But seriously... Why Harvard?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
User avatar
DoubleChecks
Posts: 2333
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:04 pm

rgndvo wrote:All I know is that Harvard Law School reported a private starting salary of 155k in 2008, whereas Georgetown claimed a starting salary of 160k in the 2010 TLS page. (see below)
Obviously, I am not contending that Georgetown has better job opportunities than Harvard; inflation alone would account for this difference. But I am genuinely skeptical as to whether attending HLS imparts much of an advantage on a given student.

Also, pineapple dude, you have correllation confused with causality. Harvard has a smarter student body, no question; but the question is whether a student is actually made more succesful by virtue of attending HLS (as opposed to another T14). I am skeptical of this, and the hysterical (but factless) responses to this skepticism have only made it more acute.

http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/index.html
http://www.top-law-schools.com/georgeto ... enter.html


I don't know why I am still feeding the troll, but no one even cares/looks at employment stats schools put out. They're misleading and gamed. I actually don't know of anyone, besides you, who believes that below median at HLS does not have better legal job opportunities than a similarly ranked Gtown student.

But re-my first post, HLS sucks. Don't come here. It's for your own good.

rgndvo
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:56 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby rgndvo » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:36 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
rgndvo wrote:All I know is that Harvard Law School reported a private starting salary of 155k in 2008, whereas Georgetown claimed a starting salary of 160k in the 2010 TLS page. (see below)
Obviously, I am not contending that Georgetown has better job opportunities than Harvard; inflation alone would account for this difference. But I am genuinely skeptical as to whether attending HLS imparts much of an advantage on a given student.

Also, pineapple dude, you have correllation confused with causality. Harvard has a smarter student body, no question; but the question is whether a student is actually made more succesful by virtue of attending HLS (as opposed to another T14). I am skeptical of this, and the hysterical (but factless) responses to this skepticism have only made it more acute.

http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/index.html
http://www.top-law-schools.com/georgeto ... enter.html


I don't know why I am still feeding the troll, but no one even cares/looks at employment stats schools put out. They're misleading and gamed. I actually don't know of anyone, besides you, who believes that below median at HLS does not have better legal job opportunities than a similarly ranked Gtown student.

But re-my first post, HLS sucks. Don't come here. It's for your own good.


You are really making poor arguments here. It is a totally unfair analogy to compare a Georgetown student at the 25th percentile to a Harvard student at the 25th. The latter is brighter and scored far higher on the LSAT, which is a decent predictor of career success. I am arguing that, all things being equal, a student at Georgetown might not be worse off than an equally bright student at H.

User avatar
kwais
Posts: 1683
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby kwais » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:42 pm

rgndvo wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:
rgndvo wrote:All I know is that Harvard Law School reported a private starting salary of 155k in 2008, whereas Georgetown claimed a starting salary of 160k in the 2010 TLS page. (see below)
Obviously, I am not contending that Georgetown has better job opportunities than Harvard; inflation alone would account for this difference. But I am genuinely skeptical as to whether attending HLS imparts much of an advantage on a given student.

Also, pineapple dude, you have correllation confused with causality. Harvard has a smarter student body, no question; but the question is whether a student is actually made more succesful by virtue of attending HLS (as opposed to another T14). I am skeptical of this, and the hysterical (but factless) responses to this skepticism have only made it more acute.

http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/index.html
http://www.top-law-schools.com/georgeto ... enter.html


I don't know why I am still feeding the troll, but no one even cares/looks at employment stats schools put out. They're misleading and gamed. I actually don't know of anyone, besides you, who believes that below median at HLS does not have better legal job opportunities than a similarly ranked Gtown student.

But re-my first post, HLS sucks. Don't come here. It's for your own good.


