Harvard or Stanford?


gotanda
Ok, I've been waiting for Stanford's answer to ask this questions, but I just can't hold myself. I've been accepted to Harvard and I've been interviewed to the LLM at Stanford (so there might be some good chances to be accepted there as well).

In case I'm accepted to both which one should I pick?

At first glance I would chose Harvard. Not only b/c of its reputation, but specially because it seems that most of the best professor in my area of research (IP and Internet Law) are at the Berkman Center. On the other hand, Stanford has an extremelly exclusive class of 15 people to the LLM in Law, Science and Technology and is in the middle of the Silicon Valey (not to mention its proximity to San Francisco).

Additionally, at Harvard I have the chance to be offered a scholarship, but Stanford does not offer any whatsoever.

Finally, the LL.M at Stanford does not allow you to apply to the SJD in the same institution (it seems that only SPILS does). As I am an academic, this option is quite relevant.

What do you think?
Ok, I've been waiting for Stanford's answer to ask this questions, but I just can't hold myself. I've been accepted to Harvard and I've been interviewed to the LLM at Stanford (so there might be some good chances to be accepted there as well).

In case I'm accepted to both which one should I pick?

At first glance I would chose Harvard. Not only b/c of its reputation, but specially because it seems that most of the best professor in my area of research (IP and Internet Law) are at the Berkman Center. On the other hand, Stanford has an extremelly exclusive class of 15 people to the LLM in Law, Science and Technology and is in the middle of the Silicon Valey (not to mention its proximity to San Francisco).

Additionally, at Harvard I have the chance to be offered a scholarship, but Stanford does not offer any whatsoever.

Finally, the LL.M at Stanford does not allow you to apply to the SJD in the same institution (it seems that only SPILS does). As I am an academic, this option is quite relevant.

What do you think?
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andy juris
I did not apply to HLS, therefore I am not in a good position to compare the two. I am now waiting the answer from Stanford. However, the reason I chose to apply to Stanford is that their small class size and its location in the heart of Silicon Valley. I visited the campus in Palo Alto and sat in on Law Science & Technology Colloquium. They invite interesting speakers every week and discusses various topics. I have no idea what kind of seminar/colloquium type class which HLS offers. However, I guess the flavors of Harvard and Stanford should be quite different. Prof. Lawrence Lessig departure from Stanford to Harvard is a pity for Stanford, but Stanford still has Paul Goldstein and other good professors in IP. I am admitted to Columbia. At Columbia, there is a strong Internet law professor, Tim Wu. He co-wrote a book called "Who controls the Internet" with Harvard Law professor Jack Goldsmith. In my case, decision is more of Stanford v.s. Columbia.

If I would continue studying as SJD, Columbia is more flexible while Stanford is only limiting SJD for SPILS students as you mentioned.

If I am in your shoes (with scholarship and JSD interest), I may want to pick Harvard. Lawrence Lessig, Tim Wu.... Many of great Internet Law professors have JD from Harvard.
I did not apply to HLS, therefore I am not in a good position to compare the two. I am now waiting the answer from Stanford. However, the reason I chose to apply to Stanford is that their small class size and its location in the heart of Silicon Valley. I visited the campus in Palo Alto and sat in on Law Science & Technology Colloquium. They invite interesting speakers every week and discusses various topics. I have no idea what kind of seminar/colloquium type class which HLS offers. However, I guess the flavors of Harvard and Stanford should be quite different. Prof. Lawrence Lessig departure from Stanford to Harvard is a pity for Stanford, but Stanford still has Paul Goldstein and other good professors in IP. I am admitted to Columbia. At Columbia, there is a strong Internet law professor, Tim Wu. He co-wrote a book called "Who controls the Internet" with Harvard Law professor Jack Goldsmith. In my case, decision is more of Stanford v.s. Columbia.

If I would continue studying as SJD, Columbia is more flexible while Stanford is only limiting SJD for SPILS students as you mentioned.

