Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

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22under
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Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby 22under » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:15 pm

I'm going to HLS, but am starting to get a little concerned about it. My whole life I've had a halfass work ethic. I was a middling high school student, then banged out a near-perfect SAT score and got into a decent college. My college had insane grade inflation (I believe the average GPA was over 3.5), and I skated by on minimal work, spending way more time playing video games and going after girls than studying, eventually coasting to a 3.7 GPA in an easy major (Actually, if you account for all the hard science kids' low GPAs and their effect on my school's overall average GPA, I bet my GPA was around the average for my department). I decided on law school, studied for the LSAT for a couple months, and then absolutely knocked it out of the park. Then several months ago I was accepted at HLS (I'll be paying sticker).

My understanding is that people don't ever really fail out of the top schools, so I guess that isn't my concern per se (though correct me if I'm mistaken there). But it's obvious to me that I won't be able to skate by now that my peer group will be one of the heaviest concentrations of elite academic talent anywhere in the world. And I definitely have no real delusions that I'm suddenly going to become studious and diligent in the next couple months when my work ethic has been so questionable for my entire life.

I've read here about how HLS is soooooo not cutthroat, but even if that's true this is a matter of classmates being just as intelligent (and undoubtedly in many cases more intelligent) as/than me, coupled with a dramatically stronger work ethic. Am I blowing this out of proportion, and I'm going to be fine? Alternatively, if I graduate at the bottom of my class from HLS, is it still worth sticker? I'm aware this question probably comes off all kinds of terrible, but it's a legit concern of mine at this point and I would appreciate input on it.

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IAFG
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby IAFG » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:17 pm

Aren't you more worried about getting a real, high-stakes job and finding out that you have no idea how to work hard and grind?

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Mad Hatter
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby Mad Hatter » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:28 pm

Congratulation OP, you just wrote the most elaborate humblebrag ever.

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sd5289
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby sd5289 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:32 pm

Mad Hatter wrote:Congratulation OP, you just wrote the most elaborate humblebrag ever.

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Borhas
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby Borhas » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:32 pm

Don't worry the legal profession is chock full of worthless empty suits just like yourself. You'll be right as rain.

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sunynp
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby sunynp » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:33 pm

22under wrote:I'm going to HLS, but am starting to get a little concerned about it. My whole life I've had a halfass work ethic. I was a middling high school student, then banged out a near-perfect SAT score and got into a decent college. My college had insane grade inflation (I believe the average GPA was over 3.5), and I skated by on minimal work, spending way more time playing video games and going after girls than studying, eventually coasting to a 3.7 GPA in an easy major (Actually, if you account for all the hard science kids' low GPAs and their effect on my school's overall average GPA, I bet my GPA was around the average for my department). I decided on law school, studied for the LSAT for a couple months, and then absolutely knocked it out of the park. Then several months ago I was accepted at HLS (I'll be paying sticker).

My understanding is that people don't ever really fail out of the top schools, so I guess that isn't my concern per se (though correct me if I'm mistaken there). But it's obvious to me that I won't be able to skate by now that my peer group will be one of the heaviest concentrations of elite academic talent anywhere in the world. And I definitely have no real delusions that I'm suddenly going to become studious and diligent in the next couple months when my work ethic has been so questionable for my entire life.

I've read here about how HLS is soooooo not cutthroat, but even if that's true this is a matter of classmates being just as intelligent (and undoubtedly in many cases more intelligent) as/than me, coupled with a dramatically stronger work ethic. Am I blowing this out of proportion, and I'm going to be fine? Alternatively, if I graduate at the bottom of my class from HLS, is it still worth sticker? I'm aware this question probably comes off all kinds of terrible, but it's a legit concern of mine at this point and I would appreciate input on it.


I think most people feel Harvard is worth sticker for even the bottom of the class. You should check out Harvard's loan repayment programs and see if there is a job practicing law you want to do. No way you should gun for biglaw - you will possibly become suicidal. Possibly you could be a law professor as their hours are low, but you have to get good grades at Harvard ( I think) to get a decent law professor job. Avoid transactional practice. Maybe you would like trusts and estates. I think you can do regular hours with that.

