Harvard Law School vs. Harvard Undergrad

<p>I realize they are two completely separate institutions and programs and to compare either is kind of a stretch but which is more difficult to get into? I simply ask this because I wish to know more information since my ultimate destination whether I get into Harvard College or not is to end up at Harvard LS. Any and all opinions with reason are welcomed but some current Harvard students and Harvard Law hopeful's insight would be much appreciated. To begin, Harvard Law admit rate is about 11% yet Harvard College admits 7%. </p>

<p>All feedback is appreciated. Thanks guys.</p>

<p>I went to Harvard College for undergrad and am currently at Harvard Law. Both are difficult to get into, but in very different ways. The college is hard partially because of the low acceptance rate, as your mentioned. But even more than that, the unpredictability of what the admissions committee will be looking for in a given year, or the potential they might see in a particular person, isn't something that anyone can foresee with any certainty. Obviously having a GPA/class rank/SAT score at certain level will help, but there is no combination of numbers or extracurriculars that makes anyone a "lock."</p>

<p>At HLS, admissions is a great deal more predictable, but the numbers threshold applicants must rise to is by no means an easy achievement. There are exceptions, but as a general rule an applicant will need both an impressive GPA and an impressive LSAT score. If not both, then certainly at least one of the two. While no one is guaranteed admission solely based on their numbers, I'd wager that a much smaller proportion of 4.0/180s are rejected from HLS than the 4.0/2400s that the college probably rejects with some frequency. </p>

<p>Hope that helps.</p>

<p>Here's my advice about Harvard: if you really want to go to Harvard, you should go every time they admit you, because you just can't be sure it'll ever happen again.</p>

<p>Thank you caramelkisses06 that was informative. Sikorsky, I did not imply I was intending to reject Harvard College should they admit me, but I simply stated HLS as my final goal no matter where I head for undergrad. </p>

<p>As a senior right now in high school, I have been practicing for the LSAT rigorously and I can achieve a mid 170 with regular frequency. My obvious goal is to come out with a 180 by next year. I don't know how much a perfect score will help me though if at all since the 25th/75th percentile of applicants are so clumped together according to the HLS website. 25th percentile of admits is 171 while 75th percentile is 176. With just 4 points higher with a 180 (assuming I accomplish my goal of getting a 180), I still don't know if that will do much really. I know GPA is very important but is where the college the GPA came from at all important? Such as UCLA vs. Stanford? Will a 3.9 from UCLA be looked at as inferior to a 3.8 from Stanford?</p>

<p>How the crap are you getting 95+ percentile LSAT scores in high school? Do you eat, breathe and sleep the law? </p>

<p>I really doubt that the GPA will be discounted if you go to UCLA instead of Stanford. As long as you aren't applying from some no-name college, that range of grades will keep you very high on their lists.</p>

<p>If you have taken the LSAT before you should know that practice makes perfect. Yes, I have taken LSAT practice tests day and night because I simply have made it my goal to score a 180. I don't care whether or not people see me as a no social life loser, someone else might want a girlfriend to make them happy, I want a 180. My last score on a full LSAT practice was a 176. </p>

<p>And also, I have been dual enrolled in college since the 10th grade so I will actually be graduating from a UC campus in 2 years not 4 so it's not as early as you might think for me to be studying the LSAT.</p>

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I did not imply I was intending to reject Harvard College should they admit me, but I simply stated HLS as my final goal no matter where I head for undergrad.

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<p>I think you're glossing over the second part of my advice.</p>

<p>I think you need to work on your priorities if your in high school and obsessed with getting a 180 on the LSAT...</p>

<p>g0ld3n,</p>

<p>I implore you to step back for a moment and think about whether or not the limited time you have living in the flesh should be spent practicing for a test you will take in 5 years. 5 years of life preparing for a test that lasts several hours? Really? Your senior year of high school is a special time. An incredible time. Enjoy it. Many people would give so much to go back to theirs. Please don't squander yours taking practice LSAT's. Life is too precious.</p>

<p>HLS is obviously a top school, but if I were to go to law school, Yale would definitely be my top choice. I have friends at both places, and Yale seems much smaller, more relaxed and cooperative, while Harvard is more intense and competitive.</p>

<p>I also feel compelled to post: YouTube</a> - So You Want to Go to Law School</p>

<p>I think caramelkisses06 is right on. The caveat with looking at only the admit percentage is that the applicant demographics are very different. A lot of people with no chance apply to Harvard College...while the same is true for HLS, they also have needed to graduate from college and have taken the LSAT. The average LSAT test taker is significantly more competent than the average person who takes the LSAT. </p>

<p>In the end, the application pool for HLS is harder, but the acceptances are more predictable. GPA and LSAT are king.</p>

<p>I don't know if I believe that HLS is more prestigious -- it is in the legal field, of course, but all in all you meet more impressive people in more random things in Harvard College. But I'm a senior at HC now so I suppose I have that bias.</p>

<p>I like Sikorsky's advice: "Here's my advice about Harvard: if you really want to go to Harvard, you should go every time they admit you, because you just can't be sure it'll ever happen again." </p>

<p>Ultimately, asking which is more prestigious is like comparing Kirk and Picard. Or Harry Potter and Frodo. Or you could supply any number of pop culture heroes and/or types of fruit. I know people who argue about things like this, and they tend to also argue about what school is more prestigious, and these people tend to be incredibly annoying and also underperform their "stats" when interviewing for jobs. </p>

<p>Honestly, if you care about prestige as much as I'm afraid you might, I don't like you that much. Stop gunning for HLS; you're 18 years old. Chill out a little. I don't mean this for your well-being, I mean this in the sense that you will have a hard time making friends next year (at a prestigious college that may well be Harvard), and a hard time impressing interviewers afterward, if it's transparent that prestige matters to you more than your passions for real things.</p>

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someone else might want a girlfriend to make them happy, I want a 180.

