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Harvard Law School Overrated?

Connemara

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Sure.
 

samblau

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In terms of education versus the other schools it is different...a lot of focus on policy and the philosophy of law. The general curriculum, the required courses cannot be that much different. Con law students will still learn Roe v. Wade and Civ Pro students will still be confused by International Shoe and [the Erie Doctrine for weeks until BarBri makes sense of it all in about 10 minutes. The law is the law. What Harvard represents is the ability to select the "best" students and the prestige of being associated with what is considered the best school. A lawyer from any decent school with 5 years of experience can run rings around the #1 student from last years Harvard class. That said, because of the Harvard mystique, I'd gladly fork over $200k for a law degree bearing the Harvard name before going to any non T10 school for free. Certain opportunities, clerkships, jobs both government and private and political positions are simply not available to graduates from even lower 1st and 2nd tier schools. I obviously do not agree with this but thats simply the way it is. And in no circumstance should a 2nd 3rd or 4th tier school be charging the same rate as the T-10/T-20. The career prospects are dismal in comparison and for better or for worse, the top schools throw money at "name" professors to try and out-do one another.
 

mmhollis

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As much as I hate Harvard Law, how can we call it overrated when US News and World Report continues to rank it in the top five no matter what it does, or even if there are schools that are better. America, and yes the worlds Harvard worship ensures that Harvard can never truly be called overrated.
 

cheessus

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If you can't get in, it isn't overrated in relation to you.
 

rnoldh

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Didn't both Pres. Obama and MC4 go there?

Surely among their few similarities.

As to the OP, I guess it depends how you look at it. As has been pointed out, most ratings either current or historically, rate it consistently at or very near the very top.

But I think samblau brought out an excellent point. Whether or not it's overrated, I agree that it's worth the 200K because of all the benefits attached to a Harvard Law Degree.

Hopefully Obama and MC4 will weigh in.
 

lee_44106

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I would like to see an actual Harvard Law grad call his own education/alma mater "overrated"

Usually these type of comments come from the sour grape types, those not good enough to get in.
 

voxsartoria

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Originally Posted by lee_44106
I would like to see an actual Harvard Law grad call his own education/alma mater "overrated."

I've heard it plenty of times from HLS students and alums.

Most of the time it is just bitching or transparent attempts to show how cool you are by disdaining something valued by those too weak and unlucky to be as good or privileged as you. Sometimes the complaints are thoughtful. When they are, most of the positive references go to Yale for its smaller size.

In this respect, the Law School is no different than any other part of Harvard. Self-loathing, much of it false, is almost like a hobby.


- B
 

samblau

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Originally Posted by lee_44106
I would like to see an actual Harvard Law grad call his own education/alma mater "overrated"

Usually these type of comments come from the sour grape types, those not good enough to get in.


It is hard for me to be critical in instances that involve my family, however I would like to point out the following. I have a cousin whose mother, my aunt, is a Harvard alum, active member of the alumni association and unfortunately suffering from multiple sclerosis. He stated, flat out, that he did not get in to Cornell or any of the other Ivy's he applied to yet he managed to get in to Harvard. Read in to that what you will. Based purely on stats alone, LSAT, GPA, extracurricular interests there are many people "good enough" to get in. The reality is that people from that group, and other groups do get in for other reasons. And those reasons are apparent from the day they are born. Sometimes when I hear the right complain about liberal elitists I sympathize. Its great to help the poor, be progressive and spend other peoples money as long as the institution in which you developed remains intact and virtually inaccessible. To me its a similar set-up to the classes of ancient Greece or Rome and, abject poverty aside, not entirely unlike the caste system employed in parts of India.
 

SField

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Originally Posted by samblau
It is hard for me to be critical in instances that involve my family, however I would like to point out the following. I have a cousin whose mother, my aunt, is a Harvard alum, active member of the alumni association and unfortunately suffering from multiple sclerosis. He stated, flat out, that he did not get in to Cornell or any of the other Ivy's he applied to yet he managed to get in to Harvard. Read in to that what you will. Based purely on stats alone, LSAT, GPA, extracurricular interests there are many people "good enough" to get in. The reality is that people from that group, and other groups do get in for other reasons. And those reasons are apparent from the day they are born. Sometimes when I hear the right complain about liberal elitists I sympathize. Its great to help the poor, be progressive and spend other peoples money as long as the institution in which you developed remains intact and virtually inaccessible. To me its a similar set-up to the classes of ancient Greece or Rome and, abject poverty aside, not entirely unlike the caste system employed in parts of India.

Well first of all, the right has benefited from storied institutions and elitism such as Harvard just as much, if not more, than liberals have. Secondly, it's well known to people who can read and have fully functioning brains that almost no one in every incomming class is fantastically rich OR a legacy. Yes it's an elite institution, but how socio-economically elite is your student body when most of it is on financial aid, a large portion of them being on full aid. This isn't the 1930s.
 

bluemagic

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Originally Posted by samblau
It is hard for me to be critical in instances that involve my family, however I would like to point out the following. I have a cousin whose mother, my aunt, is a Harvard alum, active member of the alumni association and unfortunately suffering from multiple sclerosis. He stated, flat out, that he did not get in to Cornell or any of the other Ivy's he applied to yet he managed to get in to Harvard. Read in to that what you will. Based purely on stats alone, LSAT, GPA, extracurricular interests there are many people "good enough" to get in. The reality is that people from that group, and other groups do get in for other reasons. And those reasons are apparent from the day they are born. Sometimes when I hear the right complain about liberal elitists I sympathize. Its great to help the poor, be progressive and spend other peoples money as long as the institution in which you developed remains intact and virtually inaccessible. To me its a similar set-up to the classes of ancient Greece or Rome and, abject poverty aside, not entirely unlike the caste system employed in parts of India.

I think he was yield-protected.
 

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