Hypothetical Harvard or Cambridge


liz87

I can imagine that this might be a really annoying question, but because I am a UK student and am considering applying to the Harvard LLM, I was wondering if the UK students on this blog could tell me which university they attended and any other credentials... Sorry to invade your space, but i would appreciate your response.

I can imagine that this might be a really annoying question, but because I am a UK student and am considering applying to the Harvard LLM, I was wondering if the UK students on this blog could tell me which university they attended and any other credentials... Sorry to invade your space, but i would appreciate your response.
quote
crimlawyer

The gf factor is a heavy one. Mine is east of the atlantic... harvard will be a stretch...

The gf factor is a heavy one. Mine is east of the atlantic... harvard will be a stretch...
quote
koala

Cambridge or HLS? Harvard without hesitation...

Cambridge or HLS? Harvard without hesitation...
quote

Harvard v Cambridge. It is ironic that Harvard is located in the town of Cambridge (and so one could conceivably kill 2 birds with 1 stone in a literal sense), but I digress...

I agree that ranking both HLS and Cambridge in terms of quality, prestige, etc, is an exercise in splitting hairs. It is difficult enough to rank law schools within the same jurisdiction, let alone law schools on different continents.

Assuming one has a UK LLB (as in the case of the thread starter), I would lean in favour of HLS. The Cambridge LLM would offer you an intense intellectual challenge unlike your LLB, but a Harvard LLM would give you the added perspective of a different legal tradition and culture in an equally stimulating intellectual environment. As many foreign LLMs will tell you, a year away from your home country and spent immersed in a foreign legal system is extremely rewarding and enriching. In that sense, a Harvard LLM (or Yale, SLS, Columbia LLM etc) brings more to the table.

Having said that, if your main objective is to further your learning and interest in English or European law (and you have absolutely no interest in US law), to build upon what you have learnt during your LLB, and forge stronger ties with the top academics in the UK, then you should look no further than Oxbridge since Harvard can offer nothing better in that regard. As stated in a previous post, the English Legal History class in HLS recommends a text authored by a Cambridge Professor. But then again, who really goes to HLS to study English Legal History???

So what it really boils down to is what you want out of the LLM. Make no mistake, both are world-renowed institutions of the highest order, and either choice cannot be a "bad" one. But if you only have one shot at this, you might as well make the most out of it, and not live to regret the day you turned down HLS/Cambridge.

Finally, we come to the question of finance. Yes, a Harvard LLM costs more. But I would be slow to make a decision based primarily on funding. If going to Harvard will put you in serious debt and stress, then of course it would be foolish to do so without a scholarship or some form of aid. In that case, the choice is clear since it is simply not worth putting your or your family in financial ruin because of a LLM.

But if both are realistic options, then my suggestion is to put money aside and base your decisions on the factors that matter, i.e. your objective, areas of interest, future career goals, etc. At the end of the day, you only live once and there will be opportunities later in life to earn back the $30,000-40,000 more than you had to fork out for Harvard. It would be a shame to turn down Harvard for this reason and live to regret it. Of course, if the signs point to Cambridge and that is truly where you want to go, the savings can only be a bonus.

All the best with your final decision!

Harvard v Cambridge. It is ironic that Harvard is located in the town of Cambridge (and so one could conceivably kill 2 birds with 1 stone in a literal sense), but I digress...

I agree that ranking both HLS and Cambridge in terms of quality, prestige, etc, is an exercise in splitting hairs. It is difficult enough to rank law schools within the same jurisdiction, let alone law schools on different continents.

Assuming one has a UK LLB (as in the case of the thread starter), I would lean in favour of HLS. The Cambridge LLM would offer you an intense intellectual challenge unlike your LLB, but a Harvard LLM would give you the added perspective of a different legal tradition and culture in an equally stimulating intellectual environment. As many foreign LLMs will tell you, a year away from your home country and spent immersed in a foreign legal system is extremely rewarding and enriching. In that sense, a Harvard LLM (or Yale, SLS, Columbia LLM etc) brings more to the table.

Having said that, if your main objective is to further your learning and interest in English or European law (and you have absolutely no interest in US law), to build upon what you have learnt during your LLB, and forge stronger ties with the top academics in the UK, then you should look no further than Oxbridge since Harvard can offer nothing better in that regard. As stated in a previous post, the English Legal History class in HLS recommends a text authored by a Cambridge Professor. But then again, who really goes to HLS to study English Legal History???

So what it really boils down to is what you want out of the LLM. Make no mistake, both are world-renowed institutions of the highest order, and either choice cannot be a "bad" one. But if you only have one shot at this, you might as well make the most out of it, and not live to regret the day you turned down HLS/Cambridge.

