Yale 2L taking questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
727813
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:47 am

Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby 727813 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:03 pm

Do you find any of your WE helpful to your academics or is it only useful for OCI/ SA summers? I know that Yale places a great weight on two academic LORs vice WE LORs. I thought the reason was because the professors read the applications. But now I question whether WE even helps at YLS. Would you think that people straight from school have an advantage or those with a few years of WE?

How does the 25+ crowd perform compared to the 22 year olds?

Thanks!

margrett
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:01 am

Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby margrett » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:01 am

Have you met any "non - traditional" students? I'm guessing their backgrounds run the gamut.

User avatar
oso84
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:24 pm

Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:49 am

jd5 wrote:How much more would you, or did you, choose to pay for YLS over CCN?

I'm very much on the fence between YLS and a Hamilton Fellowship at Columbia. I received about $20k in financial aid from YLS, so my back-of-the-envelope calculation is that I would graduate YLS with $160k-ish in debt. I would graduate CLS with $80k-ish in debt (just for cost of living) -- $40k if I work at a firm my 2L summer, practically nothing if I snag a firm job for my 1L summer.

I'm not entirely sure what I want to do with my J.D., but I know I want to end up in New York -- ideally, a (2nd Circuit) clerkship followed by BigLaw litigation followed, perhaps, by a transition to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. I don't think I'm interested in academia (and in any case, I think at least part of Yale's large placement advantage here is due to self-selection).

With those (somewhat vague) goals in mind, do you think YLS is worth $80k more than CLS (with Hamilton on the resume)? $120k more? I'm having a lot of trouble quantifying Yale's added value. At sticker, I don't think Yale is worth it over the Hamilton, especially for someone who wants to work in New York. $20k in YLS aid seems to me just enough that the Hamilton is no longer the easy answer, but also not enough that Yale is the obvious right choice.


Lamest move ever = saying I'm around then not checking the site for a week. Sorry

I think your 80k figure is right, but your estimates of summer wages are off. I think it's more like 30-36k for a summer, but that's pre-tax and pre-overhead. You may not have factored summer rent into your budget elsewhere (most school budges include 9 mo. rent) plus you'll have other overhead unless you're eating other people's leftovers. Also, firm earnings might eat into your YLS finaid. (All YLS aid is need-based, they generally start reducing grants dollar for dollar on on the six-thousand-and-first summer dollar you earn. I might have this wrong, double check that with YLS finaid).

If money is your overriding concern, you might want to check stats for 1Ls getting firm jobs. I have no clue what that's like at CLS. I think people who wanted to go a firm 1L summer here got firm jobs. It required work because firms don't generally recruit 1Ls, but people got jobs. Our low 1L summer stats on firms reflect people's preferences, not options.

I have no idea how CLS places in BigLaw, though I assume that anyone with a Hamilton goes to the front of the line, so you're fine on BigLaw jobs either way. Assuming BigLaw is an automatic for a CLSer with a Hamilton is an automatic and assuming that a CLS and a YLS with 2-4 yrs in BigLaw and the same clerkship are equally poised to get an AUSA job in SDNY or EDNY (and consider EDNY, it's got some serious pros), I don't see a difference with the AUSA prospects.

YLS might have an edge in clerkships. We place well and our links to the Second Cir. are strong. Of course, I'm sure CLS will say something similar, and I really don't know how to compare the two. Of course, you'll have to factor in the changing nature of the clerkship process; it may well be that by the time you are on the clerkship market, practice experience is required for an appellate clerkship. (That's the dominant trend, though the Second Cir. has been slow to embrace it).

Looking at law school solely instrumentally, CLS may be advantageous for you. I would encourage you, though, to think about law school more broadly. CLS is a large school, Yale small. If you're interested in government, we have stronger links to DC than I perceive CLS to have, and you can access our faculty network relatively easy because of the small size of the school. By now, I assume you've visited both for their admitted students program, so you probably have a better feel of the culture.

I feel bad I got to your question late, but after reading everything I've said above, I don't think I've added much to the mix. I suppose I'd sum it up by saying that I don't look to law school purely for its instrumental purpose, but if I was - on your facts - I'd probably lean CLS.

