lack of grades first semester. That definitely sets a positive tone for the class that wouldn't exist if we were competing from day one, and it persists even once we start taking real classes and getting real grades (at least, it has for the first week of second semester, which is all I have to go on other than what older kids tell me).

But also, I think it's true that people here are just more comfortable with the fact that they are going to be fine no matter how well they do. Of course it's good to do better, and if you want a SCOTUS clerkship you'll have to get mostly top grades and prof recs and all of that (btw, I know most people get this, but SCOTUS clerks are 36 people every year, so to give that goal anything more than negligible weight is just silly). But on the margin, the fact that anyone who wants a firm job is going to get one, and most people who want a clerkship will get one (of some sort) takes the edge off. This is huge in my mind, and definitely worth the $100k or whatever you'd be saving at Columbia. Then again, I've been out of school for a few years, so I've come to value, you know, my life. Someone who values quality of life less, or who thinks they can ignore three years of pain in exchange for $120k, might say different. Just thought I'd point this out since it hasn't gotten much attention.

Last thing: The fact that the Hamilton comes with faculty contact (though I've heard that's oversold and isn't totally there in practice) should only serve to put it on par (if that) with Yale in that category. Here, faculty contact is the norm. Of course there is competition to get an RA job with the top profs, but there are definitely enough mentors to go around. And there have to be, since you write two big papers before graduation here and the level of involvement from profs is pretty huge. A personal example of profs really wanting to help: after the first day of oen of my classes this semester, I went to office hours to ask about writing a paper instead of taking the final (which is an option in some classes). I said I didn't have a great idea - just an inkling of something I wanted to explore - and the prof proceeded to run down a list of stuff I should read and offered to discuss it with me regularly. He even offered to let me count it as one of my two big papers, which means he was volunteering for significantly more work without me asking. Just went above and beyond. Again, at other schools you might find this too if you're good (for example, I talked to a kid at Harvard who had been sought out by a prof because he wrote an A+ final), but here it's hard not to get to know profs.

Just my two cents. As you can tell, I'm terribly biased, but I think it's for good reason. Feel free to PM if you have specific questions about life here or the decision or anything else.

generals10
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Re: Hamilton at Columbia vs. Yale/Harvard

Postby generals10 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:12 pm

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?




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