Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

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test
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Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby test » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:41 pm

My two top choices are Harvard for full tuition or the Hamilton at Columbia. I get that both are good choices but its still a hard decision. Any Insight?

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hung jury
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby hung jury » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:46 pm

My insight is that roughly 160k of tuition, before interest (if you are taking out loans), is a ton of cash.

I declined the Hamilton but only because I wasn't paying close to full tuition at HYS. But if you're wealthy maybe Harvard is worth it. A dollar doesn't have the same value for everyone.
Last edited by hung jury on Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kckool7
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby kckool7 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:46 pm

Retake, ED UVA.

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BerkeleyBear
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby BerkeleyBear » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:47 pm

I'd take the Hamilton and never look back.

florida1949
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby florida1949 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:47 pm

BerkeleyBear wrote:I'd take the Hamilton and never look back.


+1, and it would be an easy decision for me.

kakistocracy
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby kakistocracy » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:48 pm

People will probably ask what your financial situation is like, what area of law you're interested in, and how much you care about prestige.

(I'd take the Hamilton though.)

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BerkeleyBear
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby BerkeleyBear » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:56 pm

florida1949 wrote: +1, and it would be an easy decision for me.


Too easy. And this is coming from a diehard sox fan.

MacB
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby MacB » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:59 pm

Why would you choose Harvard at sticker over Columbia for free? Honest Q. Interested in hearing what your reasoning would be.

kakistocracy
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby kakistocracy » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:10 pm

MacB wrote:Why would you choose Harvard at sticker over Columbia for free? Honest Q. Interested in hearing what your reasoning would be.


Bragging rights and having too much money?

J90
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby J90 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:15 pm

Full disclosure: I'm not in your situation, and may attend Columbia at sticker.

I would take the Hamilton, if my goal was big law. Harvard certainly has its advantages for academia, prestigious clerkships, and so on. That said, if I was planning to be a corporate lawyer, it'd be a little sad for me once I started work at a firm if I had chosen Harvard over the Hamilton - it'd be sort of weird knowing that many of my (talented!) colleagues had gotten to the exact same position that I had without spending close to $180k before interest.

That said, the "safety net" is larger.

You won't go wrong with your choice, but know that you may be working another 5-6+ years to pay off those loans.

Edit: It really is more than a $160-180k choice - the freedom to choose your job without fear of debt is incredible. The time and money you don't spend paying off loans can go toward a down payment on a house, or many years of rent. That $160-180k is far more than $160-180k down the road, except you don't have to pay it off. You have options.
Last edited by J90 on Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MacB
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby MacB » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:19 pm

Frankly, for me, it wouldn't even be a question. The freedom that being virtually debt free would offer would be invaluable. And I would need a hell of a lot better reason than "because it's Harvard" to essentially write a 200K check. That's just me.

09042014
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:24 pm

kakistocracy wrote:
MacB wrote:Why would you choose Harvard at sticker over Columbia for free? Honest Q. Interested in hearing what your reasoning would be.


Bragging rights and having too much money?


Hamilton is more prestigious. Like 3000 people get into Harvard every year.

kakistocracy
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby kakistocracy » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:27 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
kakistocracy wrote:
MacB wrote:Why would you choose Harvard at sticker over Columbia for free? Honest Q. Interested in hearing what your reasoning would be.


Bragging rights and having too much money?


Hamilton is more prestigious. Like 3000 people get into Harvard every year.


Yeah, I'm sure it's harder, but I was thinking more from the perspective of telling the general populace "I went to Harvard" - which, don't get me wrong, is a shit reason.

Would employers automatically know if you say Hamilton v. Harvard? Is it the kind of thing you'd put on your resume to differentiate yourself for a boost?

I'm a 0L so I honestly don't know anything, haha.

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Davidbentley
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby Davidbentley » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:31 pm

OP, I was not in your exact position, but I did turn down full tuition for HYS. The need based aid got close and the extra debt doesn't keep me up at night. I valued the increased clerkship chances/academia/prestige more than 1 Porsche worth of extra debt. The ultimate decision depends on your goals, but if you are deadset on NYC big law, you would be a fool to turn down the full ride at Columbia.

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BerkeleyBear
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby BerkeleyBear » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:33 pm

Davidbentley wrote:OP, I was not in your exact position, but I did turn down full tuition for HYS. The need based aid got close and the extra debt doesn't keep me up at night. I valued the increased clerkship chances/academia/prestige more than 1 Porsche worth of extra debt. The ultimate decision depends on your goals, but if you are deadset on NYC big law, you would be a fool to turn down the full ride at Columbia.


I like the way you think.

09042014
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:36 pm

BerkeleyBear wrote:
Davidbentley wrote:OP, I was not in your exact position, but I did turn down full tuition for HYS. The need based aid got close and the extra debt doesn't keep me up at night. I valued the increased clerkship chances/academia/prestige more than 1 Porsche worth of extra debt. The ultimate decision depends on your goals, but if you are deadset on NYC big law, you would be a fool to turn down the full ride at Columbia.