If you are going to go to law school at all you should feel decent about paying sticker at Harvard. If sticker at Harvard and using their loan repayment program doesn't appeal to you, I think you need a different profession.
Last edited by sunynp on Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thelawschoolproject
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby thelawschoolproject » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:34 pm

I don't know what to do with this.


Not sure if you're bragging about how easy things are for you or if you're legitimately concerned that your slacker ways won't get you through ls.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:39 pm

22under wrote:Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?
:?

I can't be the only person who is sincerely hoping so.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby Bildungsroman » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:49 pm

22under wrote:my peer group will be one of the heaviest concentrations of elite academic talent anywhere in the world

:lol:

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catholicgirl
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby catholicgirl » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:51 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
22under wrote:Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?
:?

I can't be the only person who is sincerely hoping so.


+1

AtticusJimbo
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby AtticusJimbo » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:55 pm

Um, am I really going to be the first person to call troll here?

delusional
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby delusional » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:06 pm

A long time ago, I posted this topic: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 2&t=144405 . I think the sentiment is similar to yours, and it worked out well for me. If the OP is true, I don't believe you're quite the slacker you think you are, because one doesn't simply get a high enough LSAT to pull H with a 3.7 GPA.

Don't come to law school hoping to chill. If you are planning to work, and you are worried that you don't have the ability that other people do, you should not be concerned.

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kapachino
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby kapachino » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:06 pm

AtticusJimbo wrote:Um, am I really going to be the first person to call troll here?




Doesn't seem to matter.

Image

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rayiner
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby rayiner » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:09 pm

For C/O 2011, Harvard hired 33 of its own grads, sent 26 people to undesirable state/local clerkships, and 23 people to small firms. Another 26 were straight up unemployed or pursuing another degree to stave off unemployment.

It is not roses and peaches at the bottom of the class, even at Harvard. Use that as motivation not to slack.

delusional
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby delusional » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:13 pm

rayiner wrote:For C/O 2011, Harvard hired 33 of its own grads, sent 26 people to undesirable state/local clerkships, and 23 people to small firms. Another 26 were straight up unemployed or pursuing another degree to stave off unemployment.

It is not roses and peaches at the bottom of the class, even at Harvard. Use that as motivation not to slack.
The people in small firms were not paying their loans unless they made above $60,000 or so, nor were the people who worked for the school, most likely. Also, I don't have stats to compare it to, but knowing my classmates, it's likely that half of the 26 were pursuing another degree because they'd always been planning to do that.

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IAFG
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby IAFG » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:16 pm

delusional wrote:
rayiner wrote:For C/O 2011, Harvard hired 33 of its own grads, sent 26 people to undesirable state/local clerkships, and 23 people to small firms. Another 26 were straight up unemployed or pursuing another degree to stave off unemployment.

It is not roses and peaches at the bottom of the class, even at Harvard. Use that as motivation not to slack.
The people in small firms were not paying their loans unless they made above $60,000 or so, nor were the people who worked for the school, most likely. Also, I don't have stats to compare it to, but knowing my classmates, it's likely that half of the 26 were pursuing another degree because they'd always been planning to do that.

He didn't say 26 were pursuing another degree.

delusional
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby delusional » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:19 pm

IAFG wrote:
delusional wrote:
rayiner wrote:For C/O 2011, Harvard hired 33 of its own grads, sent 26 people to undesirable state/local clerkships, and 23 people to small firms. Another 26 were straight up unemployed or pursuing another degree to stave off unemployment.

It is not roses and peaches at the bottom of the class, even at Harvard. Use that as motivation not to slack.
The people in small firms were not paying their loans unless they made above $60,000 or so, nor were the people who worked for the school, most likely. Also, I don't have stats to compare it to, but knowing my classmates, it's likely that half of the 26 were pursuing another degree because they'd always been planning to do that.

He didn't say 26 were pursuing another degree.
I welcome you to perceive my point in light of the important facts that you brought to light.

