Harvard Class of 2012

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2012)
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pinkflamingo
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby pinkflamingo » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:29 pm

mallard wrote:How long does the personal faculty email usually take? So far I've got the email usage agreement, congrats from Dean Kagan, the "admissions update" and "faculty lunches" emails, and Toby Stock's from today.

I got mine on January 11th, and I was in the Thanksgiving admit group. I'm assuming though that it shouldn't take that long for you to get one. It seemed like all of those congrats messages, etc. came within a few weeks of each other.

Objection wrote:I miss Toby already :(

Me too. I feel strangely attached to the guy...

sluggo
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby sluggo » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:26 am

Anyone on here planning on taking HLS over Yale (you can say yes even if you haven't been admitted to yale)?

ahopefulquaker
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby ahopefulquaker » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:30 am

Yeah, I probably would.

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excitedutterance
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby excitedutterance » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:18 am

sluggo wrote:Anyone on here planning on taking HLS over Yale (you can say yes even if you haven't been admitted to yale)?


Not that I've gotten into--or will get into--Yale, but faced with the decision I'd say there's a 95% likelihood I'd still go to HLS.

meesawoosa
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby meesawoosa » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:24 am

i deferred, and already chose hls over yale. no regrets as of yet.

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joshikousei
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby joshikousei » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:27 am

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Last edited by joshikousei on Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

KP429
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby KP429 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:43 am

meesawoosa wrote:i deferred, and already chose hls over yale. no regrets as of yet.


Wow, what a tough decision.. especially before HLS adopted the no-grades policy. What did you do during your year off?

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Objection
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Objection » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:01 am

If I were blessed with the option of choosing between the two, I'd most likely (75%) choose Yale. This is actually down from what were probably 90% odds just a few weeks ago, but HLS emphasis on studying abroad (particularly the JD/LLM) is looking sexier by the day.

I'd visit both, of course.

My reasons have to do with where I'd be happiest. I find them to be equal in almost every aspect (each schools pros and cons are balanced out by the other schools pros and cons).

As of now, Yale's proximity to my family (being 21 hours away from home for undergrad made me realize how much I took for granted - such as being able to watch more than 1 or 2 Steelers games a year with my dad) + no real grades (particularly the first year policy) puts it over the top. You'll have your pick of jobs from either school, really, so I think where you'll be happiest is all that matters.

Please, Yale?

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excitedutterance
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby excitedutterance » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:11 am

Objection wrote:If I were blessed with the option of choosing between the two, I'd most likely (75%) choose Yale. This is actually down from what were probably 90% odds just a few weeks ago, but HLS emphasis on studying abroad (particularly the JD/LLM) is looking sexier by the day.


The Cambridge LLM? That looks like the best study abroad program at any University ever in the history of time. I might just be a little partial to Cambridge, though.

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joshikousei
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby joshikousei » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:13 am

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Last edited by joshikousei on Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bahnerjulia
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby bahnerjulia » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:17 am

ahopefulquaker wrote:Yeah, I probably would.

this is a purely purely hypothetical question to me, but I would choose Harvard. Just because it's always been my dream school. And because it's not in New Haven.

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excitedutterance
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby excitedutterance » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:18 am

joshikousei wrote:
excitedutterance wrote:
Objection wrote:If I were blessed with the option of choosing between the two, I'd most likely (75%) choose Yale. This is actually down from what were probably 90% odds just a few weeks ago, but HLS emphasis on studying abroad (particularly the JD/LLM) is looking sexier by the day.


The Cambridge LLM? That looks like the best study abroad program at any University ever in the history of time. I might just be a little partial to Cambridge, though.


yeah, it's pretty amazing.

--LinkRemoved--

i have an affinity for cambridge too.


I spent 2 summers there during college. Easily two of the best experiences of my life.

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mallard
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby mallard » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:19 am

Starting to see where Yale's yield rate drops to the still astonishingly high 75% or so.

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Objection
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Objection » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:36 am

excitedutterance wrote:
joshikousei wrote:
excitedutterance wrote:
Objection wrote:If I were blessed with the option of choosing between the two, I'd most likely (75%) choose Yale. This is actually down from what were probably 90% odds just a few weeks ago, but HLS emphasis on studying abroad (particularly the JD/LLM) is looking sexier by the day.


The Cambridge LLM? That looks like the best study abroad program at any University ever in the history of time. I might just be a little partial to Cambridge, though.


yeah, it's pretty amazing.

--LinkRemoved--

i have an affinity for cambridge too.


I spent 2 summers there during college. Easily two of the best experiences of my life.