You are really making poor arguments here. It is a totally unfair analogy to compare a Georgetown student at the 25th percentile to a Harvard student at the 25th. The latter is brighter and scored far higher on the LSAT, which is a decent predictor of career success. I am arguing that, all things being equal, a student at Georgetown might not be worse off than an equally bright student at H.


you need to stop

User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:48 pm

rgndvo wrote:
Curious1 wrote:
rgndvo wrote:All I see thus far are appeals to anecdote. The one person who invoked a link, rather than an ad hominem attack, proved little. Harvard is obviously "better" than the rest of the t-14 in some ways (higher LSAT average, for example), and law firms obviously acknowledge this. What I truly doubt is whether students of similar talent (say, a 173 LSAT) at Georgetown and Harvard are really much better off at Harvard? Since Harvard students are considerably smarter than the rest of the T-14, one would expect that the bottom 25% would have similar prospects to the top 25% at M or G or Chicago or Cornell. That doesn't attest to increased opportunity at H at all. What makes me skeptical is the lack of data showing that the average salary at Harvard is appreciably higher than that of Georgetown (or Mich/Cornell/UVA).

And while I am merely agnostic as to whether Harvard is better than other T-14's in a substantive sense, I am sold on the fact that many people (particularly men who have trouble getting laid) choose Harvard strictly for vanity, and purposes of name-dropping.


LSAT can translate into rank at a law school??? what???

Also...srsly? Namedropping is used for purposes other than vanity. How about when you and the hiring partner can reminisce about days studying in Langdell. Even IF people think Harvard is the best for no other reason than they think it is, that bias exists in hiring too. So two students, one Gtown and one Harvard, same amount of talent, grades, whatever, who do you think is going to get the job? The recruiter/hiring partner is going to say, "oh, this kid went to Harvard, let's take him over the other guy." So the bias is unfounded and self-reinforcing, but that's exactly why it matters.

Also, see endowment argument. And let's not forget the quality of professors and alumni coming out of the school...supreme court justices? presidents? Anyway doesn't look like you can get in anyway so eat your sour grapes I guess. I don't know why I'm defending Harvard...I went to the other one.


Re- sour grapes. I am an AA male who almost certainly hit the 170's (I would predict 173/174, after PT-ing in the high 170's) in Oct, after 167 in June. I had my eye set on H initiially, but have since grown skeptical, because no one can specifically describe why it is worth foregoing a massive scholarhsip.

You are making this choice on whether we can prove to you that H is worth it? Mmmm, no thanks

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby Renzo » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:52 pm

rgndvo wrote: I am arguing that, all things being equal, a student at Georgetown might not be worse off than an equally bright student at H.


Then you are right. If all things are equal, then they are equal, and no one is worse off. Like if I say, "all things being equal, there's no advantage to living in the US over Somalia," I would also be right. Or, "all things being equal, being in jail is no worse than being in a hotel."

daydreamer
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby daydreamer » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:03 pm

Renzo wrote:
rgndvo wrote: I am arguing that, all things being equal, a student at Georgetown might not be worse off than an equally bright student at H.


Then you are right. If all things are equal, then they are equal, and no one is worse off. Like if I say, "all things being equal, there's no advantage to living in the US over Somalia," I would also be right. Or, "all things being equal, being in jail is no worse than being in a hotel."


+1 Exactly.

User avatar
DoubleChecks
Posts: 2333
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:05 pm

rgndvo wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:
rgndvo wrote:All I know is that Harvard Law School reported a private starting salary of 155k in 2008, whereas Georgetown claimed a starting salary of 160k in the 2010 TLS page. (see below)
Obviously, I am not contending that Georgetown has better job opportunities than Harvard; inflation alone would account for this difference. But I am genuinely skeptical as to whether attending HLS imparts much of an advantage on a given student.

Also, pineapple dude, you have correllation confused with causality. Harvard has a smarter student body, no question; but the question is whether a student is actually made more succesful by virtue of attending HLS (as opposed to another T14). I am skeptical of this, and the hysterical (but factless) responses to this skepticism have only made it more acute.

http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/index.html
http://www.top-law-schools.com/georgeto ... enter.html


I don't know why I am still feeding the troll, but no one even cares/looks at employment stats schools put out. They're misleading and gamed. I actually don't know of anyone, besides you, who believes that below median at HLS does not have better legal job opportunities than a similarly ranked Gtown student.

But re-my first post, HLS sucks. Don't come here. It's for your own good.


You are really making poor arguments here. It is a totally unfair analogy to compare a Georgetown student at the 25th percentile to a Harvard student at the 25th. The latter is brighter and scored far higher on the LSAT, which is a decent predictor of career success. I am arguing that, all things being equal, a student at Georgetown might not be worse off than an equally bright student at H.