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rayiner
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby rayiner » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:23 pm

delusional wrote:
rayiner wrote:For C/O 2011, Harvard hired 33 of its own grads, sent 26 people to undesirable state/local clerkships, and 23 people to small firms. Another 26 were straight up unemployed or pursuing another degree to stave off unemployment.

It is not roses and peaches at the bottom of the class, even at Harvard. Use that as motivation not to slack.
The people in small firms were not paying their loans unless they made above $60,000 or so, nor were the people who worked for the school, most likely. Also, I don't have stats to compare it to, but knowing my classmates, it's likely that half of the 26 were pursuing another degree because they'd always been planning to do that.


Small firms usually pay ~$70k. And even if LIPP does protect you from having to pay your loans back, that's still a crappy outcome (that has tripled from C/O 2008 to C/O 2011, so it's not like people are self-selecting into it). Law-school funded jobs are only better than unemployment for the year or so they last. The school isn't hiring you permanently, and nobody would take one if they had good alternative employment.

As for further education, I'm sure a few people always intended to get another degree, but it's pretty curious how the number of people pursing graduate degrees shot up from 5 and 6 for C/O 2008 and C/O 2009 to 16 for C/O 2010 when they had all those no-offers (it's down to 8 this year).

The point is that even at Harvard, the desire to not end up a "I went to Harvard and couldn't get a job" statistic should motivate you not to slack.

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sunynp
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby sunynp » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:26 pm

rayiner wrote:
delusional wrote:
rayiner wrote:For C/O 2011, Harvard hired 33 of its own grads, sent 26 people to undesirable state/local clerkships, and 23 people to small firms. Another 26 were straight up unemployed or pursuing another degree to stave off unemployment.

It is not roses and peaches at the bottom of the class, even at Harvard. Use that as motivation not to slack.
The people in small firms were not paying their loans unless they made above $60,000 or so, nor were the people who worked for the school, most likely. Also, I don't have stats to compare it to, but knowing my classmates, it's likely that half of the 26 were pursuing another degree because they'd always been planning to do that.


Small firms usually pay ~$70k. And even if LIPP does protect you from having to pay your loans back, that's still a crappy outcome (that has tripled from C/O 2008 to C/O 2011). Law-school funded jobs are only better than unemployment for the year or so they last. The school isn't hiring you permanently, and nobody would take one if they had alternative employment. As for further graduate education, I'm sure a few people always intended to get another degree, but it's pretty curious how the number of people pursing graduate degrees shot up from 5 and 6 for C/O 2008 and C/O 2009 to 16 for C/O 2010 when they had all those no-offers.


So are you saying that it isn't a good idea to go to Harvard at sticker? I think there have been other posts where you calculated that going to some schools sticker can pay off over the longterm - but maybe that depends on getting biglaw out of school?

I think OP will do fine at Harvard and should go unless he decides he has no interest in law. OP was at least ambitious enough to get into Harvard.

acrossthelake
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:28 pm

IAFG wrote:Aren't you more worried about getting a real, high-stakes job and finding out that you have no idea how to work hard and grind?


Yeah I think this is the bigger concern.

delusional
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby delusional » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:28 pm

rayiner wrote:
delusional wrote:
rayiner wrote:For C/O 2011, Harvard hired 33 of its own grads, sent 26 people to undesirable state/local clerkships, and 23 people to small firms. Another 26 were straight up unemployed or pursuing another degree to stave off unemployment.

It is not roses and peaches at the bottom of the class, even at Harvard. Use that as motivation not to slack.
The people in small firms were not paying their loans unless they made above $60,000 or so, nor were the people who worked for the school, most likely. Also, I don't have stats to compare it to, but knowing my classmates, it's likely that half of the 26 were pursuing another degree because they'd always been planning to do that.


Small firms usually pay ~$70k. And even if LIPP does protect you from having to pay your loans back, that's still a crappy outcome (that has tripled from C/O 2008 to C/O 2011). Law-school funded jobs are only better than unemployment for the year or so they last. The school isn't hiring you permanently, and nobody would take one if they had good alternative employment.

