What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

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kjunfood
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby kjunfood » Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:02 pm

OperaAttorney wrote:
kjunfood wrote:lol ty for the posts, though sadly none of them seem to be serious :(

ok, let me rephrase so i dont hurt everyone's sensibilities:

why would one choose harvard law over columbia law? or why would some choose harvard law over stanford law?

the more specific the better


I'm matriculating at UT Austin this fall, but I'll answer the questions since I applied to all 4 schools and got dinged LOL.

Harvard/Columbia? HARVARD Both schools are large and expensive. Both schools endure brutal winters. Both schools are super competitive (the word on the streets). But Harvard has eliminated letter grades, though I'm unsure at how great the new grading system is working out. Harvard is also ranked higher and will probably remain above Columbia. I hate the idea of living in New York. I don't care much about faculty rep. (I don't aspire to become a law prof or a SCOTUS clerk.) Both schools have rock-star professors, most of whom will probably suck.

Harvard/Stanford? STANFORD. I'm a native Californian. I hate cold weather. Harvard's great. But so is Stanford. And though Harvard's course offerings far exceed Stanford's, Stanford offers more courses than any overachiever could take in 3 years.

Choosing a law school is, truly, a personal affair--at least, it should be, I think. What works for one person might not work for other. (The rankings alone should not dictate where you opt to matriculate.) Do you want to know how wildly personal it can be? Here's a shocker: I would've picked UT over Columbia--after sitting on the fence for about 10 mins. ;)


ty for your post. though it doesnt completely answer my question, its very helpful and informative. i realize a lot personal preferences come into play when choosing amongst the top schools, and i dont think your decision is that crazy at all operaattorney! :P depending on what you want to do...it can make total sense. UT is extremely high up on my list as well, even over a lot of other higher ranked law schools.

zero1
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby zero1 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:05 pm

kjunfood wrote:
zero1 wrote:Lots of people choose Stanford over Harvard. It's not a ridiculous choice at all.


As for Columbia...

if all you wanted to do is work at a prestigious firm, I really don't see the difference between a lot of these top schools. But that's just me.


i never meant to say it was ridiculous to choose stanford over harvard, and in fact, id assume MORE ppl would choose stanford over harvard. i just meant, why do SOME choose harvard over stanford?

seriously, no one has any idea? everyone just props up harvard as the best w/o a specific reason why? maybe a special program they have that is the best in the nation? maybe _____ professor that is amazing in _____ field? i mean, i guess we can all 'assume' harvard has some of the best programs for something in the nation and has some of the best professors in some field in the nation, but honestly...no one here knows any specifics?

is it just based on big law chances? because then columbia in NY is just as good of a choice as harvard...

...academia? well then what specifically about harvard gives such a good boost to those interested in academia? etc.


No I know what you meant. As for Stanford vs. Harvard...

Harvard has more lay prestige. Other than that, I'm drawing a blank. Stanford's small class and excellent location would be hard to pass up.

And I think you're absolutely correct as far as biglaw is concerned. But on these boards, people factor in clerkship placement, academia, etc to make personal school assessments even when they have no interest in any of these things.
Last edited by zero1 on Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kjunfood
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby kjunfood » Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:14 pm

zero1 wrote:
kjunfood wrote:
zero1 wrote:Lots of people choose Stanford over Harvard. It's not a ridiculous choice at all.


As for Columbia...

if all you wanted to do is work at a prestigious firm, I really don't see the difference between a lot of these top schools. But that's just me.


i never meant to say it was ridiculous to choose stanford over harvard, and in fact, id assume MORE ppl would choose stanford over harvard. i just meant, why do SOME choose harvard over stanford?

seriously, no one has any idea? everyone just props up harvard as the best w/o a specific reason why? maybe a special program they have that is the best in the nation? maybe _____ professor that is amazing in _____ field? i mean, i guess we can all 'assume' harvard has some of the best programs for something in the nation and has some of the best professors in some field in the nation, but honestly...no one here knows any specifics?

is it just based on big law chances? because then columbia in NY is just as good of a choice as harvard...

...academia? well then what specifically about harvard gives such a good boost to those interested in academia? etc.


No I know what you meant. As far Stanford vs. Harvard...

Harvard has more lay prestige. Other than that, I'm drawing a blank. Stanford's small class and excellent location would be hard to pass up.