If I am in your shoes (with scholarship and JSD interest), I may want to pick Harvard. Lawrence Lessig, Tim Wu.... Many of great Internet Law professors have JD from Harvard.
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koala
I did not apply to HLS, therefore I am not in a good position to compare the two. I am now waiting the answer from Stanford. However, the reason I chose to apply to Stanford is that their small class size and its location in the heart of Silicon Valley. I visited the campus in Palo Alto and sat in on Law Science & Technology Colloquium. They invite interesting speakers every week and discusses various topics. I have no idea what kind of seminar/colloquium type class which HLS offers. However, I guess the flavors of Harvard and Stanford should be quite different. Prof. Lawrence Lessig departure from Stanford to Harvard is a pity for Stanford, but Stanford still has Paul Goldstein and other good professors in IP. I am admitted to Columbia. At Columbia, there is a strong Internet law professor, Tim Wu. He co-wrote a book called "Who controls the Internet" with Harvard Law professor Jack Goldsmith. In my case, decision is more of Stanford v.s. Columbia.

If I would continue studying as SJD, Columbia is more flexible while Stanford is only limiting SJD for SPILS students as you mentioned.

If I am in your shoes (with scholarship and JSD interest), I may want to pick Harvard. Lawrence Lessig, Tim Wu.... Many of great Internet Law professors have JD from Harvard.


I am admitted at CLS this year and have also an interest in IP. Same motivation. If you are admitted at SLS do you already know which one you will choose? It is the old East Coast v West Coast debate...
<blockquote>I did not apply to HLS, therefore I am not in a good position to compare the two. I am now waiting the answer from Stanford. However, the reason I chose to apply to Stanford is that their small class size and its location in the heart of Silicon Valley. I visited the campus in Palo Alto and sat in on Law Science & Technology Colloquium. They invite interesting speakers every week and discusses various topics. I have no idea what kind of seminar/colloquium type class which HLS offers. However, I guess the flavors of Harvard and Stanford should be quite different. Prof. Lawrence Lessig departure from Stanford to Harvard is a pity for Stanford, but Stanford still has Paul Goldstein and other good professors in IP. I am admitted to Columbia. At Columbia, there is a strong Internet law professor, Tim Wu. He co-wrote a book called "Who controls the Internet" with Harvard Law professor Jack Goldsmith. In my case, decision is more of Stanford v.s. Columbia.

If I would continue studying as SJD, Columbia is more flexible while Stanford is only limiting SJD for SPILS students as you mentioned.

If I am in your shoes (with scholarship and JSD interest), I may want to pick Harvard. Lawrence Lessig, Tim Wu.... Many of great Internet Law professors have JD from Harvard. </blockquote>

I am admitted at CLS this year and have also an interest in IP. Same motivation. If you are admitted at SLS do you already know which one you will choose? It is the old East Coast v West Coast debate...
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fabregas
i think harvard has a slight if not a substantial edge over sls..primarily dur to the opportunity to explore the offering of the berkman centre..
i think harvard has a slight if not a substantial edge over sls..primarily dur to the opportunity to explore the offering of the berkman centre..
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koala
Yes but Harvard is not in California...
Yes but Harvard is not in California...
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andy juris
Dear Koala,

I have not heard from Stanford yet. I lived in NYC before and i am in finance. I expect my LLM study to change my lifestyle and career direction. In that regard, I am attracted to California. Anyhow, we may end up studying at a same place.
Dear Koala,

I have not heard from Stanford yet. I lived in NYC before and i am in finance. I expect my LLM study to change my lifestyle and career direction. In that regard, I am attracted to California. Anyhow, we may end up studying at a same place.
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koala
Dear Koala,

I have not heard from Stanford yet. I lived in NYC before and i am in finance. I expect my LLM study to change my lifestyle and career direction. In that regard, I am attracted to California. Anyhow, we may end up studying at a same place.

