Yale Law School Class of 2012

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2012)
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Severa
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby Severa » Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:35 am

Hey all,

I was wondering if any of the current students could tell me a little bit about what the Cambridge-Oxford apts are like. I went to the ASW but did not have the opportunity to check them out and it seems that I will probably need a place as close to campus as possible.

Thanks so much,

Sev

heyguys
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby heyguys » Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:22 am

Is there somewhere online that clarifies what the precise laptop requirements are? I have a 2 year old macbook, and I'm assuming it will suffice....?

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totalidiot
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby totalidiot » Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:11 am

*awaiting the zagabe and tinman reviews*

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iagolives
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby iagolives » Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:28 am

totalidiot wrote:*awaiting the zagabe and tinman reviews*


+1

heyguys
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby heyguys » Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:50 am

I'll write my review to get things started, as I would like to write about it anyway to some who might be interested in reading my perspective.

Students: The students are amazing. I felt very humbled by the accomplishments of my classmates. Coming straight out of undergrad, it was sort of strange to be around so many people who had taken years away from undergrad, with me even meeting people who graduated from undergrad the year I entered high school! Sort of a strange experience, but everyone was so friendly and engaging that it didn't matter. During the receptions, there was a great atmosphere, with some mingling and some engaging in really interesting debate/conversation. Everyone here is intellectually engaged and interested. A lot of the things (no grades, amazing faculty, etc) you can find some other places, but the Yale students are simply amazing, and it's actually sort of intimidating to think that I'm going to be joining their number. That's why I don't think the no grades thing really matters too much--everyone here is so intellectually engaged that grades would get in the way of what is substantively going on.

Faculty: The classes I attended were fantastic. There was a real sense that even the larger classes foster a real intellectual community--for example, in the federal courts class I attended there were students supplementing the teacher's pedagogy with their own clinical experiences and backgrounds. Really amazing atmosphere, with fantastic professors supplemented by amazing students--honestly, the students make Yale a truly unique educational experience.

Quality of Life: This is a problem area for me. Admittedly, I was boarding on the wrong side of town, but New Haven is a dive until you get to East Rock or Yale. My remedy for this is living a few minutes by walk from the law school, as the Yale campus is beautiful. The weather was beautiful during the ASP, but I know that this also becomes a factor during the winters--not as cold as Cambridge/Boston, but even so, still cold and dreary. As someone who heavily considered Stanford, this was a big deal for me, but deciding based on that alone for a three year commitment doesn't seem reasonable.

ASP experience: There was almost no 'hard sell,' no talking about job prospects, and no asking where others were considering attending. Everyone assumed that these were basically your classmates this year, and there is no 'how well you need to do to get a job at XYZ firm/group/whatever.' Honestly, the most intimidating thing about Yale is how much freedom you have, both in terms of the education and the career prospects, in a way that's entirely unique to Yale. You can craft your own education, and you can really do whatever you want after graduation. Even at HLS and SLS, there's a sense that 'well, I guess I'm going to go be a corporate lawyer'--at Yale, it seems like the real burden is figuring out what you want to do with so many options--academia, public interest, corporate, think tanks, etc--ha, in a weird way it's almost too much freedom for those who like to think that 'well, I'll just go into corporate law,' because, at least for me, I felt myself to be watching myriad opportunities open right before me that weren't there before. There seems to be absolutely no stress as far as performing well goes, and the atmosphere is unremittingly collegial...there is no real competitive sense.

There's a funny sort of atmosphere in which every time you meet someone, you just think 'I wonder what got this person here, and I'll bet it wasn't just a high LSAT score.' It's a great place in a terrible town.

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zabagabe
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby zabagabe » Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:15 pm

It's coming! I think because the Yale weekend was last it was much more of a rollercoaster of thoughts - I was sort of thinking big picture about my legal studies and future, not just about Yale vs. other schools, so my thoughts are all over the place. I'm waiting until I settle down and can reflect rationally.

