Harvard v Yale


Nail

This is out of curiosity, I am not going to apply to Yale anyways since I think that is too academic for me.
I know that the school one chooses depends very much on the particular professors who work in his area of study. I am of course also aware how difficult is to get admitted to either HLS or YLS.

But assuming assuming one's plans are to go work as a practicioner in the future (NOT as an academic), that he only wants do have a dip into general subjects of American law, that he has great credentials and can get into both schools, which one should he prefer? I tend to think that Yale is better regarded if one wants to work within the US, whereas Harvard's name is more prestigious elsewhere. This is simply because people in the US think of Yale as almost "a concept", as admission is nearly impossible to achieve. For foreigners, however, the "unreachability" of YLS is weaker, as it is easier to stand out amongst the few people of one's country who have submitted an application to Yale (as opposed to the thousand of Americans that would, and which compete much more homogeneously).

I guess one key question is "do the law firms that one is aiming at know that Yale's acceptance rate is far lower than Harvard's?". If yes, then one should opt for YLS.

Another key issue one has to face is the different kind of aims that the LLM programs have: while the one at HLS is intended to serve for many purposes, Yale's website explicitly states "The LL.M. program is a one-year course of study intended for students committed to careers in law teaching and scholarship". However, it is not automatic that perspective employers will know about this particular feature and focus of Yale...hence they would be more impressed by a YLS LLM than by an HLS one, bearing in mind the lower acceptance rate. So the other key question is:"Do they know about Yale's academic focus?And if yes, do they care?".

Finally, there's an additional point that lweighs in favor of HLS, and for which I can't see any possiblle objection: HLS has a much broader and stronger network of alumni, especially when it comes to people working for international law firms. On the other hand, Yale only helps build up a strong academic network, which is hardly relevant for one who simply wish to practice law.

What do you think?

This is out of curiosity, I am not going to apply to Yale anyways since I think that is too academic for me.
I know that the school one chooses depends very much on the particular professors who work in his area of study. I am of course also aware how difficult is to get admitted to either HLS or YLS.

But assuming assuming one's plans are to go work as a practicioner in the future (NOT as an academic), that he only wants do have a dip into general subjects of American law, that he has great credentials and can get into both schools, which one should he prefer? I tend to think that Yale is better regarded if one wants to work within the US, whereas Harvard's name is more prestigious elsewhere. This is simply because people in the US think of Yale as almost "a concept", as admission is nearly impossible to achieve. For foreigners, however, the "unreachability" of YLS is weaker, as it is easier to stand out amongst the few people of one's country who have submitted an application to Yale (as opposed to the thousand of Americans that would, and which compete much more homogeneously).

I guess one key question is "do the law firms that one is aiming at know that Yale's acceptance rate is far lower than Harvard's?". If yes, then one should opt for YLS.

Another key issue one has to face is the different kind of aims that the LLM programs have: while the one at HLS is intended to serve for many purposes, Yale's website explicitly states "The LL.M. program is a one-year course of study intended for students committed to careers in law teaching and scholarship". However, it is not automatic that perspective employers will know about this particular feature and focus of Yale...hence they would be more impressed by a YLS LLM than by an HLS one, bearing in mind the lower acceptance rate. So the other key question is:"Do they know about Yale's academic focus?And if yes, do they care?".

Finally, there's an additional point that lweighs in favor of HLS, and for which I can't see any possiblle objection: HLS has a much broader and stronger network of alumni, especially when it comes to people working for international law firms. On the other hand, Yale only helps build up a strong academic network, which is hardly relevant for one who simply wish to practice law.

What do you think?
quote
Hedek

Has SLS rejected your deferral request?

Yale v. Harvard? Doesn't matter. Nobody (sane) cares. Whichever one prefers. Both are great. Can't go wrong with either.

The entire "Yale is just for academia" argument is moot. The LL.M admission committee might have a policy of rejecting applicants who aren't interested in teaching, but Yale students who experience a "sudden shift of objectives" upon graduation find themselves extremely well sought after in the private sector.

Quality of alumni beats quantity. At Cravath, 39% (9/23) of Yale alum are partners vs. 24% of Harvard (23/96)
At Wachtell, Yale: 42% (8/19), HLS: 35% (15/43).
In general, Yale alumni might not be everywhere, but they're where it matters.

Choose based on class size (some people, such as me, enjoy being part of something big, others prefer the intimacy of a smaller class), location (Boston or in the middle of nowhere) and individual professors you'd love to work with (I'd choose Harvard over Yale for Professor Bebchuk alone, nothing else). Other than immature insecure kids, it would be sad to choose between Yale and Harvard based on prestige, name recognition, and career perspectives at the exclusion of academic, intellectual, and personal considerations.

Remember, and this applies to any "school X vs Y" within the same reputation bracket (top 3, top 6, top 14) : there is no "better", only personal preferences.

Has SLS rejected your deferral request?

Yale v. Harvard? Doesn't matter. Nobody (sane) cares. Whichever one prefers. Both are great. Can't go wrong with either.

