Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
2949wawa

New
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:41 pm

Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by 2949wawa » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:46 pm

Have a pretty good choice between attending Harvard at a lower than sticker cost (think 180k-200k COA) and the Karsh-Dillard, which has an estimated COA of around 60k before any summer associate positions or anything like that. I know the topic of attending HLS is very contentious on this forum and I am kind of leaning towards UVA at the moment, but I'm curious to hear some other opinions. Not super convinced I'm going to do well in law school, so that's a big thing to keep in mind. I'd preferably like to work in fedgov and am thus not super opposed to biglaw, although I'm guessing I'd hate to last longer than 3 years. I'm also wondering if the HLS name will mean anything 10 years from now; would I ever regret choosing UVA after clearing my debts?

User avatar
cavalier1138

Moderator
Posts: 7653
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by cavalier1138 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:59 am

2949wawa wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:46 pm
I'm also wondering if the HLS name will mean anything 10 years from now; would I ever regret choosing UVA after clearing my debts?
It will only mean something to the most insecure Harvard students/alumni. And you will not regret having only $60k in debt to pay down.

Take the Dillard.

namefromplace

New
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:11 am

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by namefromplace » Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:02 pm

Given your flexible goals, go for UVA. H would only make sense here if you wanted a better shot at unicorn-y jobs (professor, feeder clerkships, OLC, etc.), but even then it's generally unwise to risk 150k on one of those jobs.

ChosenOneNow

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:37 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by ChosenOneNow » Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:40 pm

Agree with the above. I think the fact that you are fine with the federal government, I would take the Dillard. Harvard would be most beneficial if you were interested in academia or obtaining the most prestigious clerkships. These outcomes are still possible at UVA, but less likely if you do not perform well academically. But, the fact that you aren't concerned with these outcomes, you could save $150k in debt by going to UVA, which is still a great law school.

kugs

New
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:31 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by kugs » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:40 pm

Made the same choice a few years ago, although my H admit was off the WL so I had already set my mind on attending UVA and signed a lease, so the exact psychology of the decision was a little different. I am extremely glad I chose UVA. Got everything out of law school that I wanted, and would have been fine for my goals even if I had finished lower in the class. I can tell that full debt loads really weigh on the minds of my friends who have them, and I'm not sure you really understand the ramifications of $250,000+ in debt until it's hanging over you.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 11005
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:46 pm

Harvard at $180,000-$200,000 versus Virginia at $60,000 = Harvard

crazywafflez

Bronze
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:02 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by crazywafflez » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:36 pm

Personally, I'd take UVA on the dillard. Just don't think H is worth it at that cost comparison and UVA will get you your goals. It can also get a decent amount of the "unicorn" things H gets (and so few H grads get that stuff; obviously fewer UVA grads do, but it isn't 0 either).
If costs were closer I would take H, but given these differences, you really ought to take UVA.
Best of luck.

Iowahawk

Bronze
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:24 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by Iowahawk » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:39 pm

Another vote for UVA.

User avatar
Dcc617

Gold
Posts: 2630
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:01 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by Dcc617 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:30 pm

Yeah, the marginal benefit of Harvard over UVA is not worth that cost difference. At all.

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


laanngo

Bronze
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:54 am

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by laanngo » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:01 am

namefromplace wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:02 pm
Given your flexible goals, go for UVA. H would only make sense here if you wanted a better shot at unicorn-y jobs (professor, feeder clerkships, OLC, etc.), but even then it's generally unwise to risk 150k on one of those jobs.
Is UVa worse for federal clerkships? The fact that it's seen as a more conservative law school might be a benefit you wouldn't see at harvard.

namefromplace

New
Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:11 am

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by namefromplace » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:03 pm

laanngo wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:01 am
namefromplace wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:02 pm
Given your flexible goals, go for UVA. H would only make sense here if you wanted a better shot at unicorn-y jobs (professor, feeder clerkships, OLC, etc.), but even then it's generally unwise to risk 150k on one of those jobs.
Is UVa worse for federal clerkships? The fact that it's seen as a more conservative law school might be a benefit you wouldn't see at harvard.
Yes, UVA is worse for federal clerkships. UVA has some good connections with conservative judges, yes, but Harvard has good connections with pretty much all judges. Conservative judges often hire conservative H students who only have a semester or two of decent grades; at UVA, to get the attention of those judges you'll need to be in a much hire percentile.

laanngo

Bronze
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:54 am

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by laanngo » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:04 pm

namefromplace wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:03 pm
Yes, UVA is worse for federal clerkships. UVA has some good connections with conservative judges, yes, but Harvard has good connections with pretty much all judges. Conservative judges often hire conservative H students who only have a semester or two of decent grades; at UVA, to get the attention of those judges you'll need to be in a much hire percentile.
I meant comparative advantage, not placement, but you answered that, thanks.

omar.comin

New
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:17 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by omar.comin » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:10 pm

Now that I’m on the other side of debt, this is tough, because (and obviously these unforeseen bonuses help) it starts getting easier to pay off debt by the time you reach your third or fourth year of biglaw or so.

