Harvard Class of 2012

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2012)
KP429
Posts: 191
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby KP429 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:25 am

meesawoosa wrote: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.


Re: Grades at HLS
I come from an undergrad w/o plusses or minuses (in fact there was near rebellion a year or two back when the board wanted to move to a +/- system) as well and while I agree that it created much less stress level, you were still working with grades as opposed to descriptive terms (H/P/LP etc). Moreover, LS is not the same as UG at all. UG kids are going all over the place -- law school, med school, teaching positions, consulting jobs, running daddy's business, etc. In LS, for the most part, you'll be competing against kids who have very similar interests. How would a grading system that works to lessen distinctions help that cause? Moreover, with a class of 550 extremely bright kids, shouldn't distinctions be of paramount importance? I am sure there are other ways to distinguish yourself, but it's made that much harder by the lack of grades. To me, it's so clearly obvious that H is emulating Yale that I really believe it isn't worth arguing about the supposed merits of H's system relative to Yale. In my mind, Yale can pull off the lack of grades with their smaller class (Stanford, too), but at Harvard, I'm not so sure.

Re: Clinics
How many of these clinics run during the winter term only? The term is only like 3 weeks isn't it? Maybe I just don't understand the whole system very well. Your help would be appreciated!

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homestyle
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby homestyle » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:44 am

Krswmact wrote:congrats new admits!

there is a lot of stuff on the 3rd day of the asw according to the schedule. You can find the schedule on the admitted student site.

How long after your TS2 were you able to access the website?

masterpinky0509
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby masterpinky0509 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:08 am

I got the KB2 as well, but was also unable to get into the admitted students website yesterday. Do we wait until they send us an email explaining how to log-in? I've heard on these forums that it's JSmith.jd12 and your LSAC #, but that didn't work.

Krswmact
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:34 am

Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Krswmact » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:40 am

I think I was able to log on pretty quickly. But It seems that the group of admits before you had to wait a bit to gain access.

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FrenchiePatootie
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby FrenchiePatootie » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:49 am

mwahaha

just logged in.
edit:don't capitalize your name.

Pumpkin
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:13 pm

Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Pumpkin » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:40 pm

so nothing in your name is capitalized? and then the lsac number with or without the L? mine won't work

Pumpkin
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:13 pm

Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Pumpkin » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:43 pm

nevermind, got it!

meesawoosa
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:49 pm

Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby meesawoosa » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:09 pm

KP429 wrote:
meesawoosa wrote: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.


Re: Grades at HLS
I come from an undergrad w/o plusses or minuses (in fact there was near rebellion a year or two back when the board wanted to move to a +/- system) as well and while I agree that it created much less stress level, you were still working with grades as opposed to descriptive terms (H/P/LP etc). Moreover, LS is not the same as UG at all. UG kids are going all over the place -- law school, med school, teaching positions, consulting jobs, running daddy's business, etc. In LS, for the most part, you'll be competing against kids who have very similar interests. How would a grading system that works to lessen distinctions help that cause? Moreover, with a class of 550 extremely bright kids, shouldn't distinctions be of paramount importance? I am sure there are other ways to distinguish yourself, but it's made that much harder by the lack of grades. To me, it's so clearly obvious that H is emulating Yale that I really believe it isn't worth arguing about the supposed merits of H's system relative to Yale. In my mind, Yale can pull off the lack of grades with their smaller class (Stanford, too), but at Harvard, I'm not so sure.

Re: Clinics
How many of these clinics run during the winter term only? The term is only like 3 weeks isn't it? Maybe I just don't understand the whole system very well. Your help would be appreciated!


KP, did we go to the same undergrad???

I think the lack of distinctions will help the "cause" as you so put it because those small distinctions were, to begin with, rather arbitrary. Students felt that, professors felt that way, etc. As for grades vs. the "descriptive terms" of H, P, LP ---> those are essentially A, B, C. So I don't see a problem.

sluggo
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby sluggo » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:30 pm

Congrats to the new admits. Hope to see everyone at the March ASW!

KP429
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby KP429 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:44 pm

Well, I guess we really *don't* know the perfectly right answer at this point re: grades. Your comments, like some others, is premised on the idea that HLS will actually utilize all the new descriptive gradations, but what is the evidence that this is what they will do in practice? And if Yale is the model (and the competitor), then they won't. There will be just 2 grades, with an occasional bad third grade for real slackers.

I am super excited to be (potentially) attending Harvard this fall, but the grades thing really worries me. I hate to be the guinea pig in this whole process.