And I think you're absolutely correct as far as biglaw is concerned. But on these boards, people factor in clerkship placement, academia, etc to make personal school assessments even when they have no interest in any of these things.


i completely agree. i suppose i am just a bit shocked that no one who is seriously considering harvard (or chose harvard) knows anything specific about why one would choose the school. they hear harvard has a great faculty, but so does columbia and stanford, so do any particular harvard professors stand out? and for what?

i dont expect everyone to know -- most wouldnt; they'd look at the rankings, see biglaw chances, and hear about harvard's great faculty, programs and rep ...and choose harvard just based on that. and that's perfectly fine! but i was also hoping that maybe a few knew some more specifics. i know my question seems silly at a glance, but i didnt think it was that unreasonable a question upon closer inspection lol. maybe thats just me.

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OperaAttorney
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby OperaAttorney » Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:24 pm

zero1 wrote:
And I think you're absolutely correct as far as biglaw is concerned. But on these boards, people factor in clerkship placement, academia, etc to make personal school assessments even when they have no interest in any of these things....


+ 1

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neverknow
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby neverknow » Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:26 am

This thread had the potential to be really helpful.

kjunfood
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby kjunfood » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:56 pm

neverknow wrote:This thread had the potential to be really helpful.


haha thats what i had really hoped for...

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hoopsguy6
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby hoopsguy6 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:08 pm

School? wrote:Elle Woods attended Harvard. If they made a movie where she attended Columbia people would wonder why she went to central america for a law degree....

SO basically.....lay prestige. Even hermit mountain people know what Harvard is



Elle Woods is my hero. My personal statement is about how her story inspired me to apply to Law School.

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atlantalaw
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby atlantalaw » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:16 pm

hoopsguy6 wrote:
School? wrote:Elle Woods attended Harvard. If they made a movie where she attended Columbia people would wonder why she went to central america for a law degree....

SO basically.....lay prestige. Even hermit mountain people know what Harvard is



Elle Woods is my hero. My personal statement is about how her story inspired me to apply to Law School.


please, please tell me you are serious.

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Helmholtz
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:19 pm

That smart Asian chick in Old School wanted to go to Columbia.

art vandelay
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby art vandelay » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:22 pm

Uh, am I misinformed or is it true that in the (admittedly pointless) matter of which T3 is best, Yale usually bests Harvard?

How is Harvard better than Yale?

And don't give me the Obama line. Bill and Hill went to YLS.

02082010
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby 02082010 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:26 pm

art vandelay wrote:Uh, am I misinformed or is it true that in the (admittedly pointless) matter of which T3 is best, Yale usually bests Harvard?

How is Harvard better than Yale?

And don't give me the Obama line. Bill and Hill went to YLS.


(412): You can call me Bill Clinton. I brought 2 good looking Asians home last night.

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OperaAttorney
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby OperaAttorney » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:37 pm

art vandelay wrote:Uh, am I misinformed or is it true that in the (admittedly pointless) matter of which T3 is best, Yale usually bests Harvard?

How is Harvard better than Yale?

And don't give me the Obama line. Bill and Hill went to YLS.


But Obama has superior oratorical ability. And, unlike Hillary, he didn't fail the bar exam. Oh, and he doesn't botch the National Anthem. Have you heard Hillary sing? She croaks like a toad with a cold! :lol:
Last edited by OperaAttorney on Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LawDog3
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby LawDog3 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:44 pm

green wrote:I don't think it can really get more specific. Harvard is the best because it has always been. That's just the way it is.


OP raises a good point though...it is rather circular reasoning. I have nothing on this one. FTR, I would not choose Harvard over Stanford...sunny Cal, are you kidding me?

I really do think Harvard is running on old steam. It got out of the gate as the best law school in the country and has simply maintained it. There was a time when Harvard was just the obvious choice. It almost still is, but there are a few people who choose other schools over the H-bomb...not many...

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kurama20
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby kurama20 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:55 pm

OP for what it's worth I think that the strength of the alumni network, as well as the international prestige, of Harvard is a big reason. I mean seriously can you name another school with an alumni network as powerful as Harvard? Yale is the closest, but even it's network is not quite on Harvard's level. The next closest school would probably be Stanford, and even though S is the next closest it's pretty damn far behind when it comes to the power of the alumni network. Think about how many SC Justices went to Harvard as compared to Stanford ( currently there are no Stanford law alumnus on the bench). Also keep in mind that the traditional setup for 1L year was invented at Harvard. And probably most affecting is that for such a long time Harvard law was the best. It is older than all the other top law schools, for such a long time it was the best law school in the country. Stanford has only relatively recently caught Harvard (hell it only existed relatively recently compared to Harvard, which is actually a strong statement to what Stanford has done over the years). Finally I think Harvard's choice to be very good at so many different areas, as opposed to Stanford's approach at being the very best in a few areas, has a little to do with it as well. I must say I actually don't think that even lay people consider Harvard law to be better than Yale law; I just think that they consider them rivals and they usually think of Harvard first.