I like the way you think.


LOL if you are think a clerk ship is better than a porsche. Maybe Scouts because your firm bonus will buy one if you were so inclined.

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BerkeleyBear
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby BerkeleyBear » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:40 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
BerkeleyBear wrote:
Davidbentley wrote:OP, I was not in your exact position, but I did turn down full tuition for HYS. The need based aid got close and the extra debt doesn't keep me up at night. I valued the increased clerkship chances/academia/prestige more than 1 Porsche worth of extra debt. The ultimate decision depends on your goals, but if you are deadset on NYC big law, you would be a fool to turn down the full ride at Columbia.


I like the way you think.


LOL if you are think a clerk ship is better than a porsche. Maybe Scouts because your firm bonus will buy one if you were so inclined.


Lulz, my background is a Porsche. I just like a Porsche being used as a monetary scale. Fuck clerkships.

NYstate
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby NYstate » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:59 pm

It isn't as if people from Columbia don't get great clerkship or great jobs. Sometimes I worry that people on TLS don't understand that once you start working, your work speaks for you not your school. Your school is not going to save you or guarantee you a job if you can't work at the appropriate level. A recent post on about VAPs on the faculty lounge blog showed that going to Harvard or another top school is not going to protect you even in academics.

I have no debt and it has made a big difference in my life and my life circumstances. I appreciate the lack of pressure to have to earn a big salary just to repay debt. I was seriously ill for a while, though my firm supported me through it and kept a job for me and more than welcomed me back. I am very glad that I don't have to plan on biglaw for the next few years just to dig myself out of school loans. Also, as I said in another thread, I can live in manhattan and walk to work. I get to go upstate all the time and work remotely ( some of that is still based on accommodations from getting back into work 150%). But the point is I don't have to live in Hoboken and take the PATH to work just because my loans dictate my life.

Maybe I'm naive but there are a ton of Harvard grads. I just don't want people to over value the difference that Harvard makes because of the prestige that it holds for undergrads.

That said, Harvard will give more need based aid, so who knows what it means in each circumstance? I think harvards LRAP is better too, if you need it. I guess it depends on how much it is worth to you to say you are a Harvard grad instead of " merely " a Columbia law grad.

To me, in the real world of biglaw, the difference between Columbia and Harvard is invisible. That doesn't mean it will always be so, maybe sometime down the road not having a Harvard degree will limit me. Very hard for me to see how that will happen at this point though.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:05 pm

NYstate wrote:It isn't as if people from Columbia don't get great clerkship or great jobs. Sometimes I worry that people on TLS don't understand that once you start working, your work speaks for you not your school. Your school is not going to save you or guarantee you a job if you can't work at the appropriate level. A recent post on about VAPs on the faculty lounge blog showed that going to Harvard or another top school is not going to protect you even in academics.


+1. There is a myth perpetuated that the prestigious JD continues to pay dividends forever, and this really isn't true.

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:01 pm

I can't believe this topic has never been discussed before. Oh wait, it has.

NYstate
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby NYstate » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:07 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
NYstate wrote:It isn't as if people from Columbia don't get great clerkship or great jobs. Sometimes I worry that people on TLS don't understand that once you start working, your work speaks for you not your school. Your school is not going to save you or guarantee you a job if you can't work at the appropriate level. A recent post on about VAPs on the faculty lounge blog showed that going to Harvard or another top school is not going to protect you even in academics.


+1. There is a myth perpetuated that the prestigious JD continues to pay dividends forever, and this really isn't true.


I mean its not like in 2008 when Lathaming, stealthing or deferring happened, firms made decisions based on relative prestige of your school. People needed to have done excellent work and impressed partners and clients to be kept. Even then, you could have been awesome but if there wasn't work, you were out the door.

For what it is worth there have been some Harvard associate pushed out of litigation in the past few years because their work was lacking, or maybe their attitudes weren't great? Whatever it was, just saying Harvard isn't some mantra that means you get a job for 40 years. Perhaps it used to be so, I have no idea. But now the only thing that matters to a firm is "what have you done for me lately?"

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jbagelboy
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:39 pm

.
Last edited by jbagelboy on Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tino1317
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby tino1317 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:42 pm

florida1949 wrote:
BerkeleyBear wrote:I'd take the Hamilton and never look back.


+1, and it would be an easy decision for me.


+1

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carboncopyx
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby carboncopyx » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:15 pm

ManOfTheMinute wrote:I can't believe this topic has never been discussed before. Oh wait, it has.

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EvilClinton
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Re: Hamilton @ Columbia or Harvard?

Postby EvilClinton » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:17 pm

BerkeleyBear wrote:I'd take the Hamilton and never look back.

+1




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