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I am an admitted student currently pending over this decision (with only a 172 on my LSAT, I really musta slept my way into this one ). I've found the viewpoints expressed on this site very useful actually, albeit some of the arguments got a bit outa hand haha. Thank you all very much for your comments. I wanted to add my comments onto this for future people that have to make this decision. This is based on my research for the 2010 class admissions period:
Dean Kramer of SLS said it best: don't choose on outcomes. You will do well from both places generally. However, the exception is that I feel that Harvard does stand out internationally (esp. Asia, where I worked before), lay person prestige being part of it and also since SLS doesn't really have much of an international law program (e.g.: there is no full time East Asia faculty at SLS whearas harvard has a whole East Asian Legal Studies Dept).
The people I met from HLS were great so far - none of them douchebags. The only people I met that were jerks were those telling me people from HLS were jerks. They seem like kind and caring people. I will admit though that SLS's family culture is rather impressive. I really get that warm and fuzzy feeling being there - people do care about each other. And faculty do seem very very approachable. And I would say that I would be confident about the strength of the SLS network, although it is inherently smaller. I believe this description - SLS will help in certain cases where there are 2 HLS people at a job and 1 SLS person - the HLS people may not care, but the SLS person will. But HLS's network is everywhere. So in those jobs where there is just 1 lawyer that person is likely to be HLS (or a 'layman') and your shots will be better.
I do believe that you would have more of a relaxed time at SLS (and I don't mean easier, I just mean less stress). With 550 grads, yeah HLS students will still have to work to get that top spot - all just cogs in the machine right? SLS with 180 just won't have to do that - everyone does want that SLS person. SLS people help each other out academically. HLS, even on a pass/fail, I feel will still push at each other (east coast mentality), at least for L1. And in terms of extracurrics at HLS, I feel you will have to lawyer your way through the system to get what you want. Its always possible to do, but effort will be required. I, want to do the environmental clinic at HLS. I haven't even accepted yet, and I feel I have to build relationships with the faculty to guarantee my spot for 2L year. Probably not the case at SLS.
One comment on the layperson prestige. Its not just the milkman. Businesspeople in NYC all have picked HLS over SLS in a second after I have asked them; powerful and influential people. They see HLS as a credit to being super-smart and hardworking, even if it is utterly undeserved. Now I've worked as a strategy consultant for two years, and therefore have developed a big distrust of the intelligence of business people - usually they are too arrogant for their own good. But I'm just pointing out that this layperson prestige thing does apply to people other than the milkman - people that will be 'useful' in any field outside of law. Only people in law know that SLS is great.
Stanford is way better with interdisciplinary education. But don't just pick that cause its cool. Do you have a goal with that in mind? Stanford prof's said it best, pick the second degree because it will teach you something - half the time you will be explaining away that second degree to a law firm that is like "why did you waste your time on that". HLS will offer a great variety of classes, probably better than SLS, but second degrees are harder to come by.
I can't figure how to place Silicon Valley just yet. Yeah SLS has better links to Silicon Valley. But HLS sends people there too.
The groups that pick these two schools are somewhat self-selecting. People at SLS want to stay on the west coast, are more family oriented (a lot more to me seem to be in relationships and married), more want to do IP, and more are the kind of people that would live that small community environment. People at HLS are drawn to power, like loads of opportunities in front of them, like to compete, and like the big-city lifestyle. Ok Idk if this is true or not...but keep in mind that people at HLS and SLS aren't different intelligence wise, but they may differ in their other approaches to life. Which one fits for you?
SLS is paying me a lot more than HLS. It seems to be a common thing. Damn cheap east-coasters. But HLS LRAP will cover private jobs, SLS's won't
Let me just say I am leaning towards HLS. That being the case despite the fact that I think SLS professors are much more friendly with students, and I am f*cking sick of cold weather - I want to live in the Bay Area when I am graduating. I have chosen this in part because a) I think the overall opportunity set is better, whether it is internationally or in fields inside/outside of law, b) I think that the 'aggressive' spirit of HLS actually has its advantages - a couple of the people I saw going to HLS over SLS wanted to accomplish something amazing in law, and just simply wanted to go the best school that would help them accomplish that. Grant it this was from my small sample, but it stuck out. I want to be pushed when in law school to achieve more, and meet those that will inspire me and push me to achieve more c) given that both schools are equal, and that I assume I can get a job anywhere I want (incl. bay area from Harvard, DC from Stanford), I want to use those three years to learn the most and have the most impact. I think SLS is partially limited in its learning opportunities - small size has its disadvantages. In terms of diversity of educational opportunity, Harvard has the best of the best in every school. Where else can you meet the top lawyer, top policy-maker, top-business person in one bar (well, maybe at a Palo Alto bar, but slightly less likely)? And in ten years when I am trying to get something I believe in pushed through the system (whatever system that may be), the strength of the HLS network and brand may prove to be slightly more helpful, although that's just my guess right now.
If I do end up choosing SLS I'll let this thread know that as well. Thanks again.
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Just a 0L but that post above you seems like it covered almost every base. I've only visited SLS, but I'm pretty certain that you would get a different feel from the schools, so just visit and see what you like more. There really is no wrong choice.HowdyYall wrote:didnt want to start a new thread, just hoping to get some fresher opinions on this dilemma!
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haha i know, right! i wonder how their yields compare. i could look it up, but i'm too lazy atm...Napt wrote:LOL @ Stttanford winning this poll 149-118
funny that this poll happened before harvard joined the grade reform train
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edit: vague pronouns upon rereading
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