Plus, on a more mundane level, my master's thesis is due tomorrow, so it probably won't be happening in the next 24 hours. ;)

Hoopster
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby Hoopster » Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:15 pm

heyguys, good review. It pretty much reflects my perspective of the ASW, students and the school in general. I have to laugh at those who didn't make it to Yale who scoff at the myriad of career opportunities that Yale offers. You get the sense, and the current students confirmed, that Yale fosters a real free-for-all educational atmosphere. After the first semester, you can shape your own destiny in any way you want and Yale will be happy to pay you go abroad, start a clinic or write a book in your academic pursuits. The mock class on election law was a perfect example of a free-flowing discourse between the professor and students. It was very engaging and intellectually stimulating. I think it's the students who make YLS such an unique and distinctive institution. I'm thinking who wouldn't want to be around these amazing students? There's simply no excuse to coast just because you made it to the pinnacle of law schools. I doubt the students would let you slack off, just by example and their accomplishments. You'd going to want to keep up with them and rise above your own abilities to prove you belong. But it's really competing with yourself, not competing with them. You get a chance to make the most of what Yale has to offer. I didn't sense that at either HLS or SLS.

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iagolives
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby iagolives » Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:21 pm

zabagabe wrote:It's coming! I think because the Yale weekend was last it was much more of a rollercoaster of thoughts - I was sort of thinking big picture about my legal studies and future, not just about Yale vs. other schools, so my thoughts are all over the place. I'm waiting until I settle down and can reflect rationally.

Plus, on a more mundane level, my master's thesis is due tomorrow, so it probably won't be happening in the next 24 hours. ;)


Good luck Zab! I remember how stressful my thesis was and it was only an undergraduate thesis. Just think how good you'll feel when its done!

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zabagabe
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby zabagabe » Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:47 pm

iagolives wrote:
zabagabe wrote:It's coming! I think because the Yale weekend was last it was much more of a rollercoaster of thoughts - I was sort of thinking big picture about my legal studies and future, not just about Yale vs. other schools, so my thoughts are all over the place. I'm waiting until I settle down and can reflect rationally.

Plus, on a more mundane level, my master's thesis is due tomorrow, so it probably won't be happening in the next 24 hours. ;)


Good luck Zab! I remember how stressful my thesis was and it was only an undergraduate thesis. Just think how good you'll feel when its done!


Thanks! The substance is all there - it's just mindless citation-checking and general editing, foreshadowing hours blue-booking and source-citing in the years ahead. ;)

HAZMAT
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby HAZMAT » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:04 pm

Hoopster wrote:heyguys, good review. It pretty much reflects my perspective of the ASW, students and the school in general. I have to laugh at those who didn't make it to Yale who scoff at the myriad of career opportunities that Yale offers. You get the sense, and the current students confirmed, that Yale fosters a real free-for-all educational atmosphere. After the first semester, you can shape your own destiny in any way you want and Yale will be happy to pay you go abroad, start a clinic or write a book in your academic pursuits. The mock class on election law was a perfect example of a free-flowing discourse between the professor and students. It was very engaging and intellectually stimulating. I think it's the students who make YLS such an unique and distinctive institution. I'm thinking who wouldn't want to be around these amazing students? There's simply no excuse to coast just because you made it to the pinnacle of law schools. I doubt the students would let you slack off, just by example and their accomplishments. You'd going to want to keep up with them and rise above your own abilities to prove you belong. But it's really competing with yourself, not competing with them. You get a chance to make the most of what Yale has to offer. I didn't sense that at either HLS or SLS.


*inserts finger in throat*

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zabagabe
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby zabagabe » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:46 pm

HAZMAT wrote:
Hoopster wrote:heyguys, good review. It pretty much reflects my perspective of the ASW, students and the school in general. I have to laugh at those who didn't make it to Yale who scoff at the myriad of career opportunities that Yale offers. You get the sense, and the current students confirmed, that Yale fosters a real free-for-all educational atmosphere. After the first semester, you can shape your own destiny in any way you want and Yale will be happy to pay you go abroad, start a clinic or write a book in your academic pursuits. The mock class on election law was a perfect example of a free-flowing discourse between the professor and students. It was very engaging and intellectually stimulating. I think it's the students who make YLS such an unique and distinctive institution. I'm thinking who wouldn't want to be around these amazing students? There's simply no excuse to coast just because you made it to the pinnacle of law schools. I doubt the students would let you slack off, just by example and their accomplishments. You'd going to want to keep up with them and rise above your own abilities to prove you belong. But it's really competing with yourself, not competing with them. You get a chance to make the most of what Yale has to offer. I didn't sense that at either HLS or SLS.