I've never been. My biggest UG regret is not taking advantage of all the opportunities, particularly studying abroad. I'd hate to miss out on that again.

sluggo
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby sluggo » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:46 am

I agree. The LLM sounds ridic. My only worry is that it's not all that practical... what tangible benefits do you gain from the LLM (how significant is it for academia or other hard-to-get things)?

On another note, everyone committed to going to Harvard should obviously convince all the Yale crossadmits to do the same, thus lowering their yield and getting H to #1 in the rankings. :wink:

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Haribo
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Haribo » Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:56 am

Objection wrote:
excitedutterance wrote:
joshikousei wrote:
excitedutterance wrote:
The Cambridge LLM? That looks like the best study abroad program at any University ever in the history of time. I might just be a little partial to Cambridge, though.


yeah, it's pretty amazing.

--LinkRemoved--

i have an affinity for cambridge too.


I spent 2 summers there during college. Easily two of the best experiences of my life.



I've never been. My biggest UG regret is not taking advantage of all the opportunities, particularly studying abroad. I'd hate to miss out on that again.


Yeah, I didn't bother applying to Yale because they don't officially support study abroad (they "prefer" that students spend all three years at Yale) and this is important to me. I'd LOVE to do the Cambridge JD/LLM if my grades are high enough, but more for QOL reasons than anything practical - I have some friends who spent time at Cambridge, and it was amazing. I visited a few times and have always regretted not doing an exchange there as an undergrad.

Also, I've mentioned this before, but I've done "no grades" before (first year in undergrad) and while it's fun at the time, it screws you later because you don't actually learn the basics. I'm going to law school to learn; I don't want professors telling me not to bother studying for my finals, not even to look at a book over break, because everyone's going to pass anyway.

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totalidiot
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby totalidiot » Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:20 am

Objection wrote:If I were blessed with the option of choosing between the two, I'd most likely (75%) choose Yale. This is actually down from what were probably 90% odds just a few weeks ago, but HLS emphasis on studying abroad (particularly the JD/LLM) is looking sexier by the day.


Thing is, there's no real reason to expect yourself to be one of the very few chosen for the JD/LLM study abroad. In that sense, it's more of a small "hey, that would be really nice" than a "this should be a factor by which I decide which law school I should attend."

For my part, I'd take YLS in a heartbeat. Ha, that said, I'll probably not be afforded the opportunity to make that decision.

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Objection
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Objection » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:18 pm

totalidiot wrote:
Objection wrote:If I were blessed with the option of choosing between the two, I'd most likely (75%) choose Yale. This is actually down from what were probably 90% odds just a few weeks ago, but HLS emphasis on studying abroad (particularly the JD/LLM) is looking sexier by the day.


Thing is, there's no real reason to expect yourself to be one of the very few chosen for the JD/LLM study abroad. In that sense, it's more of a small "hey, that would be really nice" than a "this should be a factor by which I decide which law school I should attend."

For my part, I'd take YLS in a heartbeat. Ha, that said, I'll probably not be afforded the opportunity to make that decision.


Supposedly, it's not as competitive at it appears to be on paper.

I've been emailing the director of the program as well as people who have done it...here are a couple of responses:

First, congratulations on your admission!

Although there are only six spots for the Cambridge program and the selection process is competitive, we do not receive as many applications as prospective applicants often fear! The Cambridge LLM is a wonderful program and it's a terrific fit for some students, but it requires an adjustment to the normal trajectory of law school that is not appealing to all JDs.

It is not uncommon for a student to indicate interest in semester abroad if s/he is not able to go to Cambridge. Applicants to the Cambridge program are notified by the end of December if they are being recommended to Cambridge. If they are not recommended, they still have plenty of time to apply for semester abroad by the February 15 deadline. If a student is recommended but is not admitted, we would also accept an application for semester abroad and could extend the deadline if circumstances warranted.

It is not possible, however, to participate in more than one of our study abroad programs.

I hope this answers your questions and look forward to meeting you.





And here is the grand daddy of all responses...I felt bad he wrote so much.

Hello,

Thanks for your message. I am glad you're considering Harvard and the
Cambridge LLM program. I enjoyed it very much, and found it very
worthwhile. I will try to address your concerns about employment and
scheduling -- my basic message is not to worry. I have divided the
discussion up by topic below.


LARGE EMPLOYERS:

I found that the scheduling issue was not a terribly serious problem
for employers, especially large ones. The point to remember with big
firms -- if you are thinking of them -- is that they have dozens and
dozens of lawyers entering and leaving the firm every year and at all
different times of year. If you finish up in a January, the worst
case is that they'd tell you to wait any number of weeks or months
before starting so you can join an incoming cohort, instead of
starting right after the February bar exam date all by yourself. But
a very long delay seems unlikely -- I know that the firm I have an
offer with (Sullivan & Cromwell) will start people in the spring, and
a friend of mine from the Cambridge program at another firm (Davis,
Polk & Wardwell) has a similar option to start early in the year; this
does not seem to be unusual among major firms.