KP429
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby KP429 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:52 pm

Btw, read the comments section here: http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leit ... w-sch.html

Pretty balanced (and perhaps a re-hash) of both sides on the grading change.

sluggo
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby sluggo » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:55 pm

Are people simply stressing that they might get a LP? I don't see what the problem is... are you really going to law school to be a complete screwoff? With a section of ~80, it seems reasonable to think that 1-2 LP's might be merited by those students who are simply not even trying.

Does anyone have any idea what a typical distribution of H's might be? Seems like the new system will reward consistently being very good across all subjects, rather than really killing it in any given one.

Also, am I the only one that kindasorta wishes Harvard still had grades?

*quickly exits to duck gunner comments*

littleboyblue
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:12 am

Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby littleboyblue » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:56 pm

KP429 wrote:I am super excited to be (potentially) attending Harvard this fall, but the grades thing really worries me. I hate to be the guinea pig in this whole process.


are you leaning towards h or y?

KP429
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby KP429 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:08 pm

sluggo wrote:Are people simply stressing that they might get a LP? I don't see what the problem is... are you really going to law school to be a complete screwoff? With a section of ~80, it seems reasonable to think that 1-2 LP's might be merited by those students who are simply not even trying.

Does anyone have any idea what a typical distribution of H's might be? Seems like the new system will reward consistently being very good across all subjects, rather than really killing it in any given one.

Also, am I the only one that kindasorta wishes Harvard still had grades?

*quickly exits to duck gunner comments*


No, that's the whole point of what I've been saying. No one on here at least is going to be in jeopardy of a LP. So basically we'll be getting an H or a P -- the same as at Yale, except with far more kids vying to do the same sorts of things while at school. The H/P system at Yale might be a lot more subjective and Harvard may still be graded on a curve, but:

1. If H is emulating Yale, why would it be that much different,
2. Even if H is still graded on a 'curve', do you really think there will be a practical difference b/w 2 people's transcripts?

It may all work out perfectly, but who knows for sure? I just wish I wasn't part of the first class to find out -_-

To Littleboyblue: No idea.. no idea at all! Harvard offers a couple of courses in topics that Yale does not, but my Yale "mentor/buddy/whatever" was really convincing. I'm fairly confident I can do many of the same things at Yale that I could do formally at Harvard. Also, I've been really disappointed with the Harvard 1/2L kids I've tried to contact about specific information re: courses/clinics I am interested in. Most don't even respond..

Pumpkin
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Pumpkin » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:16 pm

i have to say, having people talk about why they want grades or a curve to distinguish themselves from everyone else is one of the key reasons i'm not completely sold on harvard. that type of competition does not appeal to me and maybe since i don't want to do big law, i don't feel the need to do nothing but study so that employers know that i was in the top 10%. it's harvard..everyone is very smart, will work hard, and find jobs afterwards.

can someone reassure me that things really have changed since the paper chase? i really WANT to want to go!!

KP429
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby KP429 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:23 pm

Pumpkin wrote:i have to say, having people talk about why they want grades or a curve to distinguish themselves from everyone else is one of the key reasons i'm not completely sold on harvard. that type of competition does not appeal to me and maybe since i don't want to do big law, i don't feel the need to do nothing but study so that employers know that i was in the top 10%. it's harvard..everyone is very smart, will work hard, and find jobs afterwards.

can someone reassure me that things really have changed since the paper chase? i really WANT to want to go!!


Aww, Pumpkin I don't mean to scare you off or come off as too brash.. you'd have to meet me in person -- I cannot stand talking about grades or top 10% or competition, etc. I'm only bringing it up here because we'd be the first class with no grades and with a $150,000+ investment, it's worth consideration (at least I think so). At least in my case I don't have the financial family support to be able to coast through law school. Inevitably, I'm going to have to pay off all of my debt and nothing is really guaranteed in this economy, even for Harvard grads. As you know, being smart and working hard don't always go hand-in-hand!

In any case, I wouldn't let this conversation deter you. Harvard is fantastic place and opportunity... we're really just discussing some of the pros and cons of a new system more than anything else.

On the downside, I can confirm for you that there still exists seating charts. On my visit to H, every class at Pound had a seating chart behind the podium with cutouts of all the students faces pasted on the seat where they sit during class with little check or X marks next to their names/face. THAT is scary.
Last edited by KP429 on Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sluggo
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby sluggo » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:24 pm

Yes, obviously it's not like the paper chase. I was being somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

I don't want grades to show/prove I'm better than you or anyone else, I want the grades if and only if it's going to help me get a killer clerkship, since I'm strongly considering academia.

My only hesitancy is whether or not Harvard is simply too big to pull off this sort of grading system. I suppose having a higher number of H's on your transcript will be the differentiating factor.

