Harvard Class of 2012

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

Postby Objection » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:37 pm

KP429 wrote:
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.



The HLS grading system won't be the same in practice as YLS' grading system.

YLS has no curve, AFAIK.

HLS has to.

KP429
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby KP429 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:41 pm

I don't think that Yale or Harvard's grading system is set in stone with curves or no curves. I think it depends on the professor more than anything else. None of the students I spoke with at Harvard had any idea about how grades would actually be broken down/curved/whatever. Even if there was a curve at Harvard (if you can provide a source that says there will be, I'd appreciate it greatly), what would be the practical difference between a H and Y transcript? A couple more H's? A few more LPs? I don't see it.

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excitedutterance
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby excitedutterance » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:43 pm

KP429 wrote:
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.


That's a big part of what draws me to Harvard. That is, I hate law school students. I think we are all horrible people. Harvard students are so frustrated because they went into perhaps the most competitive (on a personal level) school in the country, and they're finding themselves unable to be the clear superior of those around them. My goal at HLS is to overcome my competitive nature and do as best I can with less concern for how well others are doing than I might have otherwise. The tipping point in favor of Harvard is that, with a bigger class, it will be easier for me to find people who aren't your typical law school student, and to hopefully be friends with them. Something tells me that at Yale, far more than at Harvard, the social circles that form early on are inescapable. That's the usual downside of any small school, but when it's a law school I think the point takes on a lot more validity, at least with respect to my preferences.

As for a curve? Meh, still better than losing sleep over the miserable failure of a 7.19 GPA.

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Objection
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Objection » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:54 pm

KP:

PinkTiki wrote:
And something else I think you guys might find interesting which I just found out from a professor. Under the new grading system, professors are required to give out low passes. A high pass is what was a A+ to an A-, a pass is a B+ or a B, and a low pass is a B- and below.



vs

Beginning in your second term, you are evaulated under the H/P/LP/F system. I spoke with the Registar, keeper of all Yale grades and transcripts since the beginning of time (and hence the most powerful person here), who told me that Fs are almost unheard of, and LPs are "absolutely rare." This means that almost all grades awarded at Yale are Hs and Ps (there is no curve so the number of each is up to each professor).

KP429
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby KP429 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:00 pm

2 things:

1. It's sort of strange that multiple students at Harvard were unaware of how grades would break down under the new system. Maybe PinkTiki is just really on top of the game, but I don't think there's really a "curve" in the strict sense we often use the term.

2. Requiring some low passes /=/ curve. Perhaps one or two students in a class deserve a low pass. That's not that farfetched considering there are so many more students at Harvard than Yale. I think Harvard is modeling their system after Yale and there won't be much practical difference between the two when all is said and done.

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Objection
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Objection » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:04 pm

KP429 wrote:2 things:

1. It's sort of strange that multiple students at Harvard were unaware of how grades would break down under the new system. Maybe PinkTiki is just really on top of the game, but I don't think there's really a "curve" in the strict sense we often use the term.

2. Requiring some low passes /=/ curve. Perhaps one or two students in a class deserve a low pass. That's not that farfetched considering there are so many more students at Harvard than Yale. I think Harvard is modeling their system after Yale and there won't be much practical difference between the two when all is said and done.



I think there is a huge difference between the institution requiring some low passes and the institution leaving it entirely up to the professor. The former does does not give the process the latitude to not give out LPs if no one deserves it; the latter allows them to not give LPs if there is no one who deserves an LP but also allows them to give it if someone does.

To be honest, I'm completely against the idea of grade quotas. Makes no sense to me and make an already arbitrary system even more so.

KP429
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby KP429 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:08 pm

I mean.. it really boils down to how you think you'll fare at HLS/YLS. I'm fairly certain that I will never be in danger of a low pass at Harvard, so it really comes down to H/P at Yale v. H/P at Harvard. Do you foresee a tangible difference in that respect?

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Objection
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Objection » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:13 pm

KP429 wrote:I mean.. it really boils down to how you think you'll fare at HLS/YLS. I'm fairly certain that I will never be in danger of a low pass at Harvard, so it really comes down to H/P at Yale v. H/P at Harvard. Do you foresee a tangible difference in that respect?


The security of having the floor set at P vs the floor set at LP (even if it's unlikely you'll ever hit that floor) is where the big difference lies.

It seems that it would - at least in theory - reduce pressure.

And HLS can't compete with YLS 1L year in terms of grades.

littleboyblue
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby littleboyblue » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:49 pm

Objection wrote:And HLS can't compete with YLS 1L year in terms of grades.


its just one semester that is p/f at yls.

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Objection
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Objection » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:57 pm

littleboyblue wrote:
Objection wrote:And HLS can't compete with YLS 1L year in terms of grades.


its just one semester that is p/f at yls.


I think I keep making this mistake, ha.

The underlying point still stands, however.

That semester will work wonders for easing you into law school and making the rest of your time there better.

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iagolives
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby iagolives » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:41 pm

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


This is off-topic and ignore/PM if you want but what college are you at (I studied at "the other one" last year too....) :)

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Objection
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Objection » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:47 pm

Does anyone know if a law student can purchase membership to Shad Hall?

Shad Hall gym >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Hemenway.