The entire "Yale is just for academia" argument is moot. The LL.M admission committee might have a policy of rejecting applicants who aren't interested in teaching, but Yale students who experience a "sudden shift of objectives" upon graduation find themselves extremely well sought after in the private sector.

Quality of alumni beats quantity. At Cravath, 39% (9/23) of Yale alum are partners vs. 24% of Harvard (23/96)
At Wachtell, Yale: 42% (8/19), HLS: 35% (15/43).
In general, Yale alumni might not be everywhere, but they're where it matters.

Choose based on class size (some people, such as me, enjoy being part of something big, others prefer the intimacy of a smaller class), location (Boston or in the middle of nowhere) and individual professors you'd love to work with (I'd choose Harvard over Yale for Professor Bebchuk alone, nothing else). Other than immature insecure kids, it would be sad to choose between Yale and Harvard based on prestige, name recognition, and career perspectives at the exclusion of academic, intellectual, and personal considerations.

Remember, and this applies to any "school X vs Y" within the same reputation bracket (top 3, top 6, top 14) : there is no "better", only personal preferences.
quote
Nail

Thanks a lot for your reply. Yes SLS rejected my request, thus I am going to go through the application process once again...not a great outlook for the next months.

I totally agree with your point, that the school's location as well as other personal factors should matter, quite a lot indeed. In fact, I said that I am not going to even apply to Yale cause its profile is too academic for me. Mine was just a theoretical exercise, for the hypothetical situation where, everything else being irrelevant, one had to choose based on prestige, or better said job prospects in the US. I guess you gave me some good answers, those numbers tell a great deal of what would be the most strategic choice.

Thanks a lot for your reply. Yes SLS rejected my request, thus I am going to go through the application process once again...not a great outlook for the next months.

I totally agree with your point, that the school's location as well as other personal factors should matter, quite a lot indeed. In fact, I said that I am not going to even apply to Yale cause its profile is too academic for me. Mine was just a theoretical exercise, for the hypothetical situation where, everything else being irrelevant, one had to choose based on prestige, or better said job prospects in the US. I guess you gave me some good answers, those numbers tell a great deal of what would be the most strategic choice.
quote
Hedek

Sorry to hear about Stanford. I hope things will work out alright for you in the end.

I'm not certain what people mean when they say Yale is too academic. I have the impression that all law schools are too academic. None will ever actually teach you how to be a practitioner. We learn on the job.
(Law) school is an intellectual and social experience: spending a fun year meeting people, developing professional and personal friendships which may last forever, discussing with the most brilliant legal thinkers, sharing thoughts, working at most 8 hours a day, debating on interesting subjects (international human rights, how to moralize capitalism, etc.) which in practice only a few lucky practitioners get to earn a living with.

Harvard graduates are certainly not more prepared or ready for "real life" work than Yale graduates. Absent-minded social-inept geniuses and practical efficient social-skilled types graduate from both every year.

As for the theoretical exercise you suggest, even if it did result in "rational" data, such as "detailed assessment of employment statistics 20 years from graduation reveal that Yale graduates have a 4.37% higher tendency than their HLS colleagues of reaching the highest positions in the IMF and the European Union", these fluctuations are more likely the result of personalities and professional achievements throughout their career than the result of their choice of law school.

Here's a rather interesting graph (although for JD only) http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/20080414employment_trends.pdf
It's a perfect example of how theoretical conclusions based on raw statistics can prove totally misleading:
Yale only ranks 15 in top 250 law firms placement. This is due to self-selection.

The only question that matters for us students is: had these grads chosen to work for a law firm instead of a clerkship or academia, would they have been hired? The answer for Yale is yes, 100 times yes.

Sorry to hear about Stanford. I hope things will work out alright for you in the end.

I'm not certain what people mean when they say Yale is too academic. I have the impression that all law schools are too academic. None will ever actually teach you how to be a practitioner. We learn on the job.
(Law) school is an intellectual and social experience: spending a fun year meeting people, developing professional and personal friendships which may last forever, discussing with the most brilliant legal thinkers, sharing thoughts, working at most 8 hours a day, debating on interesting subjects (international human rights, how to moralize capitalism, etc.) which in practice only a few lucky practitioners get to earn a living with.

Harvard graduates are certainly not more prepared or ready for "real life" work than Yale graduates. Absent-minded social-inept geniuses and practical efficient social-skilled types graduate from both every year.

As for the theoretical exercise you suggest, even if it did result in "rational" data, such as "detailed assessment of employment statistics 20 years from graduation reveal that Yale graduates have a 4.37% higher tendency than their HLS colleagues of reaching the highest positions in the IMF and the European Union", these fluctuations are more likely the result of personalities and professional achievements throughout their career than the result of their choice of law school.

Here's a rather interesting graph (although for JD only) http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/20080414employment_trends.pdf
It's a perfect example of how theoretical conclusions based on raw statistics can prove totally misleading:
Yale only ranks 15 in top 250 law firms placement. This is due to self-selection.

The only question that matters for us students is: had these grads chosen to work for a law firm instead of a clerkship or academia, would they have been hired? The answer for Yale is yes, 100 times yes.
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