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<p>And after the toil of a hard day, he found solace in returning home, home to the warm embrace of the logic game.</p>

<p>This is a wonderful example of something, but I'm not sure what. There is absolutely nothing about either Harvard College or Harvard Law School that is so different from the 3 or 4 most comparable peer institutions that it should be anyone's goal in life to attend either rather than one of the set of peers. The worst thing about both Harvard College and Harvard Law School, at least from my perspective, is that each attracts more of this variety of nutcase than any of its peers, and some of those nutcases actually are admitted.</p>

<p>Anyway, Harvard Law School is actually the largest American law school, and it doesn't have the 80%+ yield on acceptances that Harvard College gets, so (considered on this very, very relative basis) Harvard Law School is the easier ticket to get. One of the reasons for that, though, is that while Harvard College offers an experience that is certainly not a lot worse than Stanford, Yale, or Princeton, Harvard Law School is a meaningfully less pleasant place for students than any of its close competitors.</p>

<p>If the OP is able to practice his way to a consistent 180 LSAT and pulls down a 4.0 at a UC, he will probably get into Harvard Law School. Which is why, if you have the chance to go to Yale or Stanford instead for law school, you should take it.</p>

2 Likes

<p>"Harvard Law School is a meaningfully less pleasant place for students than any of its close competitors."</p>

<p>This is totally subjective, and thus not true for everyone. Speaking as someone who turned down YLS largely because my sister was miserable there and I thought I'd be happier at HLS. I wanted a big school in a big city with tons of choices for everything. I had a great time at HLS even in the pre-Kagan era, and all sources agree that she made it a much nicer place to be.</p>

<p>"Anyway, Harvard Law School is actually the largest American law school, and it doesn't have the 80%+ yield on acceptances that Harvard College gets, so (considered on this very, very relative basis) Harvard Law School is the easier ticket to get."</p>

<p>Tell that to the hundreds of Harvard College undergrads HLS rejects. The average LSAT of Harvard College student is 166 (the highest average in the nation), meaning the average law school hopeful at Harvard College has no chance of getting into HLS.</p>

<p>Besides, Harvard Law is considered more prestigious by the general population.</p>

<p>My HLS class was an absolutely amazing smart group of people...not nearly as interesting than college (Yale--so the same as Harvard) but I never met one student who I wondered why they were accepted. There was only Really Smart, Really, Really Smart and OMG Do People Like This Exist?</p>

<p>And if you watch The Paper Chase it has as much validity for what The Law School is like today as Love Story has for The College (and I'm a Non Res tutor in one of the Houses and just finished giving some volunteer time to the Office of Public Interest Advising at The Law School.)</p>

<p>Very Harvard thing, btw--The College, The Law School, The Medical School. Harvard is just implied...</p>

<p>Without a doubt, the College has far more stringent standards than the law school.</p>

<p>Law school admissions is a numbers game.</p>

<p>College admissions, one must not only excel academically and statistically, but also stand out by pouring all of one's time and energy into ridiculous co- and extracurricular activities.</p>

<p>I will admit that it's been awhile since I have known any current or recent HLS student, so my sense of what it is like is outdated. In my generation, I didn't know a single person anywhere who hated law school with the cold fury that practically everyone at Harvard had during his or her first year. Friends complained about impotence; one friend told me how he got though it by fantasizing about subjecting his teachers to violent torture. The faculty at that time was wonderful but a nest of scorpions -- they just hated one another, and the politics were unbelievably noxious. So it wouldn't take much for me to believe that it has become a much nicer place -- there was nowhere to go but up.</p>

<p>I went to see The Paper Chase when it came out with my parents, both of whom are HLS alumni. My mother was, I believe, the first woman to drop out of Harvard Law School -- she thought it was pretty awful. (That was, of course, the era of "Ladies' Days", when women were called on one day a week, and treated with exaggerated, sarcastic deference, but asked about their marital plans.) Both of them were disappointed in the movie. My mother said that the movie just showed the nastiness but gave no sense of how intellectually stimulating it was at the same time.</p>

<p>Anyway, obviously it's not true that anyone who gets into Harvard College can get into Harvard Law School. But it is still the case that the Law School doesn't reject anywhere near the same proportion of highly qualified candidates that the College does. And I think it's also still the case that the real prestigious admission in the law school world is Yale. It's fairly rare for someone to be accepted at Yale and not at Harvard (if he or she applied), but not rare at all for someone to be accepted at Harvard and rejected at Yale.</p>