*inserts finger in throat*


Dude, with all due respect, go back to the HLS thread and keep sipping your hateraid there, where you can continue to revel in the glories of being sanctified by all of humanity for going to a top law school. I've tried to be polite, but all you're doing is reinforcing the (largely but not entirely false) stereotype of HLS kids being paradoxically both arrogant and insecure. It's mildly amusing but mostly just irritating.

HAZMAT
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby HAZMAT » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:57 pm

Who says I'm an HLS kid :?: :?: FYI -- I'm not. I'm just having a little fun. Get over yourself!

HAZMAT
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby HAZMAT » Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:00 pm

Dude, with all due respect, go back to the HLS thread and keep sipping your hateraid there, where you can continue to revel in the glories of being sanctified by all of humanity for going to a top law school. I've tried to be polite, but all you're doing is reinforcing the (largely but not entirely false) stereotype of HLS kids being paradoxically both arrogant and insecure. It's mildly amusing but mostly just irritating.[/quote]


Oh, and thanks for letting us all know what the HLS stereotype is.

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mallard
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby mallard » Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:02 pm

I'm confused by the cross-talk on this thread and the HLS thread.

law school question
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby law school question » Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:03 pm

Image

Hoopster
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby Hoopster » Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:10 pm

mallard wrote:I'm confused by the cross-talk on this thread and the HLS thread.


A little friendly rivalry. It doesn't bother me as I know it's all in good fun. :D

One thing I would like to add is that the current students and faculty didn't make one single pitch about coming to YLS as opposed to SLS or HLS. Well, not within earshot of me anyway. One professor even encouraged me to make sure I check out the other schools before making any decision which I thought was a cool thing to do. She said they're all "wonderful schools" and go with what I feel most comfortable with.

arrrrrr!
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby arrrrrr! » Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:14 pm

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Last edited by arrrrrr! on Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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zabagabe
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby zabagabe » Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:25 pm

Hoopster wrote:
mallard wrote:I'm confused by the cross-talk on this thread and the HLS thread.


A little friendly rivalry. It doesn't bother me as I know it's all in good fun. :D

One thing I would like to add is that the current students and faculty didn't make one single pitch about coming to YLS as opposed to SLS or HLS. Well, not within earshot of me anyway. One professor even encouraged me to make sure I check out the other schools before making any decision which I thought was a cool thing to do. She said they're all "wonderful schools" and go with what I feel most comfortable with.


+1. One of the most well-known profs who is a bit of an institution at Yale had the opening pitch that there are lots of good reasons not to go to Yale. I appreciated the candor. Unfortunately I ran into a few koolaid-sipping D-bags who thought Yale was God's gift to the Blessed - I think at least a few of these people exist everywhere, unfortunately.

Hoopster
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby Hoopster » Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:31 pm

zabagabe wrote:
Hoopster wrote:
mallard wrote:I'm confused by the cross-talk on this thread and the HLS thread.


A little friendly rivalry. It doesn't bother me as I know it's all in good fun. :D

One thing I would like to add is that the current students and faculty didn't make one single pitch about coming to YLS as opposed to SLS or HLS. Well, not within earshot of me anyway. One professor even encouraged me to make sure I check out the other schools before making any decision which I thought was a cool thing to do. She said they're all "wonderful schools" and go with what I feel most comfortable with.


+1. One of the most well-known profs who is a bit of an institution at Yale had the opening pitch that there are lots of good reasons not to go to Yale. I appreciated the candor. Unfortunately I ran into a few koolaid-sipping D-bags who thought Yale was God's gift to the Blessed - I think at least a few of these people exist everywhere, unfortunately.


+1 There will always be a few who are condescending and arrogant like that wherever you go. Chalk it up to human nature.

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iagolives
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby iagolives » Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:35 pm

Hoopster wrote:
zabagabe wrote:
Hoopster wrote:
mallard wrote:I'm confused by the cross-talk on this thread and the HLS thread.


A little friendly rivalry. It doesn't bother me as I know it's all in good fun. :D

One thing I would like to add is that the current students and faculty didn't make one single pitch about coming to YLS as opposed to SLS or HLS. Well, not within earshot of me anyway. One professor even encouraged me to make sure I check out the other schools before making any decision which I thought was a cool thing to do. She said they're all "wonderful schools" and go with what I feel most comfortable with.