In any event, employers almost never decline to accept a good
candidate just because he or she will start later on account of doing
something worthwhile / educational / interesting. A good example is
when a job candidate takes a year-long judicial clerkship. Because
you haven't started at law school you may not know the specifics of
the hiring-process timing yet, but generally people end up with
permanent job offers at firms or government offices before they are
even sure if they have, or will accept, an offer to clerk with a judge
after law school. Big employers know this, and have well established
policies about deferring already-made job offers so that candidates
can clerk. From all I've heard, firms are willing to do similar
things for Cambridge program participants, and I think major
government offices will be similar.

Basically, to address your question, "Why hire Jeremy and not have him
able to start full time for an extra year when we can hire Jane Doe?",
the firm's answer is something like: "We'll hire Jane Doe to start
now, and Jeremy to start later, so that when next year rolls around we
won't have to go back out and spent time and effort to find a Jane Roe
to fill the new vacancy which we know will open up." You can just
fill a spot in next year's "class" instead of this year's.


A NOTE ABOUT JUDICIAL CLERKSHIPS:

Speaking of clerkships, if you are thinking of doing one of those, the
odds are that you will have to cool your heels for a few months after
graduating in January, because most clerkships run summer-to-summer
and have much less schedule flexibility than firms(because judge's
chambers only have three or four employees at a time, instead of
dozens or hundreds like at the Department of Justice or a big firm).
I'm doing that, and it's okay; use the time for an extended bar trip
in the spring, do some academic work then, or do some odd jobs for the
money (keep your eye on your student loans -- repayments begin six
months after leaving school, which is July if you graduate in January
-- but clerks often file for a hardship forbearance because their
salaries are so low, so you can probably swing it that repayments
won't even begin until your full time job starts). So in my case, I
did the Cambridge program and I'm slated to do a one year clerkship,
and my firm's hiring office barely batted an eyelash -- they just
deferred my start date from October 2008 to October 2010.

Remember also that if you are thinking about clerkships, it is
reasonable to apply in the summer after finishing your Cambridge year.
There is a clerkship application and interview schedule which
generally requires paperwork to be ready in August and interviews to
be held in early September of 3L year. Since a Cambridge participant
does not have a full 3L year left, you can probably get permission to
send out materials early (I did), but it more or less amounts to
interviewing at the beginning of your final fall semester like
everyone else. The advantage is if you have friends from 1L and 2L
who are now ahead of you and have started their clerkships, they can
help guide you through the process. Some judges, especially on the
federal appellate bench, will sometimes hire a candidate for two years
out, instead of hiring at the beginning of 3L for a start date right
after graduation / bar exam. Thus, you might try doing the standard
interview process the August/September before leaving for Cambridge
(be very explicit about your unusual timing in your cover letters to
the judges) and seeing if any judges would be willing to sign you up
that far in advance. I did not try this, but it only costs time,
postage and some pestering to get the Harvard bureaucracy to go along
with it (there is a good chance that they will go along with it,
because it is in Harvard's interest to maximize your clerkship
chances, because that makes Harvard look better), so think about it.


SMALLER EMPLOYERS:

Regarding smaller firms and government offices -- I'm less certain
about how they will treat the Cambridge program exactly. I cannot
imagine that they would hold it against you, especially because they
also deal with people getting clerkships after a job offer is on the
table, and many (as I understand it) offer deferrals until the
clerkship it over, like the big firms do. I could imagine, though,
that they are more likely to rule out a spring start date, and tell
you to take a full year deferral as if you were clerking, forcing you
to wait out the spring. For any given smaller employer, sound out
their policies on clerkships, and use that as a template for figuring
out how to handle the Cambridge schedule. Any small employer big
enough to be hiring at least one new law graduate each year (and
that's not very big, compared to the thousand-lawyer megafirms that
hire dozens or hundreds of lawyers a year) would probably not have
much trouble saying in response to either a clerkship offer or the
Cambridge program "we'll start Jane this year and you next year,
allowing us to take a year off from the recruitment game."


