T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

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Stay or Go?

Stay at T20
24
23%
Go to Harvard
82
77%
 
Total votes: 106

nstockholm
Posts: 18
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T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby nstockholm » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:51 am

I'm ranked #2 at a T20 (ranked 15-19). I'm on law review here. I've heard that around 8 people get Court of Appeals clerkships from here every year and I think I am in a good position for one. I also have some really good connections with professors here. There's no way I could be on law review at Harvard, and I don't exactly know how competitive I'd be for a Court of Appeals clerkship from there.

There are, of course, pros about Harvard. The name and alumni network, they have a far better program in an area I am interested in, I'd rather work on one of the coasts than in the midwest/south.

I am interested in academia.

TLS, should I stay or should I go?

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DreamsInDigital
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby DreamsInDigital » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:06 am

Take this with a grain of salt, but from what other people have said on here I think that if you are serious about academia then you have to go to Harvard. But even then, getting it is as or more difficult than big law.

If you're just considering job prospects in general, then it is probably pretty even. You would have to think about where you want to work; stay if the t20 is in the market you want, move if you want NY or another big market.

Also, are you getting any money at your current school?

nstockholm
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:08 am

Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby nstockholm » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:15 am

DreamsInDigital wrote:Also, are you getting any money at your current school?


~$15k per year. I'm going to try to negotiate a raise, but not sure if it'll work. Harvard also gives need-based aid, and I'm poor so I might get something. Thanks.

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Grizz
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby Grizz » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:31 am

nstockholm wrote:I'm ranked #2 at a T20 (ranked 15-19).


WUSTL?

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PDaddy
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby PDaddy » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:34 am

Go to Harvard. Your school is "top-20", but there's no way that, even in its best year, it can match the benefits of a Harvard Law degree in one of Harvard's "down" years (if there's even such a thing).

Forget market; Harvard can get you into every market. Forget specialty; Harvard can get you into any specialty. Forget culture; your time at Harvard will go by so fast it won't matter, and the networks you establish will be worth it no matter how good or bad your social experiences. Plus, everyone knows what they're getting when they go there.

If you get into Harvard, you go to Harvard. I know of people who have gone to non HYS over Harvard and done just fine, but I would never recommend doing it unless you have a sick relative in Chicago, Palo Alto or Durham or something.

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ndirish2010
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby ndirish2010 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:28 am

Dude, this guy is ranked #2 at a T20. He doesn't need Harvard anymore. I think that your COA chances will probably decrease if you transfer (no LR). Your job prospects overall will be similar. However, I can see the appeal of having Harvard on your resume for the rest of your life. Tough call, can't really go wrong either way.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:32 am

PDaddy wrote:Go to Harvard. Your school is "top-20", but there's no way that, even in its best year, it can match the benefits of a Harvard Law degree in one of Harvard's "down" years (if there's even such a thing).

Forget market; Harvard can get you into every market. Forget specialty; Harvard can get you into any specialty. Forget culture; your time at Harvard will go by so fast it won't matter, and the networks you establish will be worth it no matter how good or bad your social experiences. Plus, everyone knows what they're getting when they go there.

If you get into Harvard, you go to Harvard. I know of people who have gone to non HYS over Harvard and done just fine, but I would never recommend doing it unless you have a sick relative in Chicago, Palo Alto or Durham or something.

hmm???

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Moomoo2u
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby Moomoo2u » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:43 am

PDaddy wrote:Go to Harvard. Your school is "top-20", but there's no way that, even in its best year, it can match the benefits of a Harvard Law degree in one of Harvard's "down" years (if there's even such a thing).

Forget market; Harvard can get you into every market. Forget specialty; Harvard can get you into any specialty. Forget culture; your time at Harvard will go by so fast it won't matter, and the networks you establish will be worth it no matter how good or bad your social experiences. Plus, everyone knows what they're getting when they go there.