With that said I would still take the Dillard. If you care, you can still put it on your resume that you got the Dillard full tuition merit scholarship for signaling value.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


Ultramar vistas

Bronze
Posts: 145
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:55 am

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by Ultramar vistas » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:12 am

I turned down the named full ride at Michigan 7 years ago - I forget what it’s called - for HLS at full whack.

Reasonable to say I’m biased due to my own internal need to justify my decisions, but honestly I’m so glad I did. The HLS brand is one of the strongest out there, and it helps me out in some way more frequently than you would think. I’m several years out of law school now, have paid off all of my debt, and wouldn’t change a thing.

I’d rather be sitting in my late twenties with no debt, an HLS degree, having never once had to stress about grades, class ranking or job prospects, than to have a UVA degree, ~probably~ have been able to get the same job as I do now, and have an additional $150k in savings.

You can think it’s ultra lame to value the name that much, but other people really do. Just my two cents against the other crowd in here.

User avatar
93urei

New
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:50 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by 93urei » Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:02 am

I'm just an applicant, but I have always assumed that a full ride to any T14 is better than sticker at Harvard, Yale, or Stanford.

User avatar
Dcc617

Gold
Posts: 2630
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:01 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by Dcc617 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:39 am

It objectively is but 0Ls are dumb.

AJordan

Silver
Posts: 520
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:48 am

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by AJordan » Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:50 am

Ultramar vistas wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:12 am
I turned down the named full ride at Michigan 7 years ago - I forget what it’s called - for HLS at full whack.

Reasonable to say I’m biased due to my own internal need to justify my decisions, but honestly I’m so glad I did. The HLS brand is one of the strongest out there, and it helps me out in some way more frequently than you would think. I’m several years out of law school now, have paid off all of my debt, and wouldn’t change a thing.

I’d rather be sitting in my late twenties with no debt, an HLS degree, having never once had to stress about grades, class ranking or job prospects, than to have a UVA degree, ~probably~ have been able to get the same job as I do now, and have an additional $150k in savings.

You can think it’s ultra lame to value the name that much, but other people really do. Just my two cents against the other crowd in here.
I'm not questioning your decision, to each their own. Your math isn't great here, though.

At OP's low estimate, 180k debt, even if refinanced and paid aggressively is going to be slightly north of 200k in total loan payments (just assuming 5 years at 6% it's about 210, but refinancing and such). That same money invested at standard biglaw rates, which OP is almost assured of as a UVA Dillard, at a conservative 6% gain is worth something like 230k. Factoring in that I'm conservative on both estimates here, it's probably a ~250k decision. OP doesn't seem too keen on remaining in biglaw long term so the Dillard would allow them to pull the ripcord a year or two earlier without that debt weighing so heavily.

HLS will certainly open a few more doors than UVA but how many of them are applicable to OP's career goals? Some more specificity in career goals would be useful in the calculation.

It certainly depends on goals. For me, that's probably retiring 2/3 years earlier at a commensurate QOL measurement, maybe more if I'm only pulling fedgov salary - those early years invested are key at the end. I'm not sure which way I would go here, I don't think a bad choice can be made here (especially if OP is in their early 20s) but I lean Dillard like 60/40.

Get unlimited access to all forums and topics

Register now!

I'm pretty sure I told you it's FREE...


CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 11005
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 11, 2021 12:37 pm

93urei wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:02 am
I'm just an applicant, but I have always assumed that a full ride to any T14 is better than sticker at Harvard, Yale, or Stanford.
Really depends upon the individual goals of the prospective law student.

FWIW Beware of simple, one-size-fits-all responses.

Financially, the safe choice is to accept the full scholarship (Dillard) at Virginia. But this is not necessarily the best choice for OP. Professionally, the safe choice is Harvard especially since the entire expected cost difference could be fully paid off with 4 years of biglaw earnings.

OP posted that Virginia's COA = $60,000. Harvard's COA is expected to be $180,000 -$200,000. The COA difference, therefore, is estimated to be $120,000-$140,000. OP is open to biglaw but prefers biglaw experience to be around 3 years.

User avatar
Dcc617

Gold
Posts: 2630
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:01 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by Dcc617 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 1:09 pm

Do you hear how bonkers it sounds to tell somebody to take the higher ranked school because after only 4 years of a stressful, draining job you can end up in the same position you'd have been in had you taken the money?

CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 11005
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:29 am

Not in this situation as Harvard Law School offers significant downside protection for one willing to & expecting to work in biglaw for several years after law school. While the debt accumulated at HLS will take 4 years or less with biglaw employment, the debt accumulated at Virginia will take 2 years or a bit less with biglaw employment.