User avatar
oso84
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:24 pm

Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:02 am

727813 wrote:Do you find any of your WE helpful to your academics or is it only useful for OCI/ SA summers? I know that Yale places a great weight on two academic LORs vice WE LORs. I thought the reason was because the professors read the applications. But now I question whether WE even helps at YLS. Would you think that people straight from school have an advantage or those with a few years of WE?

How does the 25+ crowd perform compared to the 22 year olds?

Thanks!


The importance of WE is context-specific when it comes to admissions. Because they're looking to admit a diverse group of people - and diversity is based on many factors, one of which is what you've done in life after college - WE can help an application. I'm at the 25% of the LSAT of my class (though more like 75% of the GPA), and WE probably helped me overcome my under-the-median LSAT score. On the whole, I think WE is likely to help - never hurt - though the amount is helps is inversely correlated to your numbers. (I.e. the stronger your numbers, the less you'll need WE to push you over the line).

WE is entirely irrelevant to OCI (called FIP at YLS). It's very relevant to other career options, particularly public interest. It's also relevant to clerking, with many judges preferring either pre- or post-law school (or both) prior to clerking.

In terms of performance, I don't think age and grades are correlated. I do think age and stress level are inversely correlated, as folks coming straight through tend to be myopically focused on grades and folks who have worked might have a broader set of interests which translate into do things other than class. But that's painting with a broad brush, and perhaps unfairly.

I'm incredibly thankful I worked for a few years before law school. It's provided me with a tremendous context for what I do at YLS, and I know I'm enjoying law school more than I would have at 22. I also think I perform better in the classroom, but that's due to the specific nature of what I was doing during two of my years "off" (i.e. getting an academic masters).

And in terms of the bottom line: I applied to YLS in 2006 when I finished college and again in 2010 when I finished my masters. I only got in once.

User avatar
oso84
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:24 pm

Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:11 am

margrett wrote:Have you met any "non - traditional" students? I'm guessing their backgrounds run the gamut.


So non-traditional can mean a whole bunch of things, but it generally means age, so I'll answer based on that assumption and correct me if I'm wrong. There are a number of students in my class who were over 30 when we started, though I don't think anyone was over 40. (Though rare, that's not unheard of). The majority of students who enrolled in their 30s had PhDs, though there are clear counterexamples. I think the lack of students over 30 is reflective of the difficulties of taking three years off and taking out loans once you're mid-career and, for many, with the family obligations that virtually all 22 year-olds lack. I don't think it's reflective of a prejudice on the part of our admissions policy, though since our review is so diffuse, who knows what your faculty reader will think about anything. It really is a crapshoot.

As for performance once "older" students are here, I think the difference is negligible. I know one guy who has a PhD in econ; he's headed straight to the academic market. I know two others who - despite having PhDs - are abandoning their academic work for a life of practice. Others are headed back to Wall Street jobs (usually, their firms are paying their way here). If I were to conduct the same survey over a larger group of students, I think I'd find a few more people going to practice and a few fewer PhDs - I think my class is just skewed.

I do think some "seasoning" can buy you street cred with faculty. When people learn I have a masters, I get a certain level of deference. Faculty are still tough, they're not going to ease up just because I have a degree, but they at least assume I know how to write and think and meet me on that level. Not sure if that's a factor of not being 23 (I'm 28) or having a degree. Probably a little of both.

If this wasn't responsive, let me know and I'll try again.

727813
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:47 am

Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby 727813 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:35 am

Thanks for answering my question.

727813
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:47 am

Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby 727813 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:02 pm

1. Have you seen or heard of interaction between YLS and HLS students at summer positions, etc.? Is there any underlying competition or tension? I'm sure the faculty don't mention other schools during lecture right? lol

2. Are you familiar with the workload difference for students pursuing the dual degrees? Do they bring any added perspective to class? More stressed?

3. Outside of school-sponsored legal work (clinics, research, etc), does anyone do outside work?

User avatar
oso84
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:24 pm

Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:42 pm

727813 wrote:1. Have you seen or heard of interaction between YLS and HLS students at summer positions, etc.? Is there any underlying competition or tension? I'm sure the faculty don't mention other schools during lecture right? lol


No competition on the job. In general, HLSers seem more, shall we say, "intense" than we are (self-selection, anyone?), but it's tough to see how summer work creates competition. For public interest jobs, you're all just trying to do good work and for firms we generally - at this point in time - don't need to compete for spots with them and vice versa. Caveat - who knows what it will look like this summer, with most of us headed to firms. (I'm not). Any references to HLS in lecture are just-for-fun type comments. Enough of our students and faculty went to Harvard at some point that the competition between the schools is good-natured (at least at YLS).