+1. One of the most well-known profs who is a bit of an institution at Yale had the opening pitch that there are lots of good reasons not to go to Yale. I appreciated the candor. Unfortunately I ran into a few koolaid-sipping D-bags who thought Yale was God's gift to the Blessed - I think at least a few of these people exist everywhere, unfortunately.


+1 There will always be a few who are condescending and arrogant like that wherever you go. Chalk it up to human nature.


I'm a fan of Sartre so, no. Never. :)

(Sorry, I'll go back to writing my philosophy paper, haha.)

sandpiper
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby sandpiper » Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:05 pm

Severa wrote:Hey all,
I was wondering if any of the current students could tell me a little bit about what the Cambridge-Oxford apts are like. I went to the ASW but did not have the opportunity to check them out and it seems that I will probably need a place as close to campus as possible.


They're pretty nice. Certainly some of the nicer places in the Have and the residents swear by the management and super. There's a gym in the basement which comes in handy when it's snowing outside and it's tough to beat the location. Sadly, it's one of the more expensive places in New Haven - but those that live there think it's worth it.

heyguys wrote:Is there somewhere online that clarifies what the precise laptop requirements are? I have a 2 year old macbook, and I'm assuming it will suffice....?


That computer'll be fine. There aren't any real "requirements" and I'd say a plurality of the 1L class has a couple of years old Macbook. I had a four year old one until it died around Fall Break and I had to replace it with a new one.

zabagabe wrote: Unfortunately I ran into a few koolaid-sipping D-bags who thought Yale was God's gift to the Blessed - I think at least a few of these people exist everywhere, unfortunately.


And last, I'm sorry you thought some of us were DBags. Sure, Yale is God's gift to the Blessed, but it's not cool to come off that way to Admits. JKs. In all seriousness, I doubt these kids are DBags on a regular basis (I can't think of any in my class)- - sometimes people just come off that way at first. I hope you won't judge YLS by a couple of people who give a bad first impression.

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tinman
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby tinman » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:23 am

After so many months of thinking about this decision, I feel that I finally have enough information about all the schools to make an informed choice. All I am considering now is the financial details of the couple law schools from which I have not withdrawn. This could change where I end up, but it will not change my impression of the schools.

People asked about the ASW, so I will post a couple of thoughts before commenting on the question that has haunted me for the past few months, specifically: "What's so special about Yale?"

So, the ASW. It was pretty great. I agree with much of what has been said by heyguys and the couple other posters. Compared to the other ASWs I have attended, Yale's ASW offered a ton of opportunities to visit classes and a lot of unstructured time to interact with current and admitted students. I much prefer such opportunities to the informational talks that dominate other ASWs. I feel it makes it possible to get a better sense of what life would be like at the school. My impression is that the quality of life at YLS is remarkably high. Many of the students prefered the social environment at YLS to that of their undergraduate institution. Zabagabe suggested that this was because to many of them had worked ridiculously hard in undergraduate to make it to YLS. I believe that it's more than this, that is, that there really in something special about YLS.