Fingers crossed for your projects and all the best andy juris...
<blockquote>Dear Koala,

I have not heard from Stanford yet. I lived in NYC before and i am in finance. I expect my LLM study to change my lifestyle and career direction. In that regard, I am attracted to California. Anyhow, we may end up studying at a same place.</blockquote>
Fingers crossed for your projects and all the best andy juris...
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Gloss
Gotanda, just out of curiosity, were you accepted in Stanford also? Thanks!
Gotanda, just out of curiosity, were you accepted in Stanford also? Thanks!
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gotanda
Gotanda, just out of curiosity, were you accepted in Stanford also? Thanks!


Hi Gloss,
I wasn't accepted at Stanford unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), but I would probably pick Harvard over Stanford. In fact, I wasn't really expecting to be accepted at Stanford as I applied to the LL.M. and my profile would probably fit the SPILS program better. Anyway, I'm already making the arrangements to study in Cambridge in September!

I was reading through the courses available at HLS for the following academic year and I can't hardly wait for classes to begin. More info at http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/degrees/jd/pos/lawscitech/academic-offerings.html
<blockquote>Gotanda, just out of curiosity, were you accepted in Stanford also? Thanks!</blockquote>

Hi Gloss,
I wasn't accepted at Stanford unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), but I would probably pick Harvard over Stanford. In fact, I wasn't really expecting to be accepted at Stanford as I applied to the LL.M. and my profile would probably fit the SPILS program better. Anyway, I'm already making the arrangements to study in Cambridge in September!

I was reading through the courses available at HLS for the following academic year and I can't hardly wait for classes to begin. More info at http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/degrees/jd/pos/lawscitech/academic-offerings.html
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I was rejected by both schools :(
I would prefer SLS - California.
I was rejected by both schools :(
I would prefer SLS - California.
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fabregas
HARVARD without doubt....its the best..berkman centre is just brilliant..dean elena kager who has just retired and become solicitor general in obama's administration has taken HLS to new heights...
HARVARD without doubt....its the best..berkman centre is just brilliant..dean elena kager who has just retired and become solicitor general in obama's administration has taken HLS to new heights...
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Gloss
Sorry bud, I went to Stanford and I dont regret. I see no difference for Harvard in having Dean Elena "Kagan" anywhere. Lots of alumni from Harvard are well positioned, as well as Stanford. Dean Elena, however, would not give me (a foreign LLM) lots of permanent job offers in big law firms in the US... the fact that I had only 11 LLM classmates in my program, yes... (Please note that I think it is a very close call, I am not say it isnt, and I 100% respect who picks one or another).
Sorry bud, I went to Stanford and I dont regret. I see no difference for Harvard in having Dean Elena "Kagan" anywhere. Lots of alumni from Harvard are well positioned, as well as Stanford. Dean Elena, however, would not give me (a foreign LLM) lots of permanent job offers in big law firms in the US... the fact that I had only 11 LLM classmates in my program, yes... (Please note that I think it is a very close call, I am not say it isnt, and I 100% respect who picks one or another).
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I respectfully disagree with Gloss - the point was not that the dean offered students jobs (if only deans did such things!) but if you look at the numerous newspaper articles on the former dean, it seems that she had, in fact, done a lot to increase the profile of the school and to capture top academic after top academic for the past few years. I think Lessig from SLS is one of her latest acquisitions (on the assumption the above comment was right since I didn't know Lessig moved). At present, I think HLS trumps SLS though like Gloss I can respect anyone who chooses the opposite or who chooses YLS above these two.
I respectfully disagree with Gloss - the point was not that the dean offered students jobs (if only deans did such things!) but if you look at the numerous newspaper articles on the former dean, it seems that she had, in fact, done a lot to increase the profile of the school and to capture top academic after top academic for the past few years. I think Lessig from SLS is one of her latest acquisitions (on the assumption the above comment was right since I didn't know Lessig moved). At present, I think HLS trumps SLS though like Gloss I can respect anyone who chooses the opposite or who chooses YLS above these two.
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Gloss
Ok, I understand your point. Maybe I got it wrong. When I was talking about jobs I wasnt diminishing her work at HLS. I was just stating that the fact that she went to a super position should after HLS does not make any difference to a decision in favor of HLS. Maybe her work when she was there does and I know the news about HLS hiring good professors. My comment about SLS was because the program is so small that it is easier to find a job, this is a strong reason for people to go to the LLM there, thats all.
Ok, I understand your point. Maybe I got it wrong. When I was talking about jobs I wasnt diminishing her work at HLS. I was just stating that the fact that she went to a super position should after HLS does not make any difference to a decision in favor of HLS. Maybe her work when she was there does and I know the news about HLS hiring good professors. My comment about SLS was because the program is so small that it is easier to find a job, this is a strong reason for people to go to the LLM there, thats all.
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Ok, I understand your point. Maybe I got it wrong. When I was talking about jobs I wasnt diminishing her work at HLS. I was just stating that the fact that she went to a super position should after HLS does not make any difference to a decision in favor of HLS. Maybe her work when she was there does and I know the news about HLS hiring good professors. My comment about SLS was because the program is so small that it is easier to find a job, this is a strong reason for people to go to the LLM there, thats all.