Finally, we come to the question of finance. Yes, a Harvard LLM costs more. But I would be slow to make a decision based primarily on funding. If going to Harvard will put you in serious debt and stress, then of course it would be foolish to do so without a scholarship or some form of aid. In that case, the choice is clear since it is simply not worth putting your or your family in financial ruin because of a LLM.

But if both are realistic options, then my suggestion is to put money aside and base your decisions on the factors that matter, i.e. your objective, areas of interest, future career goals, etc. At the end of the day, you only live once and there will be opportunities later in life to earn back the $30,000-40,000 more than you had to fork out for Harvard. It would be a shame to turn down Harvard for this reason and live to regret it. Of course, if the signs point to Cambridge and that is truly where you want to go, the savings can only be a bonus.

All the best with your final decision!
quote

Harvard v Cambridge. It is ironic that Harvard is located in the town of Cambridge (and so one could conceivably kill 2 birds with 1 stone in a literal sense), but I digress...


How could all of our sharp minds overlook something so obvious? Mercury Man wins the prize on this thread!

<blockquote>Harvard v Cambridge. It is ironic that Harvard is located in the town of Cambridge (and so one could conceivably kill 2 birds with 1 stone in a literal sense), but I digress...</blockquote>

How could all of our sharp minds overlook something so obvious? Mercury Man wins the prize on this thread!
quote
koala

Harvard v Cambridge. It is ironic that Harvard is located in the town of Cambridge (and so one could conceivably kill 2 birds with 1 stone in a literal sense), but I digress...


How could all of our sharp minds overlook something so obvious? Mercury Man wins the prize on this thread!

And what is the prize?

<blockquote><blockquote>Harvard v Cambridge. It is ironic that Harvard is located in the town of Cambridge (and so one could conceivably kill 2 birds with 1 stone in a literal sense), but I digress...</blockquote>

How could all of our sharp minds overlook something so obvious? Mercury Man wins the prize on this thread!</blockquote>
And what is the prize?
quote

And what is the prize?


The prize is that I will be going to HLS this fall :)

Harry1985, will I see you there? ;)

<blockquote>And what is the prize?</blockquote>

The prize is that I will be going to HLS this fall :)

Harry1985, will I see you there? ;)
quote

mercury man, you'll see me there for sure :)

mercury man, you'll see me there for sure :)
quote

I know several people who have earned degrees from Harvard, and I do not believe that any of them would say that Harvard is the epitome of a good education. Certainly, though, Harvard is the epitome of a good reputation!


I really like the last sentence. Harvard is definitely a great school, but in the end, I think, decisions to attend HLS are more based on its top-notch reputation than on its undisputed top-notch quality.

<blockquote>I know several people who have earned degrees from Harvard, and I do not believe that any of them would say that Harvard is the epitome of a good education. Certainly, though, Harvard is the epitome of a good reputation! </blockquote>

I really like the last sentence. Harvard is definitely a great school, but in the end, I think, decisions to attend HLS are more based on its top-notch reputation than on its undisputed top-notch quality.
quote
Beta26

I think several of the previous posters have canvassed the pros and cons thoroughly, but I'd throw my hat in for choosing the less familiar option, whether that be Harvard for UK students or Oxbridge for North Americans. I think the value of seeing a different legal system and legal education system is high. As a North American, I'm slightly inclined to Oxford over Harvard for that very reason (although the finances will probably dictate where I end up).

In any case, it's an enviable quandary to find oneself in. Good luck!

I think several of the previous posters have canvassed the pros and cons thoroughly, but I'd throw my hat in for choosing the less familiar option, whether that be Harvard for UK students or Oxbridge for North Americans. I think the value of seeing a different legal system and legal education system is high. As a North American, I'm slightly inclined to Oxford over Harvard for that very reason (although the finances will probably dictate where I end up).

In any case, it's an enviable quandary to find oneself in. Good luck!
quote
PUCCA

wow both unis are simple excellent and top of the top.
It will just depend on where you want to work afterwards, either in the US or the UK.
Anyway i think that Harvard's reputation is something that attracts many students more than their actual teaching quality. I dont doubt its good but so many movies and publications mentioning Harvard as top of top convince people that this is the university you should dream about.
Good luck to all of you at HLS :o)

wow both unis are simple excellent and top of the top.
It will just depend on where you want to work afterwards, either in the US or the UK.
Anyway i think that Harvard's reputation is something that attracts many students more than their actual teaching quality. I dont doubt its good but so many movies and publications mentioning Harvard as top of top convince people that this is the university you should dream about.
Good luck to all of you at HLS :o)
quote

Reply to Post

Related Law Schools

Cambridge, Massachusetts 1151 Followers 874 Discussions
Cambridge, United Kingdom 779 Followers 733 Discussions
New Haven, Connecticut 329 Followers 368 Discussions

Other Related Content

LL.M. Application Deadlines for Fall 2021 - Law Schools in the UK & Ireland

News Nov 23, 2020

Hot Discussions