A NOTE ABOUT THE JOB INTERVIEW AND CAMBRIDGE APPLICATION SCHEDULES:

The timing of the hiring process tends to work in your favor, in the
following way. Most employers seeking to recruit HLS students to work
for them full time after graduation (both major firms and major
government offices) will hold on-campus recruiting interviews at the
very beginning of 2L year, which will lead to call-back interviews and
firm offers of 2L summer jobs by around October. Some smaller
employers will not come to campus physically, but will post openings
at OCI during that season. Those summer jobs are the dry-run for
full-time employment, and at the end of the summer each prospect is
evaluated for a full time offer -- traditionally, almost everyone who
behaves himself is given an offer; the summer is just to screen out
the sociopaths and weirdos. The main screening is really done during
the early 2L interviews, when they look hard at your transcripts and
resume. At the same time, if the traditional Cambridge application
deadlines still hold, you won't even begin to file your paperwork,
until sometime in November, and you probably won't know at all of your
chances of admission until at least December/January of your 2L year,
and final confirmation will usually be much later.

Thus, any major firm or government office in which you might want to
work will have interviewed you and put a job offer on the table (at a
cost of time and money to themselves) before you've even taken formal
steps to apply to the Cambridge program. During the actual
interviews, its up to you whether to volunteer the fact that you're
thinking about the program (I did not volunteer this) and/or up to
them to ask if you are thinking of such plans (none of my prospective
employers asked) -- unlike most joint-degree programs, this won't show
up on your transcript or your official paperwork until the end of 2L
year. Once the 2L summer job offers are on the table, the bargaining
advantage is yours: You will likely have several reasonable offers,
and once you formally submit your Cambridge paperwork in November you
can call them all back and tell them that you just applied to this
program, and if you get in the timing with be thus-and-such, and ask
what they are willing to work out with you. During the interview
process, be sure to ask what their clerkship deferral policies are,
and use those as a point of reference. Unless the economy continues
to be very, very bad, you will likely have several very good offers,
and thus if one employer seems hesitant you can just turn to another,
or (if you'd prefer to be with the first one), use the willingness of
other employers as a bargaining chip.

In my case, though, I waited until I was sure that I could go on the
program before broaching the subject with my firm (much later than
November), because they were pretty up-front about being open to
clerkship-type deferrals, so I was not worried about a "my way or the
highway" ultimatum. At the very minimum, I think you should discuss
the program and the timing issues with your prospective employer
before you accept any formal *full time* job offers -- meaning, before
accepting the offer you get at the end of your 2L summer -- though it
is entirely reasonable to discuss this earlier in order to get
explicit assurances. Most employers generally understand that until
you commit to a full time offer, you are still free to shop around,
make your own plans, and decline their offer. Keeping your
cards/plans close to your chest until you choose to discuss something
is acceptable -- it is higher stakes, though, since once you don't
have several open offers they can also reasonably say (though I think
most employers are unlikely to do so, especially if they have a
permissive clerkship policy and don't want to appear mean) "the offer
is for next fall only; take it or leave it" and leave you feeling more
pressured.


SECOND ROUND RECRUITING: THE 3L INTERVIEW PROCESS

Finally, there is a fairly active 3L recruitment system, which
generally consists of 3L participating in the same beginning-of-year
recruitment process that is mainly aimed at 2Ls. This is for the rare
3L who does not get an offer at the end of the summer, and for the
more frequent 3L who has an open offer but decides to look at
different firms or cities because of changed personal circumstances,
dislike of the past summer's firm, or something else. If you do the
Cambridge program, you could probably double-dip in this system. The
English academic year starts pretty late, so you could spend September
in the U.S. contacting and interviewing with prospective employers
(you'd have to disclose the fact you were going to England, in order
to plan interview and summer employment logistics) and probably land a
post-Cambridge summer job which would then turn into a full time job
offer after HLS. A friend of mine in the Cambridge program did a
little bit of this. Finally, you could use your last semester at HLS
to interview yet again -- I'm not sure what kind of early start dates
employers would offer at that point, but at a minimum I'm sure you
could get a job starting in the fall with all the other 3Ls being
hired then too. Remember, too, that your Cambridge LLM degree makes
you a more interesting and marketable candidate, which is helpful in
the long-run.


LAW REVIEW AND JOURNALS:

I did not make law review, but I have good friend who was on it, so I
know a bit about how it works. I know that their system may pose some
difficulties to doing the Cambridge program. At the least, doing
Cambridge may make it impossible to run for and hold a management
position in the law review organization, but you may be able to
accommodate a rank-and-file membership, though you may end up owing
them some labor during the spring after you are officially finished
with HLS. In any event, the law review selection process takes place
after your 1L spring semester is over, so you'll know over the summer
if you're doing it, which is well before you'd apply to Cambridge,
giving you plenty of time to work out the details. Regarding the
other journals -- I participated in two -- their membership structures
and work requirements are much less onerous than the law review, so
while you might not be able to run for a masthead position, you can
still participate and work your way up to a mid-level editor position
by the end of 2L year (and then basically bow-out when you leave the
country), which is a worthwhile experience and a good resume item.