I think...everyone in this thread would say you're the one making really poor arguments. As Renzo stated, if all things were equal, yes the two would be the same. I am now unsure what you are even comparing. And are we even talking about chances of getting a biglaw job? Or just success throughout in life? lol if the latter, I would move into the intangible arguments for HLS...but that is obviously a lot harder to have "data backing up" as it is extremely vague and long-term. But you can't possibly be asking that right?

It smells like what you're trying to say is a Gtown student who is x bright would be iunno top 5% at Gtown, and the same student at HLS would be say bottom 20%, and the two would have the same opportunities. Sorry, law school doesn't work that way (does anything in life?). Having a certain GPA/LSAT combination does not somehow guarantee your class rank, with some sliding scale dependent on the school you are going to lol.

See, now I don't think you're a troll anymore. I think you were better off when people thought you were a troll :(

minnesotamike
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:23 am

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby minnesotamike » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:16 pm

I look at it this way: going to Harvard is buying insurance. You can't predict how you'll do in law school. If you go to Harvard, it doesn't much matter how you do as long as you don't screw up. Similarly, if you go to UVA on a full scholly, it may not matter how you do (unless you left a high-paying, high-potential job to attend law school), since you won't have much debt. But you may not be working in law.

If you go to a lesser T14 on the assumption that your #s will get you a good class rank, you're taking a risk that *appears* to be mitigated by going to Harvard. I understand what you're saying about correlation/causation, but I think you're falling into the GPA/LSAT ==> class rank fallacy. You *cannot* assume that your admission to Harvard guarantees you *any* kind of class rank at G-town. It doesn't.

As to your argument that no one has proved the value of Harvard: your choice of law school (like college, marriage and many other important life decisions) is made on imperfect information. You try to maximize your value/minimize risks given that many important variables are basically unknowable. Each person will have their own calculus for this. And while some peoples' calculus may include the value of name-dropping, I suspect that that's not the only variable.

Some people see going to Harvard as the best way to limit the likelihood of underemployment. Others see going to T-14 on scholly as limiting the cost of underemployment. If you forego Harvard to pay sticker at G-Town, you're doing neither.

You have to consider that lawyers are, to put it gently, prestige-oriented. Love it or hate it, that's the way it is and will continue to be. Prepare accordingly. If you're a real BSD (e.g. Benjamin Brafman), academic pedigree is irrelevant. You'll cut your own trail. The wealthiest lawyer I know only does DUI work. The rest of us lean on pedigree. It's a card we have in our back pocket that says, "I went to HYS, how bad can I be?" Lawyers are a risk-averse bunch. It shows in their selection of schools.
Last edited by minnesotamike on Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
DoubleChecks
Posts: 2333
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:19 pm

minnesotamike wrote:I look at it this way: going to Harvard is buying insurance. You can't predict how you'll do in law school. If you go to Harvard, it doesn't much matter how you do as long as you don't screw up. Similarly, if you go to UVA on a full scholly, it may not matter how you do (unless you left a high-paying, high-potential job to attend law school), since you won't have much debt. But you may not be working in law.

If you go to a lesser T14 on the assumption that your #s will get you a good class rank, you're taking a risk that *appears* to be mitigated by going to Harvard. I understand what you're saying about correlation/causation, but I think you're falling into the GPA/LSAT ==> class rank fallacy. You *cannot* assume that your admission to Harvard guarantees you *any* kind of class rank at G-town. It doesn't.

Some people see going to Harvard as the best way to limit the likelihood of underemployment. Others see going to T-14 on scholly as limiting the cost of underemployment. If you forego Harvard to pay sticker at G-Town, you're doing neither.



Thank you for stating this more coherently and succinctly than I did. I am starting to feel now that the italicized is indeed how the OP thinks, which can explain the confusion. Obvious 0L is 0L.

Curious1
Posts: 964
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:54 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby Curious1 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:36 pm

Re- sour grapes. I am an AA male who almost certainly hit the 170's (I would predict 173/174, after PT-ing in the high 170's) in Oct, after 167 in June. I had my eye set on H initiially, but have since grown skeptical, because no one can specifically describe why it is worth foregoing a massive scholarhsip.


