Penn vs. Yale/Harvard (PhD/JD)

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zbp1058

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Penn vs. Yale/Harvard (PhD/JD)

Postby zbp1058 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:21 pm

Hi everyone,

I'll try and keep this relatively brief.

I am interested in studying early American legal history with the ultimate goal of teaching at a law school and/or history department.

I was recently admitted to the JD/PhD American legal history program at Penn where both programs would be entirely funded. I was also admitted to the history graduate program at Yale and have considered applying to YLS to do a joint degree (I was waitlisted when I applied there last year) or perhaps doing a split JD/PhD with Yale and HLS. Yale, however, unlike Penn, does not fund its joint-degree candidates and I would receive minimal need-based aid. I would thus effectively be paying sticker price for three years.

Does the superior academic placement of YLS, and to a lesser extent HLS, compared to Penn justify the cost difference? My parents would help me finance law school, so I would graduate without debt, but I don't want to impose that burden on them if it can't be justified. Likewise, are YLS and HLS more generous LRAPs for academic jobs enough to make up the difference?

jsnow212

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Re: Penn vs. Yale/Harvard (PhD/JD)

Postby jsnow212 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:56 pm

Hold up.

Did you get into YLS? If not, please check back when you do.

zbp1058

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Re: Penn vs. Yale/Harvard (PhD/JD)

Postby zbp1058 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:01 pm

jsnow212 wrote:Hold up.

Did you get into YLS? If not, please check back when you do.


It's a bit of a complicated situation, but I applied to YLS last year and was waitlisted. I did not apply this year.

I took a deferred spot at HLS and then applied to Ph.D. programs.

Without going into detail on how I know, I have not technically been accepted to Penn Law yet either but if I choose the Ph.D. program I will be admitted with full funding.

QContinuum

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Re: Penn vs. Yale/Harvard (PhD/JD)

Postby QContinuum » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:16 pm

zbp1058 wrote:Hi everyone,

I'll try and keep this relatively brief.

I am interested in studying early American legal history with the ultimate goal of teaching at a law school and/or history department.

I was recently admitted to the JD/PhD American legal history program at Penn where both programs would be entirely funded. I was also admitted to the history graduate program at Yale and have considered applying to YLS to do a joint degree (I was waitlisted when I applied there last year) or perhaps doing a split JD/PhD with Yale and HLS. Yale, however, unlike Penn, does not fund its joint-degree candidates and I would receive minimal need-based aid. I would thus effectively be paying sticker price for three years.

Does the superior academic placement of YLS, and to a lesser extent HLS, compared to Penn justify the cost difference? My parents would help me finance law school, so I would graduate without debt, but I don't want to impose that burden on them if it can't be justified. Likewise, are YLS and HLS more generous LRAPs for academic jobs enough to make up the difference?

Assuming funding and admission are both guaranteed for both the J.D. and Ph.D. at Penn, I think Penn's the obvious winner here. While school prestige is important, Penn is plenty prestigious enough to check the prestige box. Your academic prospects will rise or fall based on your publication record, research agenda and law school grades no matter whether your J.D. comes from Yale, Harvard or Penn. I don't see any compelling need to ditch a tuition waiver and stipend at Penn for sticker debt for a J.D. from Yale or Harvard.

Further, at this point you aren't even really comparing a fully-funded Penn J.D./Ph.D. with a Yale funded Ph.D./sticker J.D. There's no guarantee that you'll ever get into YLS. Admission to YLS is extraordinarily competitive, and you should not assume that you will get any boost by virtue of being a Yale graduate student. And if you enroll in Yale's history Ph.D. and don't get into YLS, you will likely not get into HLS again either, given that you've already taken a deferral once.

IMO, choosing Penn is a no-brainer here. Congrats and enjoy Philadelphia!

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Wild Card

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Re: Penn vs. Yale/Harvard (PhD/JD)

Postby Wild Card » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:33 pm

I think you need to care more about the prestige of your PhD program.

I was a Humanist and ABD in my former life and I helped my university's department evaluate tenure-track position candidates. The finalists were all Harvard/Yale/Princeton grads, with a sprinkling of Penn, Columbia, and Berkeley grads. Sure, the latter schools may have well-respected tip-top programs, but I couldn't help feeling the whole time that a cruel joke was being played on them and only the HYP grads were in serious contention. We ended up hiring the Yale grad for the one position, and six (6) years later when another position finally opened up we hired the Harvard grad (who in the meantime had been bouncing around visiting fellowships/professorships).

You have a lifetime ahead of you, and a Harvard/Yale PhD would serve you well--and a HLS/YLS JD far better than a Penn JD.

QContinuum

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Re: Penn vs. Yale/Harvard (PhD/JD)

Postby QContinuum » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:43 pm

Wild Card wrote:I think you need to care more about the prestige of your PhD program.

I was a Humanist and ABD in my former life and I helped my university's department evaluate tenure-track position candidates. The finalists were all Harvard/Yale/Princeton grads, with a sprinkling of Penn, Columbia, and Berkeley grads. Sure, the latter schools may have well-respected tip-top programs, but I couldn't help feeling the whole time that a cruel joke was being played on them and only the HYP grads were in serious contention. We ended up hiring the Yale grad for the one position, and six (6) years later when another position finally opened up we hired the Harvard grad (who in the meantime had been bouncing around visiting fellowships/professorships).