Which brings me to my main question, the one that has kept me up at night and on this site the past couple months: "What's so special about Yale?" I spent so much time trying to figure this out. I studied many versions of the placement statistics from all of the top school. I visited all the schools I was considering, including Stanford and Yale before their ASWs. I sought out professors and students with similar interests to my own, and I talked to many of them on the phone and in person. In the end, I decided that Yale and Stanford were my favorite schools. And I still think Stanford's faculty is a better match for me. So, why may I choose Yale? Answer: the social environment. The atmosphere is different from any of the other schools I have encountered. When I talked to one of Yale's professors a couple weeks ago and explained to him my interests, he said I should go to Stanford. But at the same time, he said that there are two things that he finds special about Yale: the grading system and the students. First, to discuss the grading system ... Stanford and Harvard now will be pass/fail. But not all pass/fail systems are created equal. I know least about Harvard's because this was the school that I ruled about most easily, but my understanding is that about a third of the class gets low pass, a third pass, and a third high pass (or honors). This is much different from the ~2/3 passes and ~1/3 honors that are given out at Stanford and Yale. And the higher proportion of low passes given out at Harvard will, I think, put Harvard students at a disadvantage relative to the Yale and Stanford students, but I believe it is necessary because of Harvard's class size and because of the great disparity between the strongest and the weakest students at Harvard (I'm not sure that I have accurately chacterized the Harvard grading system, but I am not worried about it, and I think that you are crazy if you are still considering Harvard if you have the option of going to Yale or Stanford :). Now, Stanford ... it's 2:1 P:H from from the very beginning. But one big difference between Stanford and Yale is the book prizes (approximately the top 7% in each course) . At first, I thought this was a plus. I liked the idea of having the chance to distinguish myself on the positive end. But now I see it as a negative. First, it creates a few superstars who collect book prizes. Second, it encourages a focus on grades that I believed is misplaced at this point in our lives. We should be focused on extracurriculars, on internships, on publishing, on getting to know professors. And this is exactly what the carrot of the book prize discourages. And exactly what Yale's social environment encourages. And besides these differences in the pass/fail systems, the biggest difference is Yale's credit/non-credit first semester (or pass/pass first semester, since essentially no one fails). This lack of honors the first semester is huge! I think this does more than anything to create the collegial culture that distinguishes Yale. I honestly think that, when copying Yale, Stanford and Harvard missed how essential this semester is to the magic of Yale :) People are competive by nature. When it's possible to get honors, we will likely strive for it, regardless of how nice and friendly and caring we are. But when all you can get is pass, I think people are just naturally more likely to share notes, help their classmates, view them as classMATES (I'm thinking the Australian meaning of 'mates') and not competitors. To be fair, I believe Stanford is remarkably collegial ... their technology society stores class notes for all to use ... I just think it would be MORE collegial if they had copied Yale with the first semester (or quarter for them) pass/pass. But then again, I am not sure they could. There is still a difference between the Stanford student that gets all H's the first couple quarters and the one that gets all P's. I am not sure that any other school can do what Yale does: make the bold (implicit) claim that all the students are so amazing that further validation with first semester grades is unnecessary.

But the grades are only part of it ... I think what really makes Yale special, what makes the social environment special, is the students. All the top schools have amazing students, all have inspiring students, all have Dbags, all have aspiring academics, all have bleeding heart public interest types, all have corporate drones. I felt that most of the students at Stanford were pretty amazing. But at Yale, I felt that most of the students were inspiring. Not all, of course. But MOST! and that is amazing, I think. I think it's only possible when you admit a couple hundred students who you believe are the most amazing students applying to law school that year. Of course, you are wrong sometimes and you admit some not-so-amazing students. But I really think that among the 200 most amazing and wonderful human beings that apply to law school each year Yale ends up with the lion's share. As far as I am concerned, this is what makes Yale great ... not the clerkship numbers, not the number of people in academia, not the professors, not the gothic architecture, not New Haven, not the LRAP, not the #1 USNWR ranking. It is the students.

Almost everyone I met-the students, the professors, the deans-all said that it was the students that make Yale great. It's the reason great professors leave more lively cites, it's the reason so many admits give up law school in paradise or the license to drop the H bomb. It's the reason professor's at Yale are so interested in their students work. And it's the reason that I will likely give up my dream of moving West and spend three more years in the cold. I spent so long trying to figure out what was so special about Yale only to realize in the end that it's not really Yale that's special, it's us.

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mallard
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby mallard » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:25 am

The published curve at Harvard is 37% high pass, 55% pass, 8% low pass, just to be clear.

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tinman
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby tinman » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:51 am

mallard wrote:The published curve at Harvard is 37% high pass, 55% pass, 8% low pass, just to be clear.


I figured I might have gotten the Harvard numbers wrong. I would say then that it seems to me that the big difference between Stanford and Harvard next year will be that Stanford will reveal its top (7%) while Harvard will reveal its bottom. That was not meant to sound lewd ...

KP429
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Re: Yale Law School Class of 2012

Postby KP429 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:54 am

mallard wrote:The published curve at Harvard is 37% high pass, 55% pass, 8% low pass, just to be clear.


The actual curve for the highest self-reporting 1L section turned out to be ~25 HP/45 P/25 LP/5 F. All of the other sections had, at a minimum, 15-20% of students receiving a low pass.




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