Oh ok. Yeah don't go to Harvard, it really sucks. Take your scholarship to Gtown. Enjoy biglaw!

User avatar
Pato_09
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:56 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby Pato_09 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:53 pm

I can't believe people are arguing if going to Georgetown (with money) is the same as going to Harvard. Harvard brings so much to the table. That degree will be with the rest of your life, not just when you are in the hunt for big law. You will have a much better job, can lateral to many more jobs, and have a hotter wife. The debt will be no issue whatsoever.

Also, if you cannot get a good job with a Harvard law degree, it is not the degree, it is you.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3224
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby ph14 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:56 pm

Harvard has free coffee.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby Renzo » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:11 pm

Pato_09 wrote:I can't believe people are arguing if going to Georgetown (with money) is the same as going to Harvard. Harvard brings so much to the table. That degree will be with the rest of your life, not just when you are in the hunt for big law. You will have a much better job, can lateral to many more jobs, and have a hotter wife. The debt will be no issue whatsoever.

Also, if you cannot get a good job with a Harvard law degree, it is not the degree, it is you.

Hell, even that guy who got drunk and set the 9/11 memorial chapel on fire got a job! Well, at least until he was in the news for setting the 9/11 chapel on fire...

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby Blessedassurance » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:33 pm

Pato_09 wrote:...and have a hotter wife.


Can any current HLS students or graduates confirm this?

AspiringAcademic
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:36 am

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby AspiringAcademic » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:27 pm

OP: You wouldn't happen to be the same guy whose name comes up when your username is googled, right? Because, if you are, you may have acquired a very special mark in your Harvard and Georgetown files...

[Also seeking confirmation on Pato_09's statement. Ideally statistical confirmation, but anecdotal would be more amusing.] :)

rgndvo
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:56 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby rgndvo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:05 am

You guys are just rambling off of intuition. No evidence whatsoever to substantiate your claims. As for starting salary, the data I invoked clearly indicates that GULC has a virtually indistinguishable starting salary.

No one is claiming that Georgetown sticker is better than Harvard sticker, nor that Georgetown students fare better (or even, as well) than do Harvard students. What I am skeptical of is the notion that equally talented students would tend to be more successful at Harvard because they went to Harvard; comparing the 25th percentile of Georgetown (or Cornell/Chicago) with Harvard is ridiculous, because the H students are much brighter, as evidenced by their LSAT scores. You would probably have to compare the 75th percentile at Georgetown to H's 25th.

Incidentally, though some lack the mental agility to grasp this, I am talking about group dyanmics and tendencies rather than absolutes. It is crystal-clear that the LSAT is to some extent predictive of law school success.

User avatar
Pato_09
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:56 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby Pato_09 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:17 am

Nobody will ever know if Harvard Law students are smarter than Georgetown Law students (they probably are). But there is no doubt whatsoever, regardless of your starting salary fact, that attending Harvard is just better than Georgetown (or any other lower top 14).

Everybody knows that, but you.

And intuition is all you need to know.

User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:27 am

rgndvo wrote:You guys are just rambling off of intuition. No evidence whatsoever to substantiate your claims. As for starting salary, the data I invoked clearly indicates that GULC has a virtually indistinguishable starting salary.

No one is claiming that Georgetown sticker is better than Harvard sticker, nor that Georgetown students fare better (or even, as well) than do Harvard students. What I am skeptical of is the notion that equally talented students would tend to be more successful at Harvard because they went to Harvard; comparing the 25th percentile of Georgetown (or Cornell/Chicago) with Harvard is ridiculous, because the H students are much brighter, as evidenced by their LSAT scores. You would probably have to compare the 75th percentile at Georgetown to H's 25th.

Incidentally, though some lack the mental agility to grasp this, I am talking about group dyanmics and tendencies rather than absolutes. It is crystal-clear that the LSAT is to some extent predictive of law school success.

no, you wouldn't. Just because my LSAT score is 10 points over many schools' medians doesn't mean that if I went there that I'd automatically be first in the class

User avatar
Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:42 am

rgndvo wrote:No one is claiming that Georgetown sticker is better than Harvard sticker, nor that Georgetown students fare better (or even, as well) than do Harvard students.


I agree that full scholarship at GULC over Harvard isn't a crazy decision. But you saying that there probably isn't a big difference in terms of career prospects between someone who would have gotten into both. That relies on the following assumption, which is going to be addressed next. But without that assumption in place, that results in a direct comparison between the two.

rgndvo wrote: What I am skeptical of is the notion that equally talented students would tend to be more successful at Harvard because they went to Harvard; comparing the 25th percentile of Georgetown (or Cornell/Chicago) with Harvard is ridiculous, because the H students are much brighter, as evidenced by their LSAT scores. You would probably have to compare the 75th percentile at Georgetown to H's 25th.


A few LSAT points DOES NOT = "much brighter." That's a pretty ridiculous statement. LSAT is the best sole predictor of 1L grades, but it's still nowhere near a perfect predictor: http://www.lsac.org/jd/pdfs/LSAT-Score- ... rmance.pdf

I hate to drop the "you're only a 0L" line, but you saying top 25% at GULC probably = Harvard's bottom quarter strikes me as a bit ridiculous. There will be people in your class with a great LSAT/GPA combo who either: 1) Just don't understand how to succeed in law school; 2) Just don't want to try as hard as others around them; or 3) Get screwed by a grade in a class or two, etc. There will be people in your class who had average stats and either just outwork everyone or just really get law school tests. The three people I know who probably have 3 of the highest GPAs in my class I think all had average stats coming in and I don't think any of them are on scholarships. Two of them have amazing grades and spend significantly less time than I do on school (I came with an LSAT above the 75th percentile). They just get it. The other person is a combination of a person who just gets it and who also works hard.

If you have a 4.0 and 175, you probably will do well at GULC 1L year. But that's a risky "probably." If you have a full ride at GULC, then that changes the equation. But if we are talking sticker at Harvard versus anything outside HYS, then for a lot of people it comes to minimizing risk. Median at GULC ITE with a lot of debt actually sounds pretty terrifying to me. A lot rides on one year's worth of grades and, while I tend to think grades are less random than some, there is definitely a random component to grades.

rgndvo
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:56 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby rgndvo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:53 am

AspiringAcademic wrote:OP: You wouldn't happen to be the same guy whose name comes up when your username is googled, right? Because, if you are, you may have acquired a very special mark in your Harvard and Georgetown files...

[Also seeking confirmation on Pato_09's statement. Ideally statistical confirmation, but anecdotal would be more amusing.] :)


Nope; truly bizarre coincidence though, that someone would have the same name. Or is it a coincidence...?

In any case, I rest easy, because that person is not me, and consequently does not have my name.

rgndvo
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:56 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby rgndvo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:05 am

"hotter wife" = so ridiculous, and attests to my suspicion that HLS is largely about a vanity ticket. If a wife will mary you only because of vanity, she will cheat on you for similarly frivolous reasons.

In any case, this thread has jumped the proverbial shark. I'm out.

User avatar
Pato_09
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:56 pm

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby Pato_09 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:11 am

The wife thing was a joke dude.

That just proves you are those guys that don't get that they don't get it.

thisguy456
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:42 am

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby thisguy456 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:12 am

rgndvo wrote:The latter is brighter and scored far higher on the LSAT, which is a decent predictor of career success.


????

théo
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:47 am

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby théo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:16 am

Kurst wrote:Image


This.

Harvard spends 120K/year on each student. Many schools in the T14 only spend 60-70K per year per student. Maybe spending more doesn't = better, but then again, maybe it does.

User avatar
PDaddy
Posts: 2073
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:40 am

Re: But seriously... Why Harvard?

Postby PDaddy » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:52 am

rgndvo wrote:Re- sour grapes. I am an AA male who almost certainly hit the 170's (I would predict 173/174, after PT-ing in the high 170's) in Oct, after 167 in June. I had my eye set on H initiially, but have since grown skeptical, because no one can specifically describe why it is worth foregoing a massive scholarhsip.


I do not believe that a Harvard education is innately better than one received at Northwestern or Georgetown, or even UCLA. On the other hand, I DO believe that a Harvard degree, the Harvard "brand", is better due to its longstanding worldwide reputation.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest