goodwillhunting wrote:tgir, I heard that only a small number of students live in Yale housing (either a dorm or Yale-owned apartment). Is that by choice (as in, no one wants to live in Yale housing) or because there are few slots available for YLS people? It seems like the rent is much lower at Yale housing than at private-owned ones.
Also, I think a lot of people might be interested in this given the huge number of cross-admits: how would you compare Yale and Harvard if I want to study corporate law? I've talked to some non-law school people so far, and they've all brought up the fact that Harvard has higher ranked and bigger economics department and business school (I don't know how that might affect the study of corporate law at the law school).
It's a combination of both factors. The problem really isn't that there aren't enough slots; rather, there aren't enough slots worth choosing. Yale undergrads have everything totally set for them, but Yale grad housing is iffy. Yale owns a ton of little properties around New Haven, along with a few big complexes. In the admitted student binder, there will be links to a website that shows all these options. If you look into things early and are proactive, there shouldn't be any problem whatsoever finding Yale housing. But most people just avoid it altogether because non-Yale options are better. Yes, there are some very cheap Yale rentals, but keep in mind that these tend to be old, small, dorm-like setups--in other words, you'll be living like you're in college. If you want a kitchen and some other basic amenities, Yale stuff gets as expensive as anywhere else. Lots of people go for "the towers," which is a collective term for several highrise complexes downtown. In my view, these places aren't worth the price. People will pay upwards of $1500 for some one-bedrooms. But they are very nice, and convenient if you want to be very involved in the 1L social scene. I would look more broadly, though, to regions north of campus, like East Rock or the Prospect St. corridor. A typical East Rock rental is like a 3-bedroom apartment in a house, with rent in the $2000 range ($600-800 per person). The most important thing to keep in mind is that New Haven has an amazing diversity of housing options, in terms of price, location, size, age, and amenities. Don't just jump on the first reasonable deal that comes your way, unless you've explored all the options.
If you ask me, Harvard's econ department and business school should be nearly irrelevant in your calculation. There are indeed some opportunities to cross-register, but my impression has been that this is quite rare at both schools and, more importantly, of little importance in terms of how marketable you are to employers. That said, if you're planning to do JD/MBA (not counting nonprofit MBA stuff, where Yale SOM does quite well), Harvard is the clear choice--although, as you've probably noticed elsewhere on TLS, most people think that a JD/MBA does not lead to corporate law any more than a plain old JD does. Both schools have sufficient course offerings in corporate law and are amazingly well connected to the corporate law pipelines. I can't imagine a hiring committee at a corporate law firm thinking, "I wonder if he went to Yale because he's not actually as interested in corporate law as those Harvard folks...." Yale has the academic/too-good-for-firms reputation, yes, but firms still loooooove to hire YLSers. If you take the basic corporate courses and can tell a story about why you want to be a corporate lawyer, Yale may actually be better than Harvard for bagging a corporate job (smaller class, etc.).
Perhaps I might be misunderstanding your question, though. If you want to study corporate law for the purpose of studying corporate law, there will almost certainly be more course offerings at Harvard (as with any area of law). For me, that wouldn't be a big consideration, especially since Yale has got all the biggies covered anyway. And if you have a strong intellectual (dare I say academic?) interest in corporate law, I'm sure someone can link you to evidence of Yale's superior performance in legal academia.