727813 wrote:2. Are you familiar with the workload difference for students pursuing the dual degrees? Do they bring any added perspective to class? More stressed?


They're generally not doing both degrees at the same time. People disappear for a semester or a year, you ask where they are, and you learn they're doing a dual degree. Many are at Yale, either in forestry, management, divinity, or in a PhD, and others are at other schools. I can think of KSG, Princeton (various programs, academic and professional), and Cal. Dual degree folks are no more stressed out than the rest of us. The academics in that group have a different perspective because they're drawing on their other discipline in class, but that's no different from someone who comes with the advanced degree already in hand. (My case). The professional students (e.g. KSG) probably also have a different perspective on things, but I haven't heard much about that. The management people are in a different orbit than I am, though, so that might be why. The MBA degree is really the only truly integrated dual degree program I'm aware of (maybe KSG), and I'm sure those kids have a pretty unique perspective on business when they're at the management school. The drawback to that program, IMO, is that they trade away all electives for getting both degrees in 3 yrs. Though that's still a pretty sweet deal, if an MBA is of interest.

727813 wrote:3. Outside of school-sponsored legal work (clinics, research, etc), does anyone do outside work?


Legal work? Sometimes, yes, people will have legal projects on the side. E.g. continuing to work with a summer employer. Others are involved in political campaigns. One guy still works for his hedge fund on the side, but that's sui generis. If you're asking about work for spending money, that usually takes the form of providing research assistance for professors, which is valued at the whopping rate of $13.75/hour.

User avatar
timeandspace11
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:16 pm

Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby timeandspace11 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:48 pm

Thank you for doing this.

You have spoken somewhat about PHDs and master's degrees. Do you think having a masters degree makes you more competitive at Yale, or in general for the law school admissions process?

User avatar
oso84
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:24 pm

Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:28 pm

timeandspace11 wrote:Thank you for doing this.

You have spoken somewhat about PHDs and master's degrees. Do you think having a masters degree makes you more competitive at Yale, or in general for the law school admissions process?


I do think that people who do stuff between college and law school have a leg up in admissions compared to people who come straight through. For that reason, advanced academic degrees do make applicants more competitive in general and it's probably taken even a bit more favorably at YLS. But by no means am I suggesting that you should take a two year detour to get an MA or a six year detour to get a PhD, and the vast majority of law students at T-14 schools don't have a graduate degree. There are many other post-bac experiences that will add to the diversity of the class (and thus make you more desirable to an admissions committee).

User avatar
timeandspace11
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:16 pm

Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby timeandspace11 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:01 pm

oso84 wrote:
timeandspace11 wrote:Thank you for doing this.

You have spoken somewhat about PHDs and master's degrees. Do you think having a masters degree makes you more competitive at Yale, or in general for the law school admissions process?


I do think that people who do stuff between college and law school have a leg up in admissions compared to people who come straight through. For that reason, advanced academic degrees do make applicants more competitive in general and it's probably taken even a bit more favorably at YLS. But by no means am I suggesting that you should take a two year detour to get an MA or a six year detour to get a PhD, and the vast majority of law students at T-14 schools don't have a graduate degree. There are many other post-bac experiences that will add to the diversity of the class (and thus make you more desirable to an admissions committee).


Thanks for the advice. I am starting a one year masters program this summer. I will be applying to law schools this fall. One year I feel like is reasonable, cheaper, and it is in something I am interested in.

User avatar
oso84
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:24 pm

Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:14 pm

Okay folks, since it's basically May now I'm going to stop regularly checking this thread. Good luck to everyone wherever you land.

If you get in off the waitlist, don't think twice - just enroll here, okay? It's not that "we're better." (I don't think that's really true). It's that YLS is just a nicer law school environment, I suspect, than many of our peer schools.

If you would like to reach me, send me a PM, I'll get it via email and know to reply. See you next year as "Yale 3L taking questions."

BKallDAY
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:14 pm

Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby BKallDAY » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:56 pm

Interested to know any thoughts on best systems for organization. Do you find yourself using dropbox, google docs, evernote? what do you like about each?

would appreciate any firm life / law school advice regarding tech




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests