MumofCad wrote: addy11 wrote:
MumofCad wrote:(disclaimer: clearly I have spoken with far too many people who recently graduated from or are attending Yale Law, sigh, must resolve to stop having conversations with them about law school until at least April).
Are they super into it? I work with a lot of people who went there 10-25 years ago, and they liked it but couldn't comment upon it now.
I know three kids in the Class of 2014, but they give sort of obscure or canned answers.
Funny, all my friends loved it. I've just been warned repeatedly that at first, it can be a little eye-opening, especially for those accustomed to being a special snowflake. Everyone is very accomplished and successful, is juggling multiple interests and activities, and is frankly an equal (or superior).
For me, the biggest difference that I hear between my friends who have recently graduated from Harvard and Yale is that Yale still allows you a lot of room to pursue your passions and interests outside of the law school. Harvard is pretty consuming, though most of my friends seem to agree that they've generally taken much of the pressure that previously existed away with the HP/P system, as most graduates end up with some combination of those and thus it is hard to tell precisely where you fall unless you are at the very top or very bottom. With Yale, I get the sense that this sort of thing is farther removed from the consciousness of the students. They are really pursuing their interests through law school, developing relationships that will help them do so both among their classmates and professors, etc. I think there is a confidence that the material will be mastered to the extent needed and can thus be explored more deeply in relation to what piques the interest of the particular person.
Actually, my first job straight out of UG was working on a campaign job during the 2004 Presidential election. My boss at the time was on leave from Yale Law after his 1L year for the duration of the campaign. I am sure there are people at Harvard that do that too, but I think the type of person who feels they can leave law school for a year because of a pressing opportunity is much more typical to find at Yale than at Harvard. He was probably the first to plant the Yale Law bug in me, because I certainly didn't grow up with many Yalies around...or any for that matter.
In the end, I think there are great reasons to go to either Harvard or Yale, but I do think there are important differences between them that talking with their respective student bodies draw out. I know I could be really happy at either, but the reasons are very different for me personally in why (ie. Harvard has a Professor that it has long been my dream to learn from as she is the only person I know that has devoted her career to the type of advocacy and law that I am going to law school to pursue. A true kindred spirit).
Had a little bit of time after just completing my first brief (woo hoo!) and wanted to comment on this. I read TLS's bio on Yale not too long ago and remember a quote comparing YLS to a screwdriver (which I hope you're all familiar with): "it is the easiest way to swallow something you don't really want." My time here has definitely confirmed this.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle I have had to overcome here isn't the hefty amount of reading (try to keep up, learn what you love, and you'll be fine); the pressures of the impending summer job search (our Career Development Office simply kicks butt!); or dealing with the weather (it snowed here already and back home my friends are still lounging by the pool!). Rather, it is learning that you are truly and utterly given free reign to discover your passions and pursue them. Now, that is of course a great thing! However, it has forced me to come to grips with the fact that I don't wholly know what career path I want to take.
For all my life (and probably for a lot of you applying here) success has been marked by grades, professor accolades, and overcoming competition. Here, that just does not exist. Competition is as scarce as possible.
So you are left to invent your own criterion of success. The administration will support you in any way possible, but you
have to come up with your passion.
I understand that all of this is quite cliche, but I promise that those of you who come here will quickly understand what I mean.
If anyone has general questions about the law school, please feel free to PM me or post on the forum. I am more than happy to speak to both the positives and negatives of my experiences so far, and I am sure several other YLS students are willing to chime in.
Good luck in the coming weeks and months! I know it is a stressful time but sit back and enjoy the ride. I promise you the worrying won't help : )