« on: March 22, 2007, 11:38:18 AM »
For those who are still making the decision, I just wanted to give my 2 cents after reading the Hamilton and Harvard/Yale post.
Hamilton vs. Harvard/Yale:
Hamilton gets you teaching experience, which means that you are much more likely to publish and to know what it takes and to do what it takes to be someone who can do what it takes. In my opinion, the Hamilton pretty much guarantees a professorship whereas the same cannot be said of Harvard or Yale.
Prestige Amongst People in the Know:
There are far fewer Hamiltons offered and it is far more selective than Harvard or Yale.
The great thing about the Hamilton is that it's three years of tuition for free. What can you do with that 160K? With 160K, you could pursue an additional Master's. You could travel. You could do a whole range of things. What the Hamilton basically means is that you can do your JD + 160K of awesome stuff and be in the same position that someone who went to Harvard is in debt-wise.
PLUS, you'll have special treatment all throughout law school, which will be a fantastic boost to your educational experience.
Harvard and Yale win out over the Hamilton here, but then again, why would you be trying to impress laymen? If you wanted to impress the average person, it is fairly easy to do so. You could get the Hamilton from Columbia and then another degree from Harvard or Yale and you could say that you have two Master's Degrees, a JD from Columbia on a full-scholarship and another degree from Harvard or Yale. If you did THAT, you'd still have less debt than you would with your Harvard or Yale JD and more layman's prestige.
Quality of Life in Law School:
Stanford wins this contest easily, but Harvard, Yale and Columbia are pretty much tied. I didn't write Stanford in the other points that I made, but they're pretty much just as true for Stanford as well.
In my opinion, this is such a difficult and emotional decision that most people will hedge their bets psychologically by being really pleased with whatever they choose and it is tempting to take the advice of someone from Harvard or Yale more seriously because they have the Harvard or Yale JD coming to them. However, the best way to make this decision is to consider the relevant variables and see who comes out on top and I think the Hamilton wins hands' down.