Yale vs. Harvard


morpheus

Hi All,

As per title. Got admitted to both. I think I will choose Yale, but decided to ask for your opinions (there are some incredibly well informed people here). What am I looking for? Preparation for an academic career and an open option for private practice. I would especially ask for opinions from people who attended the pertinent LL.M. programs. What was your choice and are you happy with it?

Many thanks in advance.
M.

Hi All,

As per title. Got admitted to both. I think I will choose Yale, but decided to ask for your opinions (there are some incredibly well informed people here). What am I looking for? Preparation for an academic career and an open option for private practice. I would especially ask for opinions from people who attended the pertinent LL.M. programs. What was your choice and are you happy with it?

Many thanks in advance.
M.
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Jess2006

Hi Morpheus,
Congrats to you - I was also admitted to both and I am not accepting either offer, instead I am going to Chicago. I made my decision on what I wanted out of a program, and I suppose that is how you shoudl decide it too. For me, the Yale program was extremely focused on independent research, which I am already being paid to do, so that wasn't attractive for me, I wanted some hard core coursework. Harvard is attractive for the financial side (Ihave a scholarship to go there), but the program is large and a friend who is there comments not so favorably on the academic intensity of the program.

I guess if you want to practice in the US then Harvard is the go - it opens alot of doors (but this also depends on what country you are originally from, some foreign nationals have a far greater sucess rate than other, for example Australians are always employed). Yale is amazing if you want to go into academia, and I have heard nothing but positive responses from friends who went there. Perhaps if you want to leave your options open for academia and private practice then Harvard would be better, there are many academic fellowship oppertunities at Harvard as well as the SJD program. Someone else may be able to add more to this, but my sense is that Yale would probably close the door off to provate practice somewhat.

Anyway, best of luck to you for the great (although hard) decision you are about to make.

Jess

Hi Morpheus,
Congrats to you - I was also admitted to both and I am not accepting either offer, instead I am going to Chicago. I made my decision on what I wanted out of a program, and I suppose that is how you shoudl decide it too. For me, the Yale program was extremely focused on independent research, which I am already being paid to do, so that wasn't attractive for me, I wanted some hard core coursework. Harvard is attractive for the financial side (Ihave a scholarship to go there), but the program is large and a friend who is there comments not so favorably on the academic intensity of the program.

I guess if you want to practice in the US then Harvard is the go - it opens alot of doors (but this also depends on what country you are originally from, some foreign nationals have a far greater sucess rate than other, for example Australians are always employed). Yale is amazing if you want to go into academia, and I have heard nothing but positive responses from friends who went there. Perhaps if you want to leave your options open for academia and private practice then Harvard would be better, there are many academic fellowship oppertunities at Harvard as well as the SJD program. Someone else may be able to add more to this, but my sense is that Yale would probably close the door off to provate practice somewhat.

Anyway, best of luck to you for the great (although hard) decision you are about to make.

Jess
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morpheus

Hi Jess,
thanks a lot for this. And congratulations to you - you know what you want and you pursue it. That matters a lot :)

M.

Hi Jess,
thanks a lot for this. And congratulations to you - you know what you want and you pursue it. That matters a lot :)

M.
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ms

I plan to choose Yale over Harvard, NYU and Columbia. I am into academics. Infact, I left a commercial law practice to pursue teaching in my area of interest, criminal law. So, i guess for my profile, Yale is the place to be in.

Another factor that we should consider is the exclusive nature of the LLM program at Yale. I have been speaking to friends in Yale and Harvard, as well as alumni of both these places and they say that you do tend to get lost in Harvard, because of the size of the program, but get a lot of attention at Yale.

Personally speaking, other than the above factors, financial aid is the crucial factor. I believe that Yale is more generous than harvard. So, Yale it will be.

Morpheus, where u from? I am from India

I plan to choose Yale over Harvard, NYU and Columbia. I am into academics. Infact, I left a commercial law practice to pursue teaching in my area of interest, criminal law. So, i guess for my profile, Yale is the place to be in.

Another factor that we should consider is the exclusive nature of the LLM program at Yale. I have been speaking to friends in Yale and Harvard, as well as alumni of both these places and they say that you do tend to get lost in Harvard, because of the size of the program, but get a lot of attention at Yale.

Personally speaking, other than the above factors, financial aid is the crucial factor. I believe that Yale is more generous than harvard. So, Yale it will be.

Morpheus, where u from? I am from India
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tmalmine

In all probability I will be choosing Yale over Harvard (only thing that could possibly make me change my mind would be generous financial aid from Harvard). My decision is based on the small size of Yale program (and the whole school). I also met a while ago a great scholar who has taught at Harvard, Stanford, and Yale. He said Yale is the most "intellectual" law school in the US, and this seems to be true. I want to be a legal historian (and a bit of a legal philosopher and comparatist, too) in the future, so Yale suits my future plans perfectly. Of course there are greta scholars at Harvard, but the program is rather huge, and being a Finn might mean I could get lost on crowd (Finns are not great at socializing and I'm a bit shy myself). Besides, Yale's S.J.D. program is only open to its own LL.M. graduates, and I would like to take that degree also. New Haven may not be the greatest city in the US, but what I want do next year is to study as intensely as possible, and it seems to me that Yale campus and New Haven are great for that. I think you have to decide now which yoy prefer more: scholarship or your idea of private practice. If the former, chooce Yale. If the latter, chooce Harvard. If you simply don't know, HLS might be the better place. P.s. people who have studied at Harvard Law, have said to me that its atmosphere is sometimes hostile. I have never heard these kind of comments about YLS. You might want to consider that, too.

In all probability I will be choosing Yale over Harvard (only thing that could possibly make me change my mind would be generous financial aid from Harvard). My decision is based on the small size of Yale program (and the whole school). I also met a while ago a great scholar who has taught at Harvard, Stanford, and Yale. He said Yale is the most "intellectual" law school in the US, and this seems to be true. I want to be a legal historian (and a bit of a legal philosopher and comparatist, too) in the future, so Yale suits my future plans perfectly. Of course there are greta scholars at Harvard, but the program is rather huge, and being a Finn might mean I could get lost on crowd (Finns are not great at socializing and I'm a bit shy myself). Besides, Yale's S.J.D. program is only open to its own LL.M. graduates, and I would like to take that degree also. New Haven may not be the greatest city in the US, but what I want do next year is to study as intensely as possible, and it seems to me that Yale campus and New Haven are great for that. I think you have to decide now which yoy prefer more: scholarship or your idea of private practice. If the former, chooce Yale. If the latter, chooce Harvard. If you simply don't know, HLS might be the better place. P.s. people who have studied at Harvard Law, have said to me that its atmosphere is sometimes hostile. I have never heard these kind of comments about YLS. You might want to consider that, too.
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gar33

Very well said tmalmine!

As I believe I was rejected by YLS and will go to HLS, I feel quite impartial concerning the following statement:

"Yale is the best law school in the world if the goal is teaching and research. Harvard comes (probably) next".

Regards.

Very well said tmalmine!

As I believe I was rejected by YLS and will go to HLS, I feel quite impartial concerning the following statement:

"Yale is the best law school in the world if the goal is teaching and research. Harvard comes (probably) next".

Regards.
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apch

I have also been admitted to both, and will be taking Yale over Harvard (subject to aid, of course). I want to join an international organisation and work in the area of international trade and development. At some point, however, i want to get into academics. While in my country (India) harvard is definitely the more prestigious of the two, I think Yale makes more sense given my profile, since it enjoys a much better reputation within the academic circles. Also, friends who have studied at harvard, were pretty disappointed with the academic rigour of the programme. On the other hand, I have not heard friends at Yale ever complaining about this.
My only worry is- I am 23, and still completing my basic law degree. I have no work ex (and frankly have no clue why yale took me) and am worried that I'll get totally lost in the intellectual crowd at yale. also, since I have never worked before, except during internships, I dont think I have too great a focus as well.
I guess I'll just have to wait and watch how it goes....

I have also been admitted to both, and will be taking Yale over Harvard (subject to aid, of course). I want to join an international organisation and work in the area of international trade and development. At some point, however, i want to get into academics. While in my country (India) harvard is definitely the more prestigious of the two, I think Yale makes more sense given my profile, since it enjoys a much better reputation within the academic circles. Also, friends who have studied at harvard, were pretty disappointed with the academic rigour of the programme. On the other hand, I have not heard friends at Yale ever complaining about this.
My only worry is- I am 23, and still completing my basic law degree. I have no work ex (and frankly have no clue why yale took me) and am worried that I'll get totally lost in the intellectual crowd at yale. also, since I have never worked before, except during internships, I dont think I have too great a focus as well.
I guess I'll just have to wait and watch how it goes....
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Mila

Apch, you must have an extremely strong record if they have taken you at your age! I would just go for it, you will probably do well (or they wouldn't have taken you). Unless Yale doesn't serve your research interests, 'just take it' !!(to come back to the heavily debated slogan on HLS posted somewhere on this board) Congratulations to you and all those admitted!!!!

Apch, you must have an extremely strong record if they have taken you at your age! I would just go for it, you will probably do well (or they wouldn't have taken you). Unless Yale doesn't serve your research interests, 'just take it' !!(to come back to the heavily debated slogan on HLS posted somewhere on this board) Congratulations to you and all those admitted!!!!
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gar33

I agree with Mila. You certainly are a brilliant young man with oustanding credentials. Being an Indian might be helpfull because it is a very promising country full of very smart young men, but that is emphatically not the crucial element. Finally, luck is also a factor and you were lucky. Tmalmine, for instance, is someone that needs not to be lucky: with 29 years old and so much academic experience (beyond what is common to most of us: excellent grades, awards and honors, internships, etc.) I would say that he was obviously admitted. You were definetely lucky, but luck only plays a role at the margin.

I wish I were in your place! Go for it! YLS is awesome and you deserve it for sure.

Good work!