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tinman
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby tinman » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:58 pm

School? wrote:Elle Woods attended Harvard. If they made a movie where she attended Columbia people would wonder why she went to central america for a law degree....

SO basically.....lay prestige. Even hermit mountain people know what Harvard is


TITCR. Harvard has more lay prestige than anywhere. Even hermit mountain people in Greece know Harvard.

They also have more money, more top faculty, etc than anywhere.
Per capita, most people would say YLS faculty is better ... Maybe SLS too ... But Harvard just has more (both a plus and minus).
Last edited by tinman on Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

heyguys
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby heyguys » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:04 pm

The only reasons I can think of for taking HLS over YLS or SLS would be:

1) valuing lay prestige, not caring that much about legal prestige (insofar as seeing Yale on the resume is the showstopper in the legal world as Harvard is in the world at large)

2) having some compelling reason for living near Boston

3) hating small class size for whatever reason

4) maybe you're considering a JD/PhD and have a particular scholar with whom you'd like to work.

5) loving snow?

02082010
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby 02082010 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:53 pm

heyguys wrote:The only reasons I can think of for taking HLS over YLS or SLS would be:

1) valuing lay prestige, not caring that much about legal prestige (insofar as seeing Yale on the resume is the showstopper in the legal world as Harvard is in the world at large)

2) having some compelling reason for living near Boston

3) hating small class size for whatever reason

4) maybe you're considering a JD/PhD and have a particular scholar with whom you'd like to work.

5) loving snow?


hahaha someone ban this YLS trolll

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lucydog
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby lucydog » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:15 am

Simple, for the average student who just wants to land a big law job there is little difference between HYS. Probably not that much difference between HYS and CCN. Academia/Clerkship is where Yale tends to pull ahead of H, S, CCN....but again it is mostly splitting hairs.

H has the lay prestige, but how often do you talk about law schools with lay people??

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crazycanuck
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby crazycanuck » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:22 am

lucydog wrote:Simple, for the average student who just wants to land a big law job there is little difference between HYS. Probably not that much difference between HYS and CCN. Academia/Clerkship is where Yale tends to pull ahead of H, S, CCN....but again it is mostly splitting hairs.

H has the lay prestige, but how often do you talk about law schools with lay people??


At your high school reunion when the girl who you had a crush on and always wanted to hump until you can't walk asks you what you are up to these days.

SmurfyRey
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby SmurfyRey » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:32 am

crazycanuck wrote:
lucydog wrote:Simple, for the average student who just wants to land a big law job there is little difference between HYS. Probably not that much difference between HYS and CCN. Academia/Clerkship is where Yale tends to pull ahead of H, S, CCN....but again it is mostly splitting hairs.

H has the lay prestige, but how often do you talk about law schools with lay people??


At your high school reunion when the girl who you had a crush on and always wanted to hump until you can't walk asks you what you are up to these days.


Only thing is, on a lay prestige, places like Notre Dame, Duke, UGA, and Chapel Hill all have significant lay prestige that has nothing to do with their law school. Hell, if MIT had the world's crappiest law school (non-IP track of course), it would still have massive lay prestige, like Princeton Law.

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Helmholtz
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:27 am

SmurfyRey wrote:
crazycanuck wrote:
lucydog wrote:Simple, for the average student who just wants to land a big law job there is little difference between HYS. Probably not that much difference between HYS and CCN. Academia/Clerkship is where Yale tends to pull ahead of H, S, CCN....but again it is mostly splitting hairs.

H has the lay prestige, but how often do you talk about law schools with lay people??


At your high school reunion when the girl who you had a crush on and always wanted to hump until you can't walk asks you what you are up to these days.


Only thing is, on a lay prestige, places like Notre Dame, Duke, UGA, and Chapel Hill all have significant lay prestige that has nothing to do with their law school. Hell, if MIT had the world's crappiest law school (non-IP track of course), it would still have massive lay prestige, like Princeton Law.


