tinman wrote:mallard wrote:......
The real rationale for taking the higher-ranked school is simple. Kids here are simply not that much smarter than kids at BU or BC. Your extra point or two on the LSAT or the fact that you spent that one semester studying and the other kid spent that semester drinking does not mean you will perform better in law school. You have a comparative advantage now; you got into Harvard. You give it up by going to another school because the legal profession overvalues law school prestige.
There are, of course, other great reasons. My professors have been friends with Thurgood Marshall, William Brennan, Antonin Scalia, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama. My friends will be running for Senator and Governor; they'll be on the federal bench; they'll be coming back here to teach. Even Yale and Stanford do not have the feeling Harvard has. That's one reason why the arbitrariness and the randomness and the strange sense of hierarchy and misplaced priorities is so unsettling and occasionally nauseating while you're here: you're at the heart of a vast system, you know you're a little cell being pumped back and forth, carrying oxygen to one finger or toe of this system, and yet you can hear that the heartbeat is just a little irregular, the heart is just a little diseased.
Sorry to crash the Harvard 1L taking classes here, but I wanted to give the Yale 1L response to some of Mallard's obloquy.
First, the people here at Yale Law are ridiculously smart and intimidating. I spent many years at Harvard and took classes there with law students. I have never been intimidated like I am here. In my small group of 15 people, for example, we have 2 Ph.D.s, someone from Harvard's Kennedy School, a Truman fellow, 2 Rhode Scholars, a former speech writer, someone who worked many years at the ACLU (I am sure I'm forgetting some other awesome experiences). The person who was trying to help me chill out the other day (not in my small group) has a summer firm job and had a 180 LSAT and a 4.0 GPA coming in. It seems like all the students that got in straight from undergraduate here had 180s on their LSAT. I agree that the LSAT probably doesn't mean much, and I don't think the difference between a 165 and 175 is profound.
But I would argue that the difference is profound between someone with a 3.95 GPA and a 175 LSAT straight from undergraduate and a 3.95/175 who is also a former Rhodes Scholar or who has a few years of amazing work experience. The former class dominates Harvard. The latter class dominates Yale.
Judging by history, Harvard will send about the same number of (perhaps marginally more) people into academia, supreme court, and clerkships. But Harvard is more than twice as large. There are superstars at every school. But here at Yale they are in nauseating abundance. I guess what I mean to say is that we have so many people that were already superstars in their post-college careers before starting law school.
Another advantage of going to Yale is that it makes the outside world want to hear about it all the f-ing time. Seriously, people having unrelated conversations CANNOT WAIT to hear your stupid anecdotes. That's the real benefit of the YLS degree - it makes you so socially adept that nothing can ever get in your way again. Things that would ordinarily be considered huge faux pas are automatically excused because you WENT TO YALE AND EVERYONE AT YALE COMES IN GREAT AND EVERYONE DEFINITELY LEAVES GREAT BECAUSE YALE IS FOR GREAT PEOPLE.
By the way, a girl in my LSAT class got into Yale straight from undergrad. She wasn't very smart or interesting, she just had good grades/scores. Go fuck yourself.