This was going to have to wait until Friday, but I shelled out the 10 bucks for internet at the Hyatt. Hey, I needed to go on craigslist and find an apartment
I don't feel the need to do as extensive a review as I might have because Objection did an excellent job. I'll offer my brief impression of the ASW and then put forward a few responses to some of the issues that have been discussed on the last couple of pages.
Overall, the ASW rocked. I'd give it a 9 out of 10 and I don't really give 10's. I guess I'll go in chronological order to help remember more of it.
The initial icebreaker was decent, and I could have handled a more involved/interesting exercise. I thought it was pretty LOL that some groups actually had holdouts, but then again some people just take themselves way too seriously. I liked the people in my group and thought that they were actually very shy and deferential.
The socializing that took place afterward was fantastic. It was interesting to see how different groups formed throughout the area between the Austin classrooms, but of the dozen or so people with whom I had conversations, I got along with all of them.
Dinner was excellent. Harvard has a fantastic burger joint about a 7 min walk southeast of their law school. Yale has an equally fantastic pizza place some (10-15?) minutes away from their law school. For all of the YvH nonsense on here, my personal advice would be to let the food guide you. Ok, back on track.
I talked to a Harvard 1L at dinner who was chill, friendly, and super open about answering all of my questions (I had a lot). Turns out later that he got straight H's this first semester, but obviously didn't mention that to me at dinner, even though I gave him several opportunities. The overall group we had (12 people or so) happened to be very friendly, outgoing and definitely not anything near the sort of stereotype I expected/feared when I showed up. I'll digress for a second: even though that's only 12 people out of the ~300 that showed up for the event, the fact that I was able to click with such a substantial number of people in the first hour of milling around is one reason why I'm excited about attending a "large" law school. If 20 percent of people are tools/gunners/jerks, then that absolute number will be larger at Harvard, sure. I think the more important point, however, is that the raw number of potential friends you have is larger too. As someone who's not afraid to introduce myself to other people and search out the people I'd like to meet, I think this is a clear plus.
Met up with some other friends who were in town for St Paddy's Day after dinner with some of the HLS people. Everyone gelled well which I really liked.
Breakfast was fairly legit on Sunday. The breakout session was good (academia/clerkships) but they should have given us the opportunity to visit 2 sessions, not just one. Small crumbs though, you don't really need to attend those sessions to find out information, it was all just stuff I had already learned through TLS and the internets.
As everyone had already said, the supreme court history presentation was great. So was the mock class (I had Sullivan). Obviously none of this matters too much because that's just 2 out of 95 professors or whatnot, and obviously they're going to choose very good ones to show you.
The club fair was a bit overwhelming, and I probably have a bunch of unsubscribing to do on my HLS email
LOL at the Law Review having a booth there. I passed it, but can imagine that the conversation might have gone something like this:
"Hey join our cool journal. It's called the Harvard Law Review."
Student: "Awesome. When can I start?"
"Oh you have to be a 2L and you have to have really good grades and/or win a writing competition which you do right after your finals 1L year."
Dinner with the mediation club was pretty cool (free Indian food). The people were nice, and very helpful in answering questions. I'm not sure who Zag met with but I honestly didn't come across a single person like that the entire weekend and I talked to a bunch.
The class I sat in on was Minnow's and it was meh. We sat in on a class where you clearly had to have attended the previous ones to know wtf was going on, but whatever. She didn't seem all that engaging, but she wasn't dreadful either. Again, I don't care all that much about one particular prof.
Lunch with the faculty was awesome. I didn't have a chance to get a question in before the dean made his presentation, so when the prof was leaving, I walked alongside her and asked for a chance to ask a question. We ended up going to her office and talking for like 25 minutes! She was interested and helpful in answering all of my questions and went way beyond the simple courtesy that she could have shown me. It wasn't about selling me on Harvard, it was just about the career of a legal academic and what sorts of decisions/interests I should consider. I really liked this. Oh, I forgot. I went up afterward and talked to the old white guy (supreme court) and Sullivan after their classes and they were both happy to answer my questions and tell me about their careers. I am starting to drink the HLS kool-aid at this point: If i just talk to a professor maybe they'll write my SCOTUS clerkship ticket.
Ok, so that describes my impressions from the trip. Not as concise as I was hoping for, but it just kinda flowed. I guess I'll get to responding to some more specific things re: Harvard (v Yale). For now, I'd like to say that for anyone considering another school over Harvard, you owe it to yourself to attend the April ASW and let them sell you. I think they did an excellent job this weekend.