Hey there, no worries - I suppose we just have different interpretations of the same facts. I'm not too certain it'd be fair to suggest that SLS students are necessarily better placed than HLS students to get jobs though, since the size of the program is not necessarily indicative of the likelihood of landing a job since they all have to fight it out in the New York Job Fair. But I take your point about the lack of co-relation between the former dean's current standing and how that should affect one's decision on which institution to choose, for sure.
<blockquote>Ok, I understand your point. Maybe I got it wrong. When I was talking about jobs I wasnt diminishing her work at HLS. I was just stating that the fact that she went to a super position should after HLS does not make any difference to a decision in favor of HLS. Maybe her work when she was there does and I know the news about HLS hiring good professors. My comment about SLS was because the program is so small that it is easier to find a job, this is a strong reason for people to go to the LLM there, thats all.</blockquote>

Hey there, no worries - I suppose we just have different interpretations of the same facts. I'm not too certain it'd be fair to suggest that SLS students are necessarily better placed than HLS students to get jobs though, since the size of the program is not necessarily indicative of the likelihood of landing a job since they all have to fight it out in the New York Job Fair. But I take your point about the lack of co-relation between the former dean's current standing and how that should affect one's decision on which institution to choose, for sure.
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Gloss
The job searching is something I can certainly talk about. Stanford LLMs do not only compete in the NY Job Fair, they are allowed to participate in the JD Job Fair of Stanford, with the regular JDs (not sure if Harvard does the same, but Stanford does it because they have only a few LLMs, so the LLMs dont "destroy" the JD job fair), and they participate in the West Coast LLM Job Fair, which east coast law schools do not participate. Besides participating in more job fairs, you have to consider how law firms hire in the US. They use a diversification principle, which makes them interview and hire few students from the best schools, instead of few students from one best school (no law firm interview all students from one school). In this case, you end up competing with your own classmates to get interviews to represent your school. If you get more interviews, because you are one of the few persons from your school, you have more chances of being hired. If the firm hires a considerable number of students and you are in a small school, you have even more chances of being hired, because they always want to mix schools, not only to diversify, but to attract more students from that school by keeping some alumni that will convince other people from that school to go the firm. If you still think this sounds crazy (although I am sure, because my firm does that), I suggest you check with students from Harvard to see how easy it is for them to get a job. I have some friends that went there and I am always surprised on what I hear from them. I used to say the above about Columbia and NYU, but I met two students from Harvard class of 2007 that had a hard time to find a job and told me that some of their friends could not find a job. So... I can always be wrong, but it seems that Harvard has the same problem because of the 150 LLM class.
The job searching is something I can certainly talk about. Stanford LLMs do not only compete in the NY Job Fair, they are allowed to participate in the JD Job Fair of Stanford, with the regular JDs (not sure if Harvard does the same, but Stanford does it because they have only a few LLMs, so the LLMs dont "destroy" the JD job fair), and they participate in the West Coast LLM Job Fair, which east coast law schools do not participate. Besides participating in more job fairs, you have to consider how law firms hire in the US. They use a diversification principle, which makes them interview and hire few students from the best schools, instead of few students from one best school (no law firm interview all students from one school). In this case, you end up competing with your own classmates to get interviews to represent your school. If you get more interviews, because you are one of the few persons from your school, you have more chances of being hired. If the firm hires a considerable number of students and you are in a small school, you have even more chances of being hired, because they always want to mix schools, not only to diversify, but to attract more students from that school by keeping some alumni that will convince other people from that school to go the firm. If you still think this sounds crazy (although I am sure, because my firm does that), I suggest you check with students from Harvard to see how easy it is for them to get a job. I have some friends that went there and I am always surprised on what I hear from them. I used to say the above about Columbia and NYU, but I met two students from Harvard class of 2007 that had a hard time to find a job and told me that some of their friends could not find a job. So... I can always be wrong, but it seems that Harvard has the same problem because of the 150 LLM class.