I think you have to differentiate people wanting to do well versus people competing with you. Everyone at Harvard is getting biglaw if they want it, so you aren't going to have *that* type of competition, like you would at a notoriously competitive school like Hastings.

Are some people still going to want law review/clerkships/v10? yes of course, but that will be true no matter where you go it seems. If anything, the larger number of people at Harvard means you'll have more chill people to hang out with.


cliff notes: go to Harvard.
Last edited by sluggo on Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sluggo
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby sluggo » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:26 pm

KP429 wrote:On the downside, I can confirm for you that there still exists seating charts. On my visit to H, every class at Pound had a seating chart behind the podium with cutouts of all the students faces pasted on the seat where they sit during class with little check or X marks next to their names/face. THAT is scary.


No one else looking forward to straight up destroying a professor in an argument if they try to get frisky?

*polishes gunner holster* :mrgreen:

Pumpkin
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Pumpkin » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:34 pm

in my current job i work with tons of crotchety judges and justices, professors do not scare me. yeah, i'm just hoping that despite being in a class of 500+ type A over achievers, there is still camraderie and general hoping that people you know do well..

and i want to add that i'm very excited about getting in!! don't want to be the debbie downer of the thread since harvard is clearly amazing, just trying to view it objectively

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excitedutterance
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby excitedutterance » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:01 pm

Pumpkin wrote:i have to say, having people talk about why they want grades or a curve to distinguish themselves from everyone else is one of the key reasons i'm not completely sold on harvard. that type of competition does not appeal to me and maybe since i don't want to do big law, i don't feel the need to do nothing but study so that employers know that i was in the top 10%. it's harvard..everyone is very smart, will work hard, and find jobs afterwards.

can someone reassure me that things really have changed since the paper chase? i really WANT to want to go!!


Seriously.

Though most people here have explained that's not what they really mean, something tells me that a lot of other prospective HLS students are wishing they had a better way to look and feel superior to others around them than what the new system affords. Then again, law school is full of Type-A people no matter where you go.

Harvard1L
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Harvard1L » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:20 pm

Hi everyone,

I am an HLS 1L and would be perfectly happy to answer any questions anyone may have about coming to HLS. Although I have clearly never attended another law school, I wouldn't mind telling you why I chose HLS and why I think everyone applying to law school ought to do the same. So if you have questions about the environment here, recent changes, etc., let me know.

upsided
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby upsided » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:53 pm

Pumpkin wrote:i have to say, having people talk about why they want grades or a curve to distinguish themselves from everyone else is one of the key reasons i'm not completely sold on harvard. that type of competition does not appeal to me and maybe since i don't want to do big law, i don't feel the need to do nothing but study so that employers know that i was in the top 10%. it's harvard..everyone is very smart, will work hard, and find jobs afterwards.

can someone reassure me that things really have changed since the paper chase? i really WANT to want to go!!



i completely agree with all of this. the talk in this thread was a big harvard turn off for me.

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excitedutterance
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby excitedutterance » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:06 pm

upsided wrote:
Pumpkin wrote:i have to say, having people talk about why they want grades or a curve to distinguish themselves from everyone else is one of the key reasons i'm not completely sold on harvard. that type of competition does not appeal to me and maybe since i don't want to do big law, i don't feel the need to do nothing but study so that employers know that i was in the top 10%. it's harvard..everyone is very smart, will work hard, and find jobs afterwards.

can someone reassure me that things really have changed since the paper chase? i really WANT to want to go!!



i completely agree with all of this. the talk in this thread was a big harvard turn off for me.


Well, not all of us are bent on conspicuous superiority. Go to Harvard. We can form a community of people who are a little less, well, intense.

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JackieTreehorn
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby JackieTreehorn » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:16 pm

Pumpkin wrote:i have to say, having people talk about why they want grades or a curve to distinguish themselves from everyone else is one of the key reasons i'm not completely sold on harvard.


People feel the need to distinguish themselves at every top law school--not just Harvard. I visited Stanford and asked a few of the 3Ls what they thought of the new grading system (30% H, most of the rest P). Their answer? "Too many people get Hs."

Pumpkin
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Re: Harvard Class of 2012

Postby Pumpkin » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:28 pm

but the new Harvard wrinkle will be the enforced percentage that gets low pass? that seems lame... i know that everyone assumes that they won't be the ones in that category but then again..someone who got into harvard will have to be the unlucky one.

Broader question about Harvard.. it's been described for years as a corporate law powerhouse. they've obviously done a lot recently to increase the focus on public interest. anyone (preferably hls students) have any take on whether this has lessened the corporate atmosphere?




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