YLS vs. HLS

<p>For someone aiming at a career in academia, is there really a big difference between the two?
(I know that a much higher % of YLS grads end up in academia, but is it because they are better prepared and better positioned for it, or is it more just self selection?)</p>

<p>I'm curious about this as well. Any thoughts?</p>

<p>i am a yls alum and yes i know a number of my classmates who are now on the other side of the law school classroom ;) can't claim any real familiarlity with hls -- the following is just based on what i know about yls, its students, and what we all said about hls :) (just for the sake of disclosure and point of reference, i graduated long enough ago that i have a kid in college which is how i ended up at cc to begin with)</p>

<p>yls is known for encouraging thinking "outside the box" -- answering what a case said or what the law is, isn't usually going to be enough. we often joked about how what we were learning, for the most part, had very little to do with the actual practice of law. my first year civil procedure professor opened the class by throwing the federal rules of civil procedure on his desk and telling us they were probably unconstitutional -- the phrase "mere snippets" was also used. (the other civil procedure prof was much more black letter though).</p>

<p>professors often would present legal theories that simply were not found in the review books. i sometimes wondered the value of these theories that had never actually been directly held by a court -- but you know what -- some of those profs ended up on the federal bench (though i never checked whether they were still pursuing those theories there.)</p>

<p>yls also prides itself on admitted students with a wide variety of backgrounds -- the range of things my classmates had done prior to law school was incredible. </p>

<p>back when i attended, it was not as commonly known as it is today that yls was more selective than hls, even among applicants -- i had many people surprised at my choice, but most of my classmates had made the same one -- so i think many of us chose it because it was more out of the box, less traditional. i can't say whether that is still the case since word seems to have gotten out that yls is more selective, so some may now choose it for that reason rather than it different character.</p>

<p>so i think to some extent it was a combination of the type of school yale is and the type of student is attracted that led many to end up in academia -- while i know a number of classmates who've gone on to make partner at BIGLAW, there were just an awful lot of us for whom that type of life was never in the cards even though most of us did our time at firms.</p>

<p>one other thing -- at least when i was there, and i think it is still true -- "making law review" had nothing to do with class rank or competition. you got to be part of the yale law journal by deciding to write for the law journal -- not easy as it sounds -- you put in time cite checking other's articles, and you had to come up with a publishable article -- but basically if you were committed to it, you could do it. i think that may help someone who aspires to academia. (i have no idea how review at harvard works.)</p>

<p>but in all fairness, i can't imagine a hls degree putting a student at much of a disadvantage for anything -- if academia is definitely what you want, i don't think going there will hold you back.</p>

<p>truth is also -- there are an awful lot of law professors who went to neither of those 2 schools, so don't assume your chance for a career in academia will be determined by whether of you get into one of those schools.</p>

<p>Thanks, bizymom! (I sent you a PM)</p>