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I'd beg to differ - law firms don't interview LLM students based on the diversification principle. They interview the people who they think are of the best calibre since let's be honest, law firms generally care little about bothering about LLM students in general. I know of many people in HLS who found jobs thereafter, as SLS graduates. But I also know of just as many people from HLS and SLS who didn't. It is unsafe to extrapolate those results and say therefore, by extension, since I know as many people from HLS as SLS who didn't get jobs and SLS has a smaller class, that HLS LLMs would be in a better position. By the same token though, it's unsafe to infer the other way because of the 2 LLMs students - though to be fair, you pointed out quite fairly that you were making an assumption. Then again, I do think the SLS student profile tends to make their students more "valuable" in the US: the corporate practice and governance people for example all tend to have many years of practice under their belt and none of them are greenhorns, so it may be that fact would allow them to get jobs more easily. (The same would apply for Yale - the Yale LLM does not make you more "marketable" as an academic - the reason why more Yale LLMs go into academia is because of the kind of student body Yale attracts, not the "resume builder" that the Yale LLM is, though it is in fact a good resume builder as well just as Stanford's and Harvard's is). For that reason, any job data per se doesn't say anything about the "value" of an SLS LLM, as much as it states something about the student body that SLS has been able to attract as opposed to a more diversified program like HLS.
I'd beg to differ - law firms don't interview LLM students based on the diversification principle. They interview the people who they think are of the best calibre since let's be honest, law firms generally care little about bothering about LLM students in general. I know of many people in HLS who found jobs thereafter, as SLS graduates. But I also know of just as many people from HLS and SLS who didn't. It is unsafe to extrapolate those results and say therefore, by extension, since I know as many people from HLS as SLS who didn't get jobs and SLS has a smaller class, that HLS LLMs would be in a better position. By the same token though, it's unsafe to infer the other way because of the 2 LLMs students - though to be fair, you pointed out quite fairly that you were making an assumption. Then again, I do think the SLS student profile tends to make their students more "valuable" in the US: the corporate practice and governance people for example all tend to have many years of practice under their belt and none of them are greenhorns, so it may be that fact would allow them to get jobs more easily. (The same would apply for Yale - the Yale LLM does not make you more "marketable" as an academic - the reason why more Yale LLMs go into academia is because of the kind of student body Yale attracts, not the "resume builder" that the Yale LLM is, though it is in fact a good resume builder as well just as Stanford's and Harvard's is). For that reason, any job data per se doesn't say anything about the "value" of an SLS LLM, as much as it states something about the student body that SLS has been able to attract as opposed to a more diversified program like HLS.
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Gloss
I certainly agree that job data doesnt say anything about the value of the LLM and I never said such thing. I am talking about finding jobs as a result of your LLM, to the extent this matters to someone who is coming to the US and wants to work here. I certainly disagree with your statement regarding law firms not bothering about LLM students and that small classes dont help. Firms like Cleary, Simpson and Shearman hire many LLMs every year and always participate in the job fairs. About SLS LLMs that did not find jobs, I can guarantee you that in my year (Class of 2007) no LLM from SLS did not find a job. I had 4 offers myself - 3 permanent 1 internship. When I was taking the Bar Exam the guy on my right was a Russian that went to Harvard and he told me he could not find a job and was trying yet. After I joined the firm a Mexican LLM from Harvard accepted an offer for internship to work for one third of the regular associate salary in April (after all jobs were gone) and told me that if it wasnt for that he would not find a job. Sorry, but I found this weird and I thought this was because of the size of the program. If you went to HLS or you are there, I would be happy to know if this was only a coincidence. I am not being ironic, I am being honest.