If you get into Harvard, you go to Harvard. I know of people who have gone to non HYS over Harvard and done just fine, but I would never recommend doing it unless you have a sick relative in Chicago, Palo Alto or Durham or something.



This. Especially if you're interested in Academia. Harvard is a much more international and well respected school which I think matters more for academia, the professors will no doubt have more connections or experience than professors at a T20. When someone asks you what you do or where you went to school you can say, "I went to a small school in Massachusetts, maybe you've heard of it, it's called Harvard."

CanadianWolf
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:49 am

Seems as if OP is at either Vanderbilt or WashUStL since an advantage of transferring to Harvard from OP's perspective is the ability to work on one of the coasts & OP doesn't want the Midwest or the South. The other two possibilities (UCLA & USC) in the 15 to 19 USNews rankings are on the west coast. Harvard is better for east & west coast placement than WashUStL &/or Vanderbilt, but it may not be worth sacrificing a #2 ranking & law review. If you stay, try to get published & try to get a position on the law review editorial board.

WhirledWorld
Posts: 331
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:04 am

Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby WhirledWorld » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:08 pm

.
Last edited by WhirledWorld on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawstudent1986
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:25 am

Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby lawstudent1986 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:17 pm

For what it's worth, I'm in the midst of making a similar decision, but in my case it's T20 --> Columbia (didn't get into Harvard). I'm having the exact same thought process re law review & clerkships, but at this point I am pretty sure I am going to Columbia. It's true that lack of law review will hurt clerkship chances but at least you can be on a secondary journal at Harvard and try to make the editorial board. Maybe work at a firm for 1-2 years post-graduation and then try putting in clerkship applications then. I bet the Harvard on your resume plus the work experience will make up for what you're losing by leaving your current school. Plus, several years down the road, much greater chance of regretting not going to Harvard (and driving yourself crazy with "what ifs") than going and regretting leaving. Hope that helps.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:21 pm

WhirledWorld wrote:While Harvard would normally put you at an advantage for academia, the fact that you will have no shot at law review as a transfer might not make it not worth it in this case. You're forgoing a very impressive GPA to transfer to a school where you'll have no shot at law review. If lay prestige is your thing, it might be worth it, but if you really want legal academia, stick with your law review at your T20 and write a note.


This is wrong.

You can write articles regardless of Law Review membership. Frankly, not being on law review gives you more time to try to publish stuff that might be helpful on the academic market (most student notes are not, from my understanding). Also, most schools have some kind of "note on" process for Law Review, though I admit that I don't know if Harvard does.

Also, OP needs to keep in mind that Harvard has good need-based aid programs for everyone - including transfers - if he comes frmo a modest background.

Transfering to Harvard isn't an opportunity you pass up unless your goal is "biglaw in the market that your T20 is in." That isn't OP's goal; therefore, he needs to pull the trigger. Enjoy Harvard, OP.

ETA: Publishing - not law review membership - is king for academia. Not being on LR may hurt clerkship chances a bit, which will have an impact on academic hiring, but the Harvard name more than makes up for it.

UCLAtransfer
Posts: 334
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby UCLAtransfer » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:37 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:ETA: Publishing - not law review membership - is king for academia. Not being on LR may hurt clerkship chances a bit, which will have an impact on academic hiring, but the Harvard name more than makes up for it.


This is exactly right on all points.

If academia is truly your goal, Harvard is it.

Re law teaching placement:

"Yale graduates have roughly three times the rate of success as graduates of Harvard, Stanford, and Chicago; while graduates of those latter three schools have at least three times the rate of success of graduates of Berkeley, Columbia, Michigan et al."

http://leiterrankings.com/new/2011_LawTeachers.shtml

flexityflex86
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby flexityflex86 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:41 pm

Even if it's equal the benefits of being able to say you're a Harvard Law alum will stay with you and your family. Being a lawyer is great, but in many social circles anything outside of the t-14 is seen as just a law school.