BAR EXAM:

Finally, as I've probably noted before in passing, finishing your HLS
courses in January allows you to sign up for the February bar exam
date in most states -- the other traditional exam date is in July.
Note that HLS will not formally confer winter degrees until March, and
some jurisdictions will not let you sit the exam without the actual
degree, but most allow you to sit as long as you furnish a letter from
the law school stating that you've completed all your course
requirements by the time of the exam. So look up the requirements for
the state(s) in which you'd like to qualify, to see if you can use the
February date for any of them.


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION:

My one-line summary is: For most employers, the timing of the
Cambridge program should not pose a problem, let alone a serious one.

All the same, do your homework, try to figure out what kinds of jobs
you want to take or are willing to take, what sorts of other
activities you're thinking of doing (journals, clerkships, etc.), and
how you can or should fit all that together with your timing. Be
willing to be flexible, especially with regard to the few months that
you'll have after finishing school in January. The Cambridge program,
with it's odd scheduling, probably creates more opportunities than it
forecloses, but since it is unusual, you will have to think things out
for yourself, and not just rely on the timing of the herd to make sure
you're getting a shot all the opportunities that are really out there.

Write back if you have any follow-up questions about any of these issues.

Yours,
Noam

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zabagabe
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby zabagabe » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:07 pm

Obj, wow, thanks for sharing this. If you're curious about the Oxbridge experience, I'm currently at the Other one - PM me. :)

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joshikousei
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby joshikousei » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:47 pm

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Last edited by joshikousei on Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

SouthernElle
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby SouthernElle » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:57 pm

Wow, that was definitely extensive- thanks!

Also, has anyone started thinking about housing for next year, or is everyone waiting until the ASW to start making decisions?

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Objection
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Objection » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:00 pm

SouthernElle wrote:Wow, that was definitely extensive- thanks!

Also, has anyone started thinking about housing for next year, or is everyone waiting until the ASW to start making decisions?


I'm waiting for:

1. The ASW so I can explore the housing options
2. HLS to update their housing information on their website so I can see if they're looking for people for any of the 3 on-campus apartments.

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excitedutterance
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby excitedutterance » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:32 pm

Hahaha that was such a law student response: long, painfully thorough, and literal as can be. Helpful, though.

I'm really excited to apply for Cambridge, but I feel bad dragging my boyfriend out to MA (and making him take the bar there AND in CA) and then bailing for the other Cambridge. Hmph.

meesawoosa
Posts: 62
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby meesawoosa » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:21 pm

KP429 wrote:
meesawoosa wrote:i deferred, and already chose hls over yale. no regrets as of yet.


Wow, what a tough decision.. especially before HLS adopted the no-grades policy. What did you do during your year off?


It wasn't too tough of a decision actually... though the one thing pulling me strongly towards YLS was the grading system, so HLS' announcement of their grade change was amaaaazing. HLS' international law offerings, reputation abroad, winter term opportunities, clinics, and opp. to cross-register with HBS pretty much cinched it for me though. For my year off, I've been working in a law/accounting/business advisory firm as an associate and have been dancing with a local ballet company. It's been very refreshing, and now I'm excited to get back to school.

KP429
Posts: 191
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby KP429 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:32 pm

meesawoosa wrote:
KP429 wrote:
meesawoosa wrote:i deferred, and already chose hls over yale. no regrets as of yet.


Wow, what a tough decision.. especially before HLS adopted the no-grades policy. What did you do during your year off?


It wasn't too tough of a decision actually... though the one thing pulling me strongly towards YLS was the grading system, so HLS' announcement of their grade change was amaaaazing. HLS' international law offerings, reputation abroad, winter term opportunities, clinics, and opp. to cross-register with HBS pretty much cinched it for me though. For my year off, I've been working in a law/accounting/business advisory firm as an associate and have been dancing with a local ballet company. It's been very refreshing, and now I'm excited to get back to school.


Haha, that's some nice perspective re: the lack of difficulty of picking H over Y. What sort of clinics does Harvard offer that Yale doesn't? I wonder if the "no grades" at Harvard will work to the detriment of students there. I talked to a couple of students this past weekend and they expressed a little bit of frustration that it might be a lot more difficult to differentiate between students now that transcripts will be so similar. Yale might be able to pull it off because there are so few kids, but with 550 Harvard kids w/ roughly identical transcripts.. I'm not so sure.

A year off does sound pretty refreshing, though... I need to get out of the northeast and back to sunny Miami.




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