You have a lifetime ahead of you, and a Harvard/Yale PhD would serve you well--and a HLS/YLS JD far better than a Penn JD.

I don't question or dispute your advice re: academic hiring in the humanities, which makes academic hiring in law look like a walk in the park in comparison. But presumably OP would be looking to be a law professor, not a humanities professor. So I don't think the humanities hiring advice is on point.

OP has not gotten into YLS and may never get into YLS. A HLS J.D. is worth more than a Penn J.D., but not $400k more ($342k based on current tuition and CoL, plus the stipend Penn will pay OP).

nixy

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Re: Penn vs. Yale/Harvard (PhD/JD)

Postby nixy » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:28 pm

Re: humanities hiring - this is hugely program and subject area dependent. Penn is a spectacular place to study early American history. Also, who you study with can be much more important than the school name. If you were hiring in a field where H/Y/P have the top programs and top scholars, then it’s not surprising that’s where all your finalists came from. But depending on the area of study, H/Y/P may not be those schools, or the only schools. (My experience in academia saw people get hired from a much wider range of PhD programs.)

In any case, I could see an argument that the OP should go to Yale for their PhD - I think there are arguments for Penn, but Yale is obviously defensible - but since the OP is set on *also* getting a JD, and the Yale JD will cost a shitload and the Penn JD is free, I vote Penn. The last thing anyone really wants to do is to try to get a tenure-track job with that kind of debt looming over them (even with LRAPs and PSLF).

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Re: Penn vs. Yale/Harvard (PhD/JD)

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:02 am

Wild Card wrote:I think you need to care more about the prestige of your PhD program.

I was a Humanist and ABD in my former life and I helped my university's department evaluate tenure-track position candidates. The finalists were all Harvard/Yale/Princeton grads, with a sprinkling of Penn, Columbia, and Berkeley grads. Sure, the latter schools may have well-respected tip-top programs, but I couldn't help feeling the whole time that a cruel joke was being played on them and only the HYP grads were in serious contention. We ended up hiring the Yale grad for the one position, and six (6) years later when another position finally opened up we hired the Harvard grad (who in the meantime had been bouncing around visiting fellowships/professorships).

You have a lifetime ahead of you, and a Harvard/Yale PhD would serve you well--and a HLS/YLS JD far better than a Penn JD.


Penn is definitely stronger Yale for early American history (and arguably history in general). Different fields are different, and while Harvard has a unique knack for being good at almost everything, for every other university in the world you shouldn't just assume that a more prestigious undergrad institution also means a more prestigious PhD. Like, would you pick Yale over Penn for business school?

we'rebothmenofthelaw

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Re: Penn vs. Yale/Harvard (PhD/JD)

Postby we'rebothmenofthelaw » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:46 am

I have little of value to contribute, but the chance to study with Mary Frances Berry should not be dismissed lightly.

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Re: Penn vs. Yale/Harvard (PhD/JD)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:09 am

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Wild Card wrote:I think you need to care more about the prestige of your PhD program.

I was a Humanist and ABD in my former life and I helped my university's department evaluate tenure-track position candidates. The finalists were all Harvard/Yale/Princeton grads, with a sprinkling of Penn, Columbia, and Berkeley grads. Sure, the latter schools may have well-respected tip-top programs, but I couldn't help feeling the whole time that a cruel joke was being played on them and only the HYP grads were in serious contention. We ended up hiring the Yale grad for the one position, and six (6) years later when another position finally opened up we hired the Harvard grad (who in the meantime had been bouncing around visiting fellowships/professorships).

You have a lifetime ahead of you, and a Harvard/Yale PhD would serve you well--and a HLS/YLS JD far better than a Penn JD.


Penn is definitely stronger Yale for early American history (and arguably history in general). Different fields are different, and while Harvard has a unique knack for being good at almost everything, for every other university in the world you shouldn't just assume that a more prestigious undergrad institution also means a more prestigious PhD. Like, would you pick Yale over Penn for business school?


+1

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Re: Penn vs. Yale/Harvard (PhD/JD)

Postby YaoBird » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:33 am

I would take Penn in a flash in this situation. What matters most for your future prospects as a law professor is the quality of your scholarship and the strength of your recommendations. I think Penn has a stronger legal history group than H/Y. That will likely give you a better training (which can translate to better scholarship) and stronger recommenders. That, combined with the money, makes this a no brainer. The program places well - SLS just hired a Penn JD/PhD in legal history, Greg Ablavsky.

zbp1058

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Re: Penn vs. Yale/Harvard (PhD/JD)

Postby zbp1058 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:55 am

YaoBird wrote:I would take Penn in a flash in this situation. What matters most for your future prospects as a law professor is the quality of your scholarship and the strength of your recommendations. I think Penn has a stronger legal history group than H/Y. That will likely give you a better training (which can translate to better scholarship) and stronger recommenders. That, combined with the money, makes this a no brainer. The program places well - SLS just hired a Penn JD/PhD in legal history, Greg Ablavsky.



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