Several people mentioned 1L section/class; exactly how big is your 1L section? Are you only compared to your section in terms of grading?
Your 1L section is 100 +/- 2 or 3 people. When I was applying to law school, this seemed like a huge drawback. I had thought I would have much preferred to have a smaller section (20-30 people) like one does at UVA or Duke. However, at CLS, you do have a "small section" which is 20-30; in addition, you have an LPW class of 10-12 people. Having a section of 100 just gives you more people that you can possibly befriend/a larger network. I'm naturally very shy, so having 100 people in my section (all the same classes) means that I know more people than I would if I was in a 30 person section.
Again, I get that you want to do well, but grades at CLS are really hard to predict. As has been posted on this thread before, the curve is 10% A/ 15% A-/ 30% B+ and 35% B (and some discretionary B- and C). This are very rough and can vary from semester to semester. This is just a heuristic. Yes, you are graded against your section, all of whom (at Harvard and at Columbia) are extremely accomplished.
Do you think Wachtell (or S&C/Cravath/etc.) hires the same number of summer associates from CLS and H? Or do they dip lower into the H class and hire, idk, 10 or 12? Just want to know if going to H would offer any statistical advantage...though I suppose that would be canceled out since you're competing with more gun-ho H students who worked at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey and went to HYP for undergrad (are there many CLS students who worked in these places?
I can't speak to how deep the top firms dig into the HLS vs. CLS class. I'd say that, roughly 30-40% of my small section went to HYP for undergrad and/or had some super impressive soft (think: Truman scholar). As far as I can tell, the HLS and CLS cohorts are fungible except that H has more H undergrads and slightly higher GPAs. One concrete
advantage of the HLS grading system is that you'll never know if you got an A or an A- (you'll just get an H). This is helpful because it prevents a firm or a judge from saying "what is up with all these A-s?" However, the flipside is that all your Bs or B+s just look like Bs (or a P).
From the previous posts, it looks like going to CLS would be a great choice for someone like me who only wants NYC Corporate BigLaw
and that getting an offer from Wachtell is feasible as a Kent Scholar with significant other qualifications...idk, would research/thesis on corporate governance and M&A in undergrad + finance internships (not elite investment banking/consulting) count as experience for Wachtell? Or is that hopeless lol
The bolded is accurate. However, try not to get too dialed in. You might find other interests during 1L year and if you are hyper-focused on Corporate Big Law, you'll miss them and be less well-rounded to boot. Furthermore, CLS will give you access to any firm. However, it won't give you access to any specific firm. If you get a 3.6+ (top quarter?) I can all but guarantee you a spot in a V10 NYC office. Which one will it be? No idea. Try to be flexible as most NYC firms seem to be somewhat fungible (of course, Wachtell pays more and is smaller).