Currently the job market is strong for law grads of top law schools, but that is not a constant. Many remember the employment situation in & around 2011-2013.

The economy changes & demand for recent law grads change. In a bad market it is better to be median at HLS than at Virginia. Although not clearly stated, it seems as though OP will have debt either way.

Nevertheless, both are reasonable options for OP as HLS should open up more opportunities in a bad market.

Sorry if an opposing viewpoint offends you, but if the answer was easy & clear-cut, the OP would not be posting the question.

User avatar
cavalier1138

Moderator
Posts: 7653
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by cavalier1138 » Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:00 am

CanadianWolf wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:29 am
Nevertheless, both are reasonable options for OP as HLS should open up more opportunities in a bad market.
Name the specific opportunities. I'm curious to see what you think is worth $150k besides the ability to say "I went to Harvard."

Communicate now with those who not only know what a legal education is, but can offer you worthy advice and commentary as you complete the three most educational, yet challenging years of your law related post graduate life.

Register now, it's still FREE!


CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 11005
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:42 am

If the OP were not open to working in biglaw for several years after law school, then I would change my answer as the student loan debt for HLS would be too much.

Obviously, you place no to little value on a law degree from HLS over Virginia.

If costs were equal for Virginia law and for Harvard law, then would your answer change ?

If yes, then where do you draw the line in terms of the value of a law degree from Harvard over a law degree from Virginia ? ----$40,000 difference ?---$60,000 difference ?---$80,000 difference ?---$100,000 difference ?

Do you think that a Harvard law degree is worth $20,000 more than a law degree from Virginia ?

User avatar
cavalier1138

Moderator
Posts: 7653
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by cavalier1138 » Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:42 am

CanadianWolf wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:42 am
If the OP were not open to working in biglaw for several years after law school, then I would change my answer as the student loan debt for HLS would be too much.

Obviously, you place no to little value on a law degree from HLS over Virginia.

If costs were equal for Virginia law and for Harvard law, then would your answer change ?

If yes, then where do you draw the line in terms of the value of a law degree from Harvard over a law degree from Virginia ? ----$40,000 difference ?---$60,000 difference ?---$80,000 difference ?---$100,000 difference ?

Do you think that a Harvard law degree is worth $20,000 more than a law degree from Virginia ?
I think once the differences are that minor (they almost never are), then it's worth considering Harvard. The exact "line in the sand" is going to vary based on what kind of work people are looking for. If the cost difference is six figures, I can't really imagine a scenario where Harvard is worth it. Ironically, I'd be more in favor of taking Harvard over a lower T13 (depending on the total cost of both) if the OP were committed to PI work and not thinking of biglaw at all, because Harvard's LRAP beats any of the LRAPs in the lower T13. But for generic biglaw goals, I would almost never recommend paying extra for Harvard; you simply won't see any benefit.

I just want to again note that you continue to gesture to the vague "opportunities" available to Harvard students but not UVA students without naming the specific opportunities you're thinking of.

CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 11005
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:03 pm

So, if I understand your most recent post in this thread, you draw the line at $100,000.

You wrote: "If the cost difference is six figures, I can't really imagine a scenario where Harvard is worth it."

Then you note: Unless OP is considering PI work because Harvard's LRAP is superior to any LRAP of the lower 13.

CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 11005
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Harvard (some aid) v. UVA Dillard

Post by CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:10 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:42 am
CanadianWolf wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:42 am
If the OP were not open to working in biglaw for several years after law school, then I would change my answer as the student loan debt for HLS would be too much.

Obviously, you place no to little value on a law degree from HLS over Virginia.

If costs were equal for Virginia law and for Harvard law, then would your answer change ?

If yes, then where do you draw the line in terms of the value of a law degree from Harvard over a law degree from Virginia ? ----$40,000 difference ?---$60,000 difference ?---$80,000 difference ?---$100,000 difference ?

Do you think that a Harvard law degree is worth $20,000 more than a law degree from Virginia ?
I think once the differences are that minor (they almost never are), then it's worth considering Harvard. The exact "line in the sand" is going to vary based on what kind of work people are looking for. If the cost difference is six figures, I can't really imagine a scenario where Harvard is worth it. Ironically, I'd be more in favor of taking Harvard over a lower T13 (depending on the total cost of both) if the OP were committed to PI work and not thinking of biglaw at all, because Harvard's LRAP beats any of the LRAPs in the lower T13. But for generic biglaw goals, I would almost never recommend paying extra for Harvard; you simply won't see any benefit.

I just want to again note that you continue to gesture to the vague "opportunities" available to Harvard students but not UVA students without naming the specific opportunities you're thinking of.
Your last post answers both your question & mine as you clearly put a much higher value on a Harvard law degree than on the other (Virginia) up to $100,000, but unilmited in an LRAP PI situation.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


Post Reply

Return to “Choosing a Law School”