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PDaddy
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby PDaddy » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:38 am

JamMasterJ wrote:
PDaddy wrote:
If you get into Harvard, you go to Harvard. I know of people who have gone to non HYS over Harvard and done just fine, but I would never recommend doing it unless you have a sick relative in Chicago, Palo Alto or Durham or something.


hmm???


Stanford, CA

Fixed

saladfiend
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:19 pm

Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby saladfiend » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:04 am

You don't need to pose this poll to know what the answer will be on this forum.

saladfiend
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:19 pm

Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby saladfiend » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:06 am

"Being a lawyer is great, but in many social circles anything outside of the t-14 is seen as just a law school."

This sounds like a load of crap. Do people in "many social circles" know that the University of Virginia has a highly ranked law school? What about Georgetown? Wash U is ranked above both of those schools in terms of its undergraduate offering. Do people in "many social circles" really know the rankings of different programs?

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vanwinkle
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:31 am

flexityflex86 wrote:Even if it's equal the benefits of being able to say you're a Harvard Law alum will stay with you and your family. Being a lawyer is great, but in many social circles anything outside of HYS is seen as just a law school.

Fixed. Lay prestige is borderline nonexistent for some T14 law schools. There's an enormous difference in how non-lawyers around the country perceive an MVP degree (for example) and how they perceive an HYS degree.

I think this is one of those things that matters, as long as you're not giving up too much in terms of your actual legal career. In OP's case I think it's worth it to go, personally. I've known folks who transferred from the top of their class at T20-range schools and have no regrets whatsoever.

I will warn you, though, that there is no "note-on" process for HLR. You cannot even submit articles for consideration, as far as I'm aware. Only students on HLR can write notes for HLR. This doesn't mean there are no publishing opportunities at HLS; there are many prominent secondary journals that you can easily join and then write for. Just commenting since it came up before.

soicanbenumber1
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:58 pm

Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby soicanbenumber1 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:00 pm

GO GO GO so i can be number 1....

but you will be missed.

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emciosn
Posts: 392
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby emciosn » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:08 pm

I usually don't jump on the "transfer" or "retake" type bandwagons that you see frequently but it is Harvard. I'm at a T20 and if I had your opportunity it would be extremely hard to pass up. Having Harvard on your resume for the rest of your life would be pretty sweet. Also your number 2 rank from your previous school would be "frozen" on your resume for as long as you put your first school on there.

Look at where all your professors have graduated from - most of mine are from Yale and Harvard. Period. If you want academia I would guess Harvard gives you a much better shot than your current school.

Edit: If you can talk your current school into a completely full ride and you are really debt averse, staying might make some sense. You will have some great opportunities from either.

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vanwinkle
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:13 pm

soicanbenumber1 wrote:GO GO GO so i can be number 1....

but you will be missed.

Don't alt.

nstockholm
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:08 am

Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby nstockholm » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:22 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
soicanbenumber1 wrote:GO GO GO so i can be number 1....

but you will be missed.

Don't alt.


That's not me, vanwinkle. If that is what you are accusing them of. But I have an idea as to who it is, and we are both RAs this summer in the same building, so the IP address might be the same.

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vanwinkle
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:59 pm

nstockholm wrote:That's not me, vanwinkle. If that is what you are accusing them of.

No, not an alt of you.

habeas__corpus
Posts: 5
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Re: T20 to Harvard. Stay or go?

Postby habeas__corpus » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:11 pm

I'm in a similar position as you my man. I was top 1% at a T20 with Law Review as well. In the end I chose to attend Harvard. I would go to Harvard as well if I were in your position since you say you want academia. There is no better school for that except, arguably, Yale.
You can make connections with professors at Harvard and your chances at a COA clerkship is slim coming from any school but still much greater coming from a top school.
For me it came down to the program as well. I am interested in International Law and Harvard consistently ranks in the top 5 for that.
The name itself will go a long way, much farther than being on Law Review can.
Go with Harvard, and congrats man. Maybe I'll see you there in the fall.




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