So I thought I'd revive this thread since a batch of KB2s went out yesterday
I've read through the thread and really appreciate the advice so far - but for those of us who may be struggling to make a decision in the future, what settled you on Harvard and are you glad you chose it? I'm also wondering about the large class size - advantage/disadvantage/nonfactor? Thanks so much!
I think it'll really come down to personal choice reasons. Some obvious decisions one might have to make might be HLS vs. CLS w/ $$$. Depends on how risk averse you are, how much debt you're willing to take on (or rather the size of the scholarship), and what your goals are. If they are to snag any biglaw job in NYC and that's it, the CLS $$$ option starts looking really good (though you'll probably have to work a bit harder your 1L year
SLS vs. HLS is a big geographical decision. imo, makes little sense to go with SLS if you are only aiming for the east coast. Generally, YLS vs. HLS comes out in favor of YLS, esp. if one is interested in academia...but the intangible benefits of the H-bomb are not to be underestimated. To be frank, I have been amazed at how far the lay prestige of the H-bomb gets you. It is something that lingers on past your law school years and into the rest of your life, imo. People assume (correctly or incorrectly) that you are smarter, more qualified, etc. tbf, in the legal world YLS would hold probably just as much weight if not more, but Yale is nothing compared to Harvard outside of the legal profession. In a world where 60% of CEOs are 6 ft or taller, I'll take any intangible benefit I can get!
Of course, lay prestige was not the main reason I chose HLS -- it was just a nice perk. I chose it for (as I alluded to in the first sentence) personal reasons. I am rom TX and want to go back to TX 100%...but I wanted to spend my law school yrs out. HLS gives me the easiest access back to TX. Also, while HLS obviously does great in legal academia, I have no interest in it, so it was primarily biglaw in TX that I cared about. For that, HLS seems to be arguably the best choice for me (esp. factoring intangibles).
The class sizes have been great imo. Your 1L yr you are just in your section of 80, and you get to know them really well. It isn't until a bit second semester of 1L yr or 2L yr really do you start meeting a bunch of other people from other sections or years. So you sort of get the best of both worlds, and a tad more is in your control on how many people you want to get to know (just section mates or join clubs, etc. during 1L yr). Sorry for rambling on so long.
TL;DR: decision often depends on personal preferences; Harvard name = a lot of lay prestige that carries on throughout life; large class size broken into smaller sections, seems like a plus to me