Harvard v. Yale: the ultimate contest finally decided!

By tmalmine in Law According to Yale on May 12, 2010

I was fortunate to join the Harvard Law School Community in August 2009 as a visiting researcher (for a full academic year). This opportunity also brought this blog to my mind. I attended the Yale Law School LL.M. program in 2006-2007 and blogged during my studies. Now that I have a little bit of experience of both Harvard and Yale, I thought I should once and for all resolve the perennial question of American legal education: HLS or YLS. But before announcing my verdict, let me summarize some of my main findings:

(i) New Haven v. Cambridge: Cambridge is the better place to live, New Haven is closer to New York. Cambridge feels safer, New Haven gives a more rounded portrait of America. 

(ii) Faculty: both have superb faculties, of course. Both are especially strong on legal history, constitutional law, law and economics, administrative law, and criminal law. Harvard probably has stronger business-oriented curriculum. Yale is strong on analytic legal theory while Harvard has the best crits in the country. What's your cup of tea?

(iii) Student body: both schools have outstanding student bodies. Harvard's is more diverse, bigger, younger, more business-oriented. Yale's is more interdisciplinary (lots of PHDs in different fields), more scholarly, older, and more relaxed (my impressions are based on a very limited selection, so take these characterizations with a pinch of salt).

(iv) Opportunities for doing research with professors: Yale has more. Hands down.

(v) Opportunities to forge international networks, especially in law firms etc. Harvard provides more. Hands down.

(vi) Better-looking students: let's face it, most of us are geeks. Undergrads are hotter in both universities than law students.

(vii) Library: both are immensely good. Harvard is the biggest in the world. Yale has more carrels.

(viii) Physical facilities: Harvard Law is huge, Yale feels homey. Whatever you prefer.

So which one is better?

Try to attend both. I was lucky enough to do it; both have been richly rewarding experiences. Whichever you choose, you cannot go wrong with either Yale or Harvard. Good luck!

Comments

tmalmine, Dec 19, 2010 09:43

Hey there sv_hyd,

thanks for your posting. It is, in fact, easier than one might expect. Because once you have attended the other, you are a prime target for the competitor. But being admitted the first time - that's the hard part!

Season's greetings!

- Toni

hny_flying, Dec 18, 2010 15:33

"try to attend both".... sure why not? that seems to be easy enough :-P :D

Jokes apart, you are one lucky son of a gun :-)

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