As for further education, I'm sure a few people always intended to get another degree, but it's pretty curious how the number of people pursing graduate degrees shot up from 5 and 6 for C/O 2008 and C/O 2009 to 16 for C/O 2010 when they had all those no-offers (it's down to 8 this year).
Sure, I don't think underemployment is wonderful, but LIPP is an important thing to take into account when comparing full tuition at H to a partial scholarship somewhere else. And I agree that at least some of the people pursuing degrees are doing it after being unsuccessful at finding jobs. It's good to have previous years' numbers to compare it to to have an idea how many that is.

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rayiner
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby rayiner » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:29 pm

sunynp wrote:
rayiner wrote:
delusional wrote:
rayiner wrote:For C/O 2011, Harvard hired 33 of its own grads, sent 26 people to undesirable state/local clerkships, and 23 people to small firms. Another 26 were straight up unemployed or pursuing another degree to stave off unemployment.

It is not roses and peaches at the bottom of the class, even at Harvard. Use that as motivation not to slack.
The people in small firms were not paying their loans unless they made above $60,000 or so, nor were the people who worked for the school, most likely. Also, I don't have stats to compare it to, but knowing my classmates, it's likely that half of the 26 were pursuing another degree because they'd always been planning to do that.


Small firms usually pay ~$70k. And even if LIPP does protect you from having to pay your loans back, that's still a crappy outcome (that has tripled from C/O 2008 to C/O 2011). Law-school funded jobs are only better than unemployment for the year or so they last. The school isn't hiring you permanently, and nobody would take one if they had alternative employment. As for further graduate education, I'm sure a few people always intended to get another degree, but it's pretty curious how the number of people pursing graduate degrees shot up from 5 and 6 for C/O 2008 and C/O 2009 to 16 for C/O 2010 when they had all those no-offers.


So are you saying that it isn't a good idea to go to Harvard at sticker? I think there have been other posts where you calculated that going to some schools sticker can pay off over the longterm - but maybe that depends on getting biglaw out of school?

I think OP will do fine at Harvard and should go unless he decides he has no interest in law. OP was at least ambitious enough to get into Harvard.


I don't think that at all. I think most of the T14, your outcome will more likely than not be such that you will consider it having been worth paying sticker price. I was responding to the comment earlier: "I think most people feel Harvard is worth sticker for even the bottom of the class." For the vast majority of Harvard's class, the degree will be well worth sticker. But for dozens of people, it won't be.

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IAFG
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby IAFG » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:29 pm

delusional wrote: I welcome you to perceive my point in light of the important facts that you brought to light.

Not sure you still have a point since the number of people going into another degree are undefined.

But it's cool, everyone I know who is doing another degree after their JD says they planned to do that all along anyway, so I guess we'll just take that at face value.

delusional
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby delusional » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:32 pm

IAFG wrote:
delusional wrote: I welcome you to perceive my point in light of the important facts that you brought to light.

Not sure you still have a point since the number of people going into another degree are undefined.

But it's cool, everyone I know who is doing another degree after their JD says they planned to do that all along anyway, so I guess we'll just take that at face value.
The point is that there are at least a few people who do, in fact, before pursuing employment, plan to get another degree right after law school. The difference between these people and the ones you are talking about is that these people are saying it before they have a chance to apply for jobs.

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rayiner
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Re: Am I going to get eaten alive at Harvard?

Postby rayiner » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:32 pm

delusional wrote:]Sure, I don't think underemployment is wonderful, but LIPP is an important thing to take into account when comparing full tuition at H to a partial scholarship somewhere else. And I agree that at least some of the people pursuing degrees are doing it after being unsuccessful at finding jobs. It's good to have previous years' numbers to compare it to to have an idea how many that is.


Nobody is talking about comparing Harvard to other places. Just the idea that it's secure at the very bottom of the class. It isn't, and really never has been. Back in the day it was maybe the bottom 10% that really needed to worry about the possibility of not getting a decent job (although a lot of them would still get one). Now it's probably the bottom 20%. Still great for the vast majority of people, but very good reason for the other 80-90% to gun!




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