I picked HLS over a Darrow (and minor schollies elsewhere). Sometimes I think about the crushing debt and feel sad but for the most part I haven't looked back. The people and opportunities you will be exposed to at this school are incredible. Come visit and see how you like it. Maybe it's just my section but I imagined a school filled with gunners and insufferable douches and instead found a friendly, helpful, fun and humble friends. also, don't underestimate the power of HP/P/LP grading.
I'm still curious about the implications of the grading system. Since the numerical value assigned to H/P/LP is apparently identical to A/B/C, what is the true benefit? Is it primarily psychological, or are professors more likely to give an H than they would be to give an A?
Also- apologies if this information is readily available elsewhere, but I couldn't find it after a quick search- does the grading system affect the way that class rankings are released/structured?
I don't know what other schools' curves are like, but I think it's different because there are no gradations. You're either an H or you're everybody else. When the curve was last published, it was 37% H.
The downside is that on something like LRW, you can put in ten hours of work and get from a bottom-level P to the absolute best P in your class - one more comma and it would have been H, but that is literally no return on your investment.
Rumor has it that LPs are discretionary. I have even had a 3L tell me that she never heard of anyone getting an LP. I don't think that's true, but the consensus is that you really have to mail it in to get an LP. Also, I think they don't publish medians or class rank.
37% H's is about right. Rest get Ps. A couple of people per class MAY get discretionary Dean Scholar's as well. LPs are discretionary, but they weren't 2 yrs ago (or less so, ~8% were given out then and people complained). Now they are rarer...but there are DEFINITELY a number of students walking around with LPs (I know some). That being said, they are pretty rare, esp. now...with most profs either handing out none or a couple per class. Generally, they seem to have gone to people who were just really unprepared for the final for one reason or another (i.e. leaving whole sections blank, personal circumstances, etc.).
Supposedly the DS/H/P/LPs all come with GPA points that we don't really see -- I don't think employers do either. So that really only matters for the calculation of honors and the like when you graduate and stuff. For the most part, about a third get Hs, rest get Ps. That is the overall idea, so low stress, ESPECIALLY once coupled with how biglaw hiring actually seems to work at HLS. Save the most selective firms at OCI, your grades don't really matter unless you are on either extreme. Multiple LPs and you stand out in a bad way, really grades and you stand out again for the opposite reason. W&C, Wachtell, etc. may have "grade cutoffs"...but all the others (even some V5s) do not really. Your professionalism and interviewing skills matter much more. Everyone I know a bit below median, at median, above median, etc. all had pretty similar results at OCI. In fact, the best person I know was median grades (maybe a bit below?) who snagged a ridiculous amount of cbs due to interviewing skeelz.
imo, at HLS, you'll try to get the H in every class, succeed some of the time, get Ps the rest, and still get that job you want (excluding those aiming for the top 2%