I certainly agree that job data doesnt say anything about the value of the LLM and I never said such thing. I am talking about finding jobs as a result of your LLM, to the extent this matters to someone who is coming to the US and wants to work here. I certainly disagree with your statement regarding law firms not bothering about LLM students and that small classes dont help. Firms like Cleary, Simpson and Shearman hire many LLMs every year and always participate in the job fairs. About SLS LLMs that did not find jobs, I can guarantee you that in my year (Class of 2007) no LLM from SLS did not find a job. I had 4 offers myself - 3 permanent 1 internship. When I was taking the Bar Exam the guy on my right was a Russian that went to Harvard and he told me he could not find a job and was trying yet. After I joined the firm a Mexican LLM from Harvard accepted an offer for internship to work for one third of the regular associate salary in April (after all jobs were gone) and told me that if it wasnt for that he would not find a job. Sorry, but I found this weird and I thought this was because of the size of the program. If you went to HLS or you are there, I would be happy to know if this was only a coincidence. I am not being ironic, I am being honest.
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Hey there, I apologize if I caused any offence. For the record, I am not an HLS alum. Neither am I from SLS, though I know loads of people who have been to either institutions. Hence my observations earlier. It is just that your experiences are so contrasting with the experiences of everyone I know that to some extent I cannot help but be hesitant to accept your conclusion in the same way you are hesitant about mine. I won't however stoop to the level of insinuating the fact that you are from SLS in the manner you suggested when I made my own observations, though in the circumstances, and given that I know of at least one SLS alum in your year who didn't get a job, you can surely understand why I believe that your observations may be, to some extent, the unconscious selective bias of an alum looking at the matter through rose-tinted glasses (and I'm saying that while admitting that you obviously believe in what you're saying), just as your own experiences to the contrary may suggest that I'm looking at this errorenously (and given the relatively small sample pool, I can't say for a fact I'm not). Just my thoughts. I would rather not have this descend to a free for all though so I understand that you believe what you do and I believe what I do, however subjective each of our viewpoints might be.
Hey there, I apologize if I caused any offence. For the record, I am not an HLS alum. Neither am I from SLS, though I know loads of people who have been to either institutions. Hence my observations earlier. It is just that your experiences are so contrasting with the experiences of everyone I know that to some extent I cannot help but be hesitant to accept your conclusion in the same way you are hesitant about mine. I won't however stoop to the level of insinuating the fact that you are from SLS in the manner you suggested when I made my own observations, though in the circumstances, and given that I know of at least one SLS alum in your year who didn't get a job, you can surely understand why I believe that your observations may be, to some extent, the unconscious selective bias of an alum looking at the matter through rose-tinted glasses (and I'm saying that while admitting that you obviously believe in what you're saying), just as your own experiences to the contrary may suggest that I'm looking at this errorenously (and given the relatively small sample pool, I can't say for a fact I'm not). Just my thoughts. I would rather not have this descend to a free for all though so I understand that you believe what you do and I believe what I do, however subjective each of our viewpoints might be.
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Gloss
Could you please let me know the nationality of the LLM from my year that was searching for a job and could not find it?
Could you please let me know the nationality of the LLM from my year that was searching for a job and could not find it?
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