I agree with Mila. You certainly are a brilliant young man with oustanding credentials. Being an Indian might be helpfull because it is a very promising country full of very smart young men, but that is emphatically not the crucial element. Finally, luck is also a factor and you were lucky. Tmalmine, for instance, is someone that needs not to be lucky: with 29 years old and so much academic experience (beyond what is common to most of us: excellent grades, awards and honors, internships, etc.) I would say that he was obviously admitted. You were definetely lucky, but luck only plays a role at the margin.

I wish I were in your place! Go for it! YLS is awesome and you deserve it for sure.

Good work!
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apch

Thanks mila and gar33. Just having pre-llm jitters which will subside by the time i get there. And yes I thank my lucky stars every day for this opportunity!!!:-)
gar, India is a very promising country, not only because it is full of very smart young men, but also because it is full of very smart young women, and I am one of them:-)
thanks again for your kind words....

Thanks mila and gar33. Just having pre-llm jitters which will subside by the time i get there. And yes I thank my lucky stars every day for this opportunity!!!:-)
gar, India is a very promising country, not only because it is full of very smart young men, but also because it is full of very smart young women, and I am one of them:-)
thanks again for your kind words....
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gar33

Hey! Sorry!

That is one of the reasons why I am interested in the topic "law and equality". I was the victim of discriminatory patterns I counsciously reject!

Mea culpa!

Hey! Sorry!

That is one of the reasons why I am interested in the topic "law and equality". I was the victim of discriminatory patterns I counsciously reject!

Mea culpa!
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apch

ha ha!! no probs....

ha ha!! no probs....
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morpheus

I think the "intellectual" factor, the small intake and basically excellent courses at Yale influence my decision mostly. By the way, do you know how many doctoral candidates does Yale admit on a yearly basis?

I think the "intellectual" factor, the small intake and basically excellent courses at Yale influence my decision mostly. By the way, do you know how many doctoral candidates does Yale admit on a yearly basis?
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ms

What broad area do all of you plan to take your courses in? I am interested in Criminal Laws and is what I plan to study at Yale.

What broad area do all of you plan to take your courses in? I am interested in Criminal Laws and is what I plan to study at Yale.
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tmalmine

Actually I don't know how many candidates Yale admits for its SJD program. I believe 5 or 6, and there is some competition for those places (or so I've heard). On the whole, however, Yale is not very competitive in the sense that Harvard and Chicago are (i.e. students don't compete with each other and are not encouraged to do so). I believe this makes it a nice place to study, but I'm a bit competitive myself, and hope there will be some friendly and supportive (not cutthroat) competition over the SJD admissions next year.

Actually I don't know how many candidates Yale admits for its SJD program. I believe 5 or 6, and there is some competition for those places (or so I've heard). On the whole, however, Yale is not very competitive in the sense that Harvard and Chicago are (i.e. students don't compete with each other and are not encouraged to do so). I believe this makes it a nice place to study, but I'm a bit competitive myself, and hope there will be some friendly and supportive (not cutthroat) competition over the SJD admissions next year.
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tmalmine

I plan to study ConLaw, American legal history and the history of common law, comparative law, and contracts at Yale. There is one important aspect of Yale LL.M program that hasn't been mentioned so far. I was told by one of this year's LL.M. candidates that they have, along with 3LS, privileged enrollment to all the courses. This means that LL.M. students don't have to worry whether we get to study with those professors we wish to. It might be different in bigger law schools, if you want to study with the most famous scholars.

I plan to study ConLaw, American legal history and the history of common law, comparative law, and contracts at Yale. There is one important aspect of Yale LL.M program that hasn't been mentioned so far. I was told by one of this year's LL.M. candidates that they have, along with 3LS, privileged enrollment to all the courses. This means that LL.M. students don't have to worry whether we get to study with those professors we wish to. It might be different in bigger law schools, if you want to study with the most famous scholars.
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zarevitz

I plan to study ConLaw, American legal history and the history of common law, comparative law, and contracts at Yale.


I have very similar interests, and my dream would be to study at YLS too. Being a European citizen, have you found it difficult to get financial aid? I was told that this aid is almost entirely limited to US students...

<blockquote>I plan to study ConLaw, American legal history and the history of common law, comparative law, and contracts at Yale.</blockquote>

I have very similar interests, and my dream would be to study at YLS too. Being a European citizen, have you found it difficult to get financial aid? I was told that this aid is almost entirely limited to US students...
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Roberto27

There's nothing like going for Yale, period.

There's nothing like going for Yale, period.
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tmalmine

Actually, Yale Law School has not made its financial aid decisions so I can't really comment how difficult or easy it is for Europeans to get it. In their webpage it says that approximately 90 % of LL.M. candidates receive some kind of financial aid. For that reason I'm quite optimistic. But i'll keep you informed when I hear something from them.

Actually, Yale Law School has not made its financial aid decisions so I can't really comment how difficult or easy it is for Europeans to get it. In their webpage it says that approximately 90 % of LL.M. candidates receive some kind of financial aid. For that reason I'm quite optimistic. But i'll keep you informed when I hear something from them.
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morpheus

Just wanted to say thank you for your opinions, both here and in personal mail.

I have chosen Yale and I am extremely happy about it.

Just wanted to say thank you for your opinions, both here and in personal mail.

I have chosen Yale and I am extremely happy about it.

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