Yes, but when it comes to lay prestige, nothing can even come close to the H-bomb. Gallup did a poll once in 2003 where they asked "All in all, what would you say is the best college or university in the United States? (open-ended responses)". Respondents were asked to name two schools. Here were the results:

Harvard University 24%
Stanford University 11%
Yale University 11%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 6%
University of California at Berkeley 4%
Notre Dame University 4%
Princeton University 4%
University of Michigan 3%
Duke University 3%
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) 3%
University of Texas 2%
Texas A&M University 2%
Ohio State University 2%
University of North Carolina 2%
Penn State University 2%
University of Pennsylvania (Penn) 2%
University of Minnesota 1%
Brown University 1%
Cornell University 1%
University of Virginia 1%
Brigham Young University (BYU) 1%
University of Tennessee 1%
Michigan State University 1%
Purdue University 1%
University of Iowa 1%
Georgetown University 1%
University of Arizona 1%
University of Southern California (USC) 1%
Louisiana State University (LSU) 1%
Indiana University 1%
University of Washington 1%
Columbia University 1%
University of Wisconsin 1%
Boston University 1%
New York University 1%
Other 36%
No opinion 22%

Notice that schools such as Caltech, UChicago, Dartmouth, Northwestern, WUSTL, Johns Hopkins, Rice, Carnegie Mellon, and Emory aren't even mentioned.

Starting5
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The Gallup Poll -- The Best Evidence

Postby Starting5 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:23 am

Good post. I saw the results of that Gallup Poll as well. I think the results you reference are (at least for the top 3) about what I would expect from a poll of the general public (Harvard comfortably in front, with Stanford and Yale battling for second). What I think is also revealing is the second part of that same Gallup study, where Gallup polled only people who had graduated college and had completed at least some graduate work (not necessarily earning a graduate degree). As Gallup noted, if I recall correctly, these would be the people you would expect to have the best perspective on what are considered the "top" schools. In that (second) Gallup survey, the results were as follows:

Harvard
29%

Stanford
27%

Yale
14%

MIT
11%

Berkeley
7%

Princeton
7%

Michigan
7%

I believe that the 2% difference between Stanford and Harvard was within the margin of error, putting them in a statistical dead heat. This result, given the more-educated group polled, doesn't surprise me, either. And, it should be noted, both of the Gallup polls were with respect to the entire university, not solely the law school (although, presumably, law schools would have factored into each group's perspectives, where applicable). So, according to Gallup, among lay people, no question Harvard is out in front, with Stanford and Yale fighting for second. But, among more-educated Americans, Harvard and Stanford are vying for the top spot, well ahead of Yale, MIT, Princeton and Berkeley.

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tinman
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby tinman » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:02 am

The difference between the poll results for the general public vs. the more educated members of the general public can easily be explained by the general public judging the quality of the school by its undergraduate program and more educated people considering the quality of the graduate schools.

HYP are the most prestigious undergrad schools.

But I think it would be hard to argue that, overall all, Harvard and Stanford are not the best universities. They are second and third in law, first and second in science (ignoring engineering), first and second in business, first and top ten in medicine, etc ...

But shouldn't TLS members be concerned about the best law school, not the best university? In general, Yale has weak grad programs relative to S and H ... except for in law. It is here where Yale excels.

So yes, H is the best university in the world, but YLS is the best law school!

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Helmholtz
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby Helmholtz » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:08 am

tinman wrote:So yes, H is the best university in the world, but YLS is the best law school!


The discussion was lay prestige, which Harvard has handfuls of. Honestly, I'm a little shocked that only a quarter of people listed it as the top two universities. Harvard University as a whole has a pretty considerable step up on any other school and just a smaller step up on Stanford. Anyway, my whole point was that if you're really just trying to impress people with your law degree, maybe you should just stick with Michigan St. instead of UChicago. But yes, YLS is the best law school and I would pick it in a heartbeat over HLS.

revolution724
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Re: What's so good about Harvard? Specifically

Postby revolution724 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:15 am

kjunfood wrote:
zero1 wrote:Lots of people choose Stanford over Harvard. It's not a ridiculous choice at all.


As for Columbia...

if all you wanted to do is work at a prestigious firm, I really don't see the difference between a lot of these top schools. But that's just me.


i never meant to say it was ridiculous to choose stanford over harvard, and in fact, id assume MORE ppl would choose stanford over harvard. i just meant, why do SOME choose harvard over stanford?



Cambridge is really that cool. Cold. More accurately, Cambridge is cold. And damp. And windy.

You'll never find a cooler thrift shop than Second Time Around, though.




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