It's actually kind of embarrassing how much better it is.

meesawoosa
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby meesawoosa » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:56 pm

to KP429:

re: frustration towards lack of differentiation between grades at HLS
---from what i've heard, law school grades can seem fairly random at times. i spoke to several profs at HLS and YLS - those at YLS emphasized that the best part of the grading policy there was that they didn't have to make fairly arbitrary cutoffs between what was an A- exam versus B+, or what was B versus B-. I think even if there will now be less differentiation among HLS students' transcripts, it will still be a more honest grading system, if you will, since it will take away the stresses of pluses/minuses, etc. even if there is still honors, pass, low pass, fail. also, my undergrad had no pluses or minuses and i can speak from experience that the lack of differentiation is not a big deal at all. people who studied super hard still got grades that demonstrated that, and the overall stress level was GREATLY reduced because noone was nervous about being edged out for a minus or a plus.

re: clinics at HLS --- i'm particularly interested in hls' extensive human rights program and its associated clinics. also drawn to the supreme court clinic (which i hear is very competitive, even though there are two of them - one fullyear and one for winter term i think), and the war crimes prosecution clinic. that's just me personally though, and i still don't know a ton about these.

meesawoosa
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby meesawoosa » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:58 pm

oh, and when i visited YLS' ASW last year, i spoke with several current students about YLS' gradign policy, and there is no set curve - it's basically all up to the discretion of the professor. some professors give out almost no H's each year - others give them out generously. some just automatically pass everyone, some are much more stringent. it sounded like a fairly subjective grading system - the breakdowns of the H's vs. P's just depended on your prof.

sluggo
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby sluggo » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:24 pm

Hey guys, I'm actually really curious about the whole grades thing too... but one quick question re: the ASW.

Is anyone staying with a student to save on expenses, or is that not really being encouraged this year? Seems like everyone has just been talking about the Marriot/Hyatt etc.

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iagolives
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby iagolives » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:29 pm

sluggo wrote:Hey guys, I'm actually really curious about the whole grades thing too... but one quick question re: the ASW.

Is anyone staying with a student to save on expenses, or is that not really being encouraged this year? Seems like everyone has just been talking about the Marriot/Hyatt etc.


I'm wondering that too. Also, I think living w/ a student would be a good chance to kind of see how someone navigates student life.

ender04
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby ender04 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:42 pm

Hey,

Does anyone know what's up with the financial aid app? I'm assuming it's not going to be available by the end of January, right?

And, yeah, I'm hoping to stay with a student for ASW... I need to save all the money$ I can for a big ivy league education. It'll be the first non-public school of my life, and I'm still not ready for the lifestyle change. :?

sluggo
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby sluggo » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:00 pm

Eh, nm. I just got the Hyatt Cambridge for 60 per night. My gf and I will be there (she's an admit also) and we're looking forward to meeting up with you guys!

Oh P.S. Got the dvds they sent... I'm freaking pumped about the ridiculous amt of opportunities this place has.

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Objection
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Objection » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:19 pm

sluggo wrote:Eh, nm. I just got the Hyatt Cambridge for 60 per night. My gf and I will be there (she's an admit also) and we're looking forward to meeting up with you guys!

Oh P.S. Got the dvds they sent... I'm freaking pumped about the ridiculous amt of opportunities this place has.


Woot! Someone else in the Hyatt!

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iagolives
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby iagolives » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:45 pm

sluggo wrote:Eh, nm. I just got the Hyatt Cambridge for 60 per night. My gf and I will be there (she's an admit also) and we're looking forward to meeting up with you guys!

Oh P.S. Got the dvds they sent... I'm freaking pumped about the ridiculous amt of opportunities this place has.


Yeah, I'm not going to lie, I'm a sucker for DVDs and glossy brochures and I went home to watch them as soon as I got them. I was glad I dind't run into anyone, though; saying you are on your way to watch informational DVDs does very little to help your street cred...

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PinkTiki
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby PinkTiki » Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:14 pm

Objection wrote:
KP429 wrote:2 things:

1. It's sort of strange that multiple students at Harvard were unaware of how grades would break down under the new system. Maybe PinkTiki is just really on top of the game, but I don't think there's really a "curve" in the strict sense we often use the term.

2. Requiring some low passes /=/ curve. Perhaps one or two students in a class deserve a low pass. That's not that farfetched considering there are so many more students at Harvard than Yale. I think Harvard is modeling their system after Yale and there won't be much practical difference between the two when all is said and done.



I think there is a huge difference between the institution requiring some low passes and the institution leaving it entirely up to the professor. The former does does not give the process the latitude to not give out LPs if no one deserves it; the latter allows them to not give LPs if there is no one who deserves an LP but also allows them to give it if someone does.

To be honest, I'm completely against the idea of grade quotas. Makes no sense to me and make an already arbitrary system even more so.


No one is exactly sure HOW the curve will break down, but there IS a curve. One of my professors said this was one of the reasons for changing to the new grading system - that there would be a curve they could not deviate from as much as they had before - meaning people wouldn't have their grades suffer by taking a "harder" professor. I'm not sure how many low passes are required, it may be only one or two per section, they refuse to tell us.

I think this is one of the stupidest things about the new grading system. Since they're obviously attempting to copy Yale, they should go ahead and copy them all the way.

1004LSAT
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby 1004LSAT » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:34 pm

Do you think they'll ever reveal how many low passes will be required for each class or do they plan to keep that a secret?

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PinkTiki
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby PinkTiki » Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:52 pm

I doubt they'll ever officially announce it, but people will probably be able to figure it out.

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iagolives
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby iagolives » Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:38 pm

Outside of YLS and SLS, which other ASW/open houses are y'all attending?

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JackieTreehorn
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby JackieTreehorn » Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:54 am